Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tarboo Bay

Tarboo Bay is located at the northernmost end of much larger Dabob Bay, sheltered behind an elegant series of spits.


This small site at the very head of the bay was recently restored by the Northwest Watershed Institute, the local organization that has spearheaded so much restoration work in this area. A year ago, there was a building built on piles over the water and an old timber bulkhead, but the structures have since been removed and the bank and the old driveway have been replanted with native trees and shrubs. In a few years, it will blend perfectly with the adjacent landscape.

The now unprotected bank is eroding, supplying coarse gravel to build a small beach and sand that is reshaping a tiny beach nearby. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the marsh to recolonize the beach surface - wave energy is sufficiently low here that vegetation is the natural end point rather than a beach, something seen by looking at the adjacent shoreline to the north where marsh grass obscures the gravel beach beneath.

Dabob Bay

I don't get to this remote corner of Puget Sound very often, and not many others do either, so it remains a relatively pristine landscape. The last time I visited was 8 years ago, on a day a little bleaker than this one (Broad Spit: October 2007).


One of the things that struck me on that trip was how difficult it is to find small stream mouths on Puget Sound - even way back here - that haven't been significantly modified. They were the natural place to sluice logs out of the hills, to homestead, to construct shingle mills and oyster farms, and later, to build vacation homes. Valley bottoms were cleared, streams channels were relocated, and spits and small estuaries were buried. Reference sites for restoration projects are hard to find.

Once riprap, now a beach
Local groups, along with DNR and the Nature Conservancy and others, have patched together a large mosaic of forested uplands, beaches, and tidelands here in northern Dabob Bay and are in the process of restoring the more disturbed sites. Some work has already been done here - a bulkhead was removed and some roads were taken out from an earlier development effort on the hillside. But now there's an opportunity to do more and I'm looking forward to coming back in a few years to see what it looks like.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Point No Point

Point No Point is an important landmark - the southernmost of three prominent points that mark the western entrance into Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound. Point Wilson in Port Townsend. Marrowstone Point. And Point No Point. Each has a small lighthouse. Each is a cuspate foreland.


Cuspate forelands are triangular landforms that typically form where wave action approaches from two different directions. Longshore transport moves sediment toward the point from each direction, resulting in an accumulation of material and the growth of the feature. Sand and gravel may accrete on one limb or the other of the landform, or may be lost off the tip into deep water.

The old t-sheets show a tidal inlet on the north side, serving a large wetland behind the beach homes along Point No Point and Norwegian Point (which is basically a western continuation of the same barrier beach). The wetland is now broken up by development and drainage systems and the open tidal channel to the north has been replaced by a pipe and tide gate on the east.

On this visit, there was a distinct scarp high on the beach where recent wave action had dropped the sandy beachface half a foot or so.

The Point offers great views of Puget Sound to both north and south. Mount Rainier and the high rises of Seattle are visible to the south. Mount Baker rises over Whidbey Island to the northeast.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

North Kitsap

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to see some of northern Kitsap County from the water. I took plenty of photos on our trip from Indianola north to Foulweather Bluff, but have had trouble figuring out what was interesting enough to post. The real problem is that I prefer to base my entries on a single location and boat trips tend to generate scattered pictures from many different places.

So I'll post a few from some different spots with brief captions. I did something like this from a similar trip several years ago. Kitsap Bluffs: April 2009.

High bluffs in Indianola
Doe Kag Wats - there's a big salt marsh behind that beach
House perched on glacial till at Point Jefferson
Typical bluff top development near President Point

We only saw one beach construction project all day - and it was this
rock revetment being taken out!
Unstable slopes immediately north of Kingston. The shoreline from here north
for several miles is marked by deep-seated landslides
More deep-seated slides - and a nice stretch of natural beach. In the late 1990s,
much of this stretch was geologically active and several development projects failed
The northeast end of Foulweather Bluff, where sliding appears to be occurring
adjacent to some recent development. Note scarps above the bluff right of center.