Camano Island and the Cavalero boat ramp

What a beautiful day it was for some exploration. Sunny with temps in the mid 60’s promised a great weather day. So we were off to Camano Island, a 15 mile long island north of Seattle, close to the San Juan Islands and the Canadian/US border. The island has State Parks, beaches both public and private and other recreation as well as many residences, some located on the water.

Lots to see and do on Camano Island

A very tall Indigenous fisherman

The information center was closed when we were there, possibly by employment or covid reasons. The large map gives a great snapshot of the island. Several metal sculptures dotted the park around a huge kids playground.

We drove nearly the whole island. Wanting to see some of the homes on the water we found to be a bit of a challenge, as steep narrow roads were the order of the day.  We did finally find a community of lovely waterfront homes that was flanked by two gated, private beaches.

Long necked heron in the water

Beautiful water and land

 

 

 

 

 

 

Across the Port Susan water

We saw folks collecting pieces to take

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, this is where Maj collected rocks

 

Finally we spotted, quite by accident, another road that looked to be headed to the water. It turned out to be the steep drive to Cavalero boat ramp, with a fair amount of gravel parking next to a sea wall of timber with the boat ramp on one end.

The scene was calming and beautiful. A heron was loafing in the shallow water, large driftwood piled up on the rocky beach added character. The tide coming in was obvious at the end of the boat ramp. We were delighted with how quiet the place was because there were no boats on the Port Susan water. Sometimes it’s best to just sit and enjoy. That’s what we did for a while before we left the quiet and calm beach and the still waters.

WWII Gun Emplacements Once Protected Puget Sound and Seattle

The Army had plans in place to upgrade the Puget Sound harbor defenses when the Japanese attacked Pearl
Harbor on December 7, 1941. The attack prompted a feverish scramble to implement those WWII plans.

Fort Ebey was constructed from 1942 to 1944. It overlooked the Straight of Juan de Fuca and the open Pacific
Ocean. It was the first of a series of defensive positions that also included forts Casey, Worden and
Flagler, also on Puget Sound.

One of the gun turret foundations

One of the two gun turret foundations that still look over Puget Sound

Historic Fort Ebey State Park on Widbey Island is home to the remains of Battery 248 of the Coast Artillery
Regiment of the Washington National Guard. The guns are gone, having been melted down for scrap at the end
of the war. What remains, however, are the two circular gun emplacements and the supporting large concrete
bunker where ammunition, powder bags, and other equipment was stored.

The bunker is open to the public. A flashlight is a good companion if you venture into the bunker, as the
rooms are not provided with any lights. You will see the massive steel doors on the powder rooms as well
as the concrete pads where the three large generators were placed.

In front of the bunker towards the edge of the steep cliff you will see the forward observation bunker. A
narrow slit provided a panoramic view of the waters. No ships could enter the Sound without being spotted.

Forward observation post

Forward observation post

Date on the main bunker entrance

Date on the main bunker entrance

The main armament of the fort was provided by two guns on swivel turrets. These guns fired a 108 pound
shell with a range of 15 miles. The 26 man gun crews could fire a round every 12 seconds.

Take a step back in time with a visit to Fort Ebey State Park. Walk where the artillerymen walked. Explore
the bunker. Stand near the forward observation position and imagine being on the lookout for enemy ships
trying to invade the Puget Sound.

Day passes are only $10, with a yearly pass available for $30. More information about Fort Ebey State Park may be found at the park website.