Evening cruises to see puffins set sail July 4 from Port Townsend

Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — The summer's evening puffin cruises begin on the Fourth of July.

The three-hour cruises around Protection Island in the mouth of Discovery Bay are planned Fridays and Saturdays — July 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26, and Aug. 1-2.

Each cruise will leave from Point Hudson Marina at 6 p.m. and return at 9 p.m.

Cruises are $55 per person or $50 for members of the marine science center, Burke Museum, Audubon Society or Washington Ornithological Society.

Reservations required

Reservations are required for each trip.

Dry, brown and lonely, Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge looks like a rather inhospitable place. But it's alive with thousands of nesting birds, including tufted puffins.

Puffins use burrows in the cliffs and uplands to raise one or sometimes two chicks and often can be seen from the boat.

“These cruises are our most popular wildlife-viewing cruises all year,” said Janine Boire, director of the marine science center, which sponsors the cruises along with Puget Sound Express.

“We are in the southern-most part of the nesting range for tufted puffins,” Boire said.

“At this time of year, there are nesting pairs on Protection Island and Tatoosh Island.”

Naturalists on board

Marine science center naturalists will be on board to provide commentary.

Proceeds will benefit the marine science center's educational programs.

Reservations can be made online at www.pugetsoundexpress.com/imscart, by phone at 360-385-5582 or by email at cruises@ptmsc.org.

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is located on the beach at Fort Worden.

The Marine Exhibit and the Natural History Exhibit are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day but Tuesday.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for youths and free to marine science center members.

Last modified: June 26. 2014 7:46PM
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