Everett’s sandy jewel opens

  • Thu Jul 1st, 2010 10:17pm
  • News

By Amy Daybert Herald Writer

EVERETT — Rain didn’t stop those who wanted to be among the first this summer to be on the beach at Jetty Island.

For some, the promise of two miles of sandy beach was the main reason to visit on Thursday, despite the drizzle.

“I love Jetty Island because the water is gorgeous and the sand is perfect,” said Kylie Prouse, 11. “It’s just too perfect.”

Kylie, her mother, Lissa, younger brother, Jonathan, and their friends rode the first ferry to Jetty Island on opening day. The kids went to the beach specifically to build two forts: one for Kylie and her friends, the other for Jonathan and his friends.

“My friend was like, ‘We can’t work with the boys,’ ” Kylie said.

Her children would love to visit Jetty Island every day, said Lissa Prouse, of Marysville. They visit every year and will try to make weekly trips to the island this year.

For others, including Lake Stevens resident Ruth Ogilvie, opening day was their first trip to the island. The promise of pirates and a treasure hunt were big draws for her two children, Grace, 6, and Brady, 3.

“At this point, a little rain isn’t going to stop us,” Ogilvie said.

Jetty Island is a man-made island that began in the late 1800s when a decision was made to build a fresh-water harbor, said Kraig Hansen, park ranger and chief naturalist. While the work was done, sediment filled up the channel and had to be taken out. That river sediment created the island over the past 100 years.

“The two miles of sandy beach is the big draw,” Hansen said. “Even if we have a busy day with lots of people over here you can just go north or south and have a little bit of beach to yourself.”

Visitors should bring everything they need to spend a day at the beach with them when visiting Jetty Island, Hansen added. Overnight camping, pets and alcohol are not allowed. Playing in the low tides, building sand creations and watching shorebirds that aren’t often seen anywhere but on the coast are encouraged.

Visitors on Thursday took part in an opening ceremony that included a flag ceremony, entertainment and friendly disputes resolved by sword matches by the Puget Sound Pirates, a treasure hunt, and nature walks. By the end of the day, 491 people had ridden the ferry to and from the island.

Colby Rondeau, 6, from Marysville waited patiently to see the pirates and hunt for buried treasure before the opening ceremony.

“I think there’s going to be chocolates, money and jewels,” he said.

When the time came for the big hunt in the sand, Cody learned hunting for pirate treasure can be more difficult than expected. He was about to give up the search for chocolate coins and toys when a pirate handed him a small cloth sack of assorted treasures.

Colby pulled the drawstrings of the sack and peeked inside. There, finally, was treasure. He quickly pulled the drawstrings to shut the bag.

He smiled.

Jetty Island is open all summer from 10 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8:50 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 6:50 p.m. on Sundays, through Sept. 6. Everett residents and groups of 12 or more can reserve passes by calling 425-257-8304.

Boarding passes to Jetty Island are available at the 10th Street Boat Launch off W. Marine View Drive. The trip is free but donations are accepted to offset the cost of the 80-passenger ferry.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.