As a boater, taking a boat tour, might not be high on your recreational to-do list. But, as I recently discovered with Destiny Harbor Tours, a professional boat tour can bring to life the history, culture, and lifestyle of a maritime destination.
When looking for a boat tour, I suggest looking for a cruise that highlights more than the gorgeous scenery or wildlife and focuses more on specifics like:
- Fun facts
My Destiny Harbor Tour went from Gig Harbor to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, under the bridge, next to Point Defiance Park, and then back to Gig Harbor. Over the course of 2-hours, Captain Ethan shared:
- History about Gig Harbor and its fishing fleet
- History about the Tacoma Narrow Bridge and Galloping Gerdie
- Fascinating stories and facts about the giant octopuses that live under the bridge
- History of Salmon Beach and the unusual lifestyle of its current residents
- History of Point Defiance Park
One of my favorite parts was when the tour stopped in front of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. While we floated in front of the bridge the captain told us about European designer Leon Moisseiff and the faults with his design which was solid instead of lattice and didn’t take into account the wind. On top of that, Moisseiff used a lower-grade steel, which tests have shown had the same amount of carbon as the steel used in Titanic! The bridge swayed so much ̶ 15-20 feet! ̶ that drivers lost sight of the car in front of them and rivets in the bridge were known to sheer off and hit your car.
It was in service for four months before it collapsed on November 7,1940.
The Destiny Harbor Tours captain also told us fun stories and facts about the giant octopuses that live in the wreckage of Galloping Gertie. These creatures have well-developed eyes and scientists say they can recognize someone through their taste receptors. When they were putting up the new bridge the divers had lots of stories to share about their curious and sometimes trouble-making antics, like kinking up a torch hose, and my personal favorite–slyly taking a wrench and then handing it back!
Destiny Harbor Tours Info
Tours: Destiny Harbor Tours are in two restored U.S. Navy boats, Destiny and Maritime. In addition to the tour noted above, they also offer a 1.5-hour Gig Harbor and Sound Vista Tour, and a 2-hour Tacoma Tour which highlights Tacoma and its history, including Thea Foss Waterway, tugs and the working Port of Tacoma, and ecology on Puget Sound.
2-hour tours: $40 adult, $35 senior, $30 children 5-12, children 4 and under free
1.5-hour tours:$35 adult, $30 senior, $25 children 5-12, children 4 and under free
Hours: During the summer season, they have daily tours from each location and additional seasonal tours. Out of season, they will arrange a tour by appointment for groups of 4 or more.
Lara Dunning is a member of the Waggoner Cruising Guide team and has made one trip up the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, AK. She is enthusiastic about small town living, and you can read more about her discoveries at Small Town Washington. She has been published in Bainbridge Island Magazine, Experience Anacortes, Northwest Travel & Life Magazine, realfoodtraveler.com and Whidbey Life Magazine.