Friday, August 26, 2011

Langley to La Conner

Friday 26 August 11
I'm up early but not in any hurry to depart so leave at 0830hrs.. The couple next to me on a Catalina have been in Desolation Sound for the past month and they are both tan as you can be. A lady appears at my dock to help me get underway. It is low tide and my depth sounder reads 5 ft just outside the entrance and I can see bottom.

My course today will take me between Whidbey and Camano Islands and up through the Swinomish Waterway. I travel close to Camano island and come up on Cama State Park which has lots of nice cabins and a Wooden Boat Center. I never knew this existed. What a delightful spot.

Cama St Park

Mt Baker

Since it has been 25 years since I cruised this passage I forget how long these islands are and the vastness of the waters between them. Whidbey(35miles long) vies with Long Island to take the top honor of US longest island in salt water, excluding the Hawaiian islands, as they are not in the Continental USA. I have to correct myself. According to Wikipedia, Whidbey is 3rd in line, with Long Island being first, Padre Island( longest barrier island) in Texas is next. If you add fresh water into the mix then Isle Royal Michigan is the largest. Wikipedia also says," The first known European sighting of Whidbey Island was during the 1790 Spanish expedition of Manuel Quimper and Gonzalo López de Haro on the Princesa Real.[4] The island was fully explored in 1792 by Captain George Vancouver."

A nice Fisher 30 on the Swinomish Waterway

Winding along the Swinomish

I like this
La Conner

Bayliner Cockpit Extensions
Possible Hardtops for an Albin 25?

A 1215 hrs I enter the lower aspect of the Swinomish Channel. It is a narrow, winding slough, shallow at low tide with rocks and tide flats bearing on both sides. 3 inbound, speeding boats pass me with big wakes and for those of us who honor the no wake zone, we are caught with no room to head up into the waves. We just hang on and roll and roll. I get fuel in La Conner and get guest moorage on the breakwater dock.  I explore some marine stores and find one of the Albin 25 who in listed in the newsletter of the British Columbia Albineers. She will be attending the gathering in Roche Harbor next month and the Skipper will be on vacation and be able to do some additional cruising. I look forward to getting to know another female owner.

I have a leisurely afternoon, find a floating fender which I grab with the boat hook and look at charts and cruising guides for the next days adventures. I spend some time re-tuning my radar, as I have seen some fog over the island in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
Day's Run: 26.5nm
Total: 77.6nm.