By Lawrence Baum
On Sat, Sept 13, small-boat (“dinghy”) sailors from the Camano Island Sailing Association, supported by the Andrew Baum in the safety power boat of Camano Sail and Power, successfully sailed approximately one-third of the distance around Camano Island. This “test” sail is part of a program to develop an annual small-sailboat race around the island. The sailors departed Maple Grove County Park early in the morning and sailed to Sunny Shores, just north of Tillicum Beach, a distance of approximately 16 miles. A critical part of this planning and this test-sail is assessing the feasiblility of using south-flowing currents in the Stillaguamish River channels by entering at the north, Skagit Bay entrance, passing under the bridge, and exiting at the south, Port Susan exit. These challenging channels are a crucial link in an island circumnavigation but our concerns were unfounded and the passage proved to be a no-drama non-event and the sailboats were able to easily sail through, carried by the current and a light breeze.
John Cavanaugh, Russ Holmes and Lawrence Baum, sailing Olympic-class Lasers all agree that this critical portion of any race around the island should not be a particular problem.
The next test will be a leg starting at Kayak County Park, sailing around Camano Head and up to Camano Island State Park, the start/finish point for a Cam Isle 360 Raid to be held in 2015.