A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Camano Island’

Coupeville, Washington

Posted by graywacke on October 9, 2009


First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  Phew.  I finally landed in a USer, although now it’s a PSer . . . WA; 42/42; 4/10; 2; 152.1.  Check out this unusual landing map:


Here’s a broader view, showing that I actually landed in an arm of Puget Sound, not far from Seattle:


Here’s a Google Earth shot of my landing:


I landed in a body of water known as “Saratoga Passage.”  This is one of those borderline landings; what I mean is that I suppose I could call this a water landing that doesn’t count (where I’d normally discard the landing and try again, hoping for land).  But I’m surrounded by land, and likely in an area that is counted as part of the area of the State of Washington.  Anyway, I don’t really have a watershed entry at all, since I’m already at sea level in salt water.  If I were on a boat and I wanted to get to the Pacific Ocean, I’d have to head out the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which separates Washington from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.   Here’s a broader view, showing the Strait (the arrow points to my landing spot):


You can see that landed near Coupeville (pop 1723), the county seat of Island County, which includes Whidbey Island (to the west of my landing) and Camano Island (to the east).

From Wiki:

Whidbey Island is one of two major islands (and nine altogether) that make up Island County, Washington.  The island forms the northern boundary of Puget Sound.

Whidbey Island is home to 58,211 residents (according to the 2000 census),[1] also known as Whidbey Islanders. An estimated 29,000 of Whidbey Islanders live in rural locations.

Whidbey Island has an area of 169 mi², making it the 40th largest island in the United States (although it’s the fifth largest island in the contiguous United States).

Whidbey Island was once inhabited by members of the Lower Skagit, Swinomish, Suquamish, Snohomish and other Native American tribes.  In May of 1792, Joseph Whidbey along with Peter Puget and George Vancouver, began to map and explore the areas of Puget Sound.  Whidbey circumnavigated the island in June, and as a reward, had the island named after him.

Camano Island is a large island in Island County, Washington, between Whidbey Island and the mainland. The body of water separating Whidbey Island and Camano Island is called Saratoga Passage.

[That’s where I landed!!]

There were 13,358 residents on the island as of the 2000 census, but the population peaks at 17,000 during the summer months with retired “snowbirds.”  The island has a total land area of 40 sq mi, though it was larger before the Great Slide of 1825.

Camano Island is named for the Spanish explorer Jacinto Caamaño.  Charles Wilkes, during the Wilkes Expedition of 1838-1842, named it MacDonough Island in honor of Thomas MacDonough for his victory of the Battle of Lake Champlain during the War of 1812. Following this theme, Wilkes named the body of water between Camano and Whidbey Island after MacDonough’s flagship the Saratoga. When Henry Kellett reorganized the official British Admiralty charts in 1847, he removed Wilkes’ name MacDonough and bestowed the name Camano. Wilkes’ name Saratoga Passage was retained.

Notice the reference to the “Great Slide” of 1825?  From Wiki:

In 1825 a tragic event occurred in Possession Sound (an arm of Puget sound located south of Camano Island). A large piece of the southern tip of Camano Island slid into the Sound — an event known as the Great Slide. A resultant tsunami from the slide drowned many Indian residents of nearby Hat Island.

Hat Island (aka Gedney Island), and the southern end of Camano Island are shown on this map.  As shown on the map, “Camano Head” must be right where the Great Slide occurred.


So, how about Coupeville?  Well, I can’t find much of particular interest beyond how beautiful it is here.  Here’s a shot of Penns Cove at Coupeville:


I think I’ll just make the rest of the post a photo tour.  First, several shots of Whidbey:



Here’s a picture of the bridge that one needs to cross to get to Whidbey Island by car:


Here’s a wonderful picture from Whidbey looking over to Camano, with the photographer’s caption below:

view of camano from whidbey

Something I saw on my morning walk; two horses getting started on a day of eating and hanging out together.  The water you see is Penn Cove and then Saratoga Passage. After that comes Camano Island followed by the Cascade Range.

I can locate the location of the above photo pretty well.  Here’s a map with an arrow showing the approximate location of the photographer.  As you can see, I landed in the water just behind and to the right of the point that juts out in the center of the picture.


I’ll close with a sunset shot from Camano:

camano island sunset

That’ll do it.



© 2009 A Landing A Day


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