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Anderson Island Youth Sailing

Updated: 11 minutes ago

“Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.”

Augustus Hare


When one sets out to learn how to sail, they typically have no clue what they are getting themselves into. The same can be said for each and every one of us as we are born into this world, brought up amongst those around us, and then set out to make our own paths and become whatever it is we will become. Some of us are surrounded by overwhelming love and support, while others have never even sniffed what any of that smells like. That said, we don't know what we don't know. Knowledge is power. If one is able to obtain knowledge & grow self-confidence, the world will become your oyster. You'll have to live outside of your comfort zone to get there, but even that becomes addicting.


In 2012, when we bought our first vessel, I knew nothing about sailing or boat maintenance, let alone hull repair, marine electronics, diesel engine repair and maintenance, sail care and repair, and so on. I didn't even know those terms! Add to that, all of the terms involved with actual sailing, and trimming, and hull speed, etc. The only thing that I knew was that I needed to be on the water, and I was going to get there. As I did get out into Puget Sound, my desires to be there only grew stronger. When I would take my family out and have our adventures and make our memories, all I would feel was joy. Joyful to be doing fun things of course, but moreso a joy that these such special people now know the importance of Puget Sound and about the marine life that resides there. On top of that, these individuals now also understand THEIR importance TO Puget Sound and the marine life.


Since then, all I want to do is get as many folks out into Puget Sound in a really fun way. In 2022, Anderson Island Parks & Recreation provided me with the opportunity to create a youth sailing program. Of course I accepted and set out to create the program. Without getting too detailed, we were able to take 6 kids out sailing for the day every Wednesday all summer! We visited places like Penrose State Park, Hope Island State Park, Day Island/Narrows Marina, and Longbranch(Key Peninsula). We also took 6 kids, 5 adult volunteers, and two assist vessels to Blake Island for 3 days of camping. Here is a gallery of some of the epic times...




And then this super cool encounter with the transient Orcas near Eagle Island...



Alright, now let's fast forward to the present. Summer is here, and kids are almost out of school! Anderson Island Parks & Recreation has once again come through for the youth of Anderson Island! While the Youth Sailing Program won't be every week this summer, we took the biggest adventure of all of them and doubled up. That's right! We will be taking 6 kids and the needed volunteers to Blake Island for a 3 day/2 night sailing and camping adventure TWICE!



These adventures will take place July 18th-20th & August 1st-3rd and are for island youth, ages 7yo-18yo.


Map of Blake Island State Park

About Blake Island

Blake Island Marine State Park is a 472-acre, marine camping park with 5 miles of saltwater beach shoreline and approximately 655 acres of saltwater bedland. The park is reachable only by tour boat or private boat.


Prior to being a Washington State Park, Blake Island was an ancestral camping ground of the Suquamish Indian tribe. Legend has it Chief Seattle was born there. In the mid-1800s, the island was owned and logged by G. A. Meigs and W. P. Sayward, who operated a big saw mill at Port Madison on Bainbridge Island.


The Adventure

Our planned three day two night excursions to Blake Island State Park will include sailing through the Tacoma Narrows and Colvos Passage to reach the island. The kids and chaperones will camp on Blake Island, enjoy the trails and marine environment, as well as learn the local history of the island, and more. We will camp for two nights and sail back to Anderson Island on the third day.


CREW REQUIREMENTS (not optional):

A sailing crew is a cohesive unit that works together to ensure the success of the mission/adventure. All youth will be required to participate as crew while sailing, under instruction from Captain Corey, as Bow Watch, Navigator, Helmsman, & Rover. These will be on a scheduled rotation in 30-minute intervals, with two crew on break at a time. They will also be expected to participate in the 3.5-mile hike with us around the perimeter of the island. Considered an easy route, it takes an average of 1h 30m to complete. To prepare your child for this adventure, they are also required to complete the American Sailing Association's "Your First Sail" course. This online course is free and will teach them sailing basics and terminology.


READY TO SIGN UP?

Hop on over to the A.I.P.R.D. website for further details and to get your Island Kid(s) signed up for a memory that they will never forget! Any questions, I'm always happy to answer them, or find someone who can if I cannot. Also, A.I.P.R.D. needs adult volunteers to sign up and help with all of the amazing opportunities they are providing our youth. Be that person!