West Wight Potter'ing

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Marcia at the helm in Puget Sound's Colvos Passage. This was one of our first lengthy cruises in the southern half of Puget Sound. We motored and sailed from Steilacoom, northward through the Tacoma Narrows, up Colvos Passage, and over to Blake Island. Then we went "behind" Black island to Port Orchard and Bremerton. It was in the narrow approaches to Port Orchard that we discovered the joy of "wake-jumping" under full sail. Two Washington State ferries passed by us at the same time. On the second wake, little "Poteet" went almost completely airborne!


Launching "Poteet" into south Puget Sound on the public ramp at the Hartstene Island bridge. (The front bumber hitch makes handling the boat trailer much easier.)

This is one of several "bridge" launch sites developed on public rights of way, in a region where public waterfront access sometimes seems extremely limited. We found this to be an excellent launch point for exploring southernmost Puget Sound.

Boat Launch

Hope Island State Park in southern Puget Sound is almost totally undeveloped, except for this primitive caretaker's cabin. We were able to pull Poteet up to the gravel beach, and take a short hike along the beach and into the woods. The island is restricted to day-use only and there are no mooring buoys or attractive anchorage.


Hidden in the southern reaches of Puget Sound, tiny Skookum Inlet winds deeply into rural grassy fields through a narrow tide cut. It opens into wide shallows that make perfect (private) oyster beds. For a small boat like the Potter, with her 6-inch draft, this is as close to heaven as "gunk holing" can get. We spent a delightful afternoon here, drifting at the head of the inlet, watching herons and gulls and clouds floating by. Few homes intrude into this area.


Puget Sound beaches are rich in "pretty rocks", shells, and fascinating pieces of driftwood. Marcia loves to cool her feet, fill her pockets, and admire the great scenery all at once. At the time of this trip, we had left Idaho in the hot, dustry grip of a multi-year drought. The lush green and rich beaches of Puget Sound were balm to our parched minds.

Beach Walker

Back home in Idaho, our Potter is the perfect lake boat. This sunset scene was taken on a sandy hillside at water's edge in Lucky Peak Reservoir, just outside of Boise in the northeast foothills. The lake has since been "overrun" by waterski and jetski boats to such an extent that most sailors seek other, more peaceful waters. We've never taken Poteet back to Lucky Peak.



"West Wight Potter"

This 14-foot mini-cruiser (15 feet, if you count the outboard motor bracket) is considered by some sailors to be the "biggest little boat" on the water. Potters have sailed thousands of miles in blue-water voyages, but most are used for weekending on and gunkholing around lakes and coastal waters. A Potter has room inside its tiny cabin for two adults and their camping gear. Unlike many larger sailboats, a 6-foot man can find room to stretch out in his sleeping bag inside a Potter.

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