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Thread: Casco Bay Local Knowledge - Potts Harbor/Potts Point

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    112

    Default Casco Bay Local Knowledge - Potts Harbor/Potts Point

    I'm hoping to find someone with a little local knowledge of the "S-turn" out of Potts Harbor, heading west around Potts Point and up into Merriconeag Sound.
    What are the currents like there? Is it possible for a small sailboat (16-foot sharpie, lug sail -- just a small trolling motor and oars for other propulsion) to travel that route, or am I asking for trouble if I hit it at anything other than slack? Coming from the east, I'm trying to keep islands between me and the open Atlantic, but is it smarter to turn SW around Stave Island, N of Eagle Island, below Haskell Island, and between Great and Little Mark Islands?

    Any knowledge of the area would be helpful. Thanks.

    Screen Shot 2021-03-14 at 3.30.04 PM.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Saco, ME
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    2,343

    Default Re: Casco Bay Local Knowledge - Potts Harbor/Potts Point

    Christophe Matson knows these waters OK and I'm sure others do much better than I.
    The crossing of Broad Sound is the one to worry about. I would do it on a flood tide so you get set up into the bay rather than out. The section of Broad north of Eagle is quite exposed. If you had that heading of the lower course, pointing for south of Haskell, you will end up above Haskell as the current sets you North. It is strong...you do not want a north breeze against that current either. Once you are in the "weeds" the current is less of an issue.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    24,520

    Default Re: Casco Bay Local Knowledge - Potts Harbor/Potts Point

    Forum member CundysHarbor lives and sails right nearby.
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    21,216

    Default Re: Casco Bay Local Knowledge - Potts Harbor/Potts Point

    I’ve gone aground right outside Potts Harbor, on another’s boat. Fortunately, it was a rising tide and we lifted off shortly with no damage. Keep an eye on your gps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
    Posts
    1,905

    Default Re: Casco Bay Local Knowledge - Potts Harbor/Potts Point

    The Tidal Current tables for Casco Bay include a column for "Broad Sound west of Eagle Island". I think the data come from the buoy marked on your chart.
    Having sailed and kayaked that area some in the past I agree with Clint's assessment. In a 16ft sharpie your main issue will be wind and chop on the more open sections. Water depth won't be a major issue for you.
    The zigzag channel around Potts Point is for the benefit of larger boats that can't cross those shallows between Upper Flag and the Thrumcap. I once sat at the end of Potts Point and watched a tugboat push a barge with a derrick through that channel.
    I would be more concerned with crossing Broad Sound in friendly conditions; incoming tide and light wind.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
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    4,674

    Default Re: Casco Bay Local Knowledge - Potts Harbor/Potts Point

    More worried about the boat... Open? Cuddy? bilge drain/s pump? hand pump? Flotation?
    Denise, Bristol PA, retired from HVAC business, & boat restoration and building

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Casco Bay Local Knowledge - Potts Harbor/Potts Point

    Thank you all for the information. I launch in Portland and have sailed the lower bay (around Diamond, Long and Chebeague) but would like to make it further north this summer.
    I'll definitely look for the "West of Eagle" tide info.
    I wasn't sure about cutting through some of the shallower bits (instead of following the channel around the point). If I can poke through there, that opens up more options.
    The boat is a Michalak AF3. It has a cuddy cabin (large enough to sleep in, which I do); there is no bilge; It is not self-righting, but it is self rescuing (as I embarrassingly proved in quite benign conditions two summers ago in Padanarem Harbor on Buzzards Bay). It floats on its side without letting water in the cuddy. Flip it upright, climb in, and there's about a foot of water in the cockpit to be pumped.
    I have safely crossed Buzzards Bay in this boat (from Apponagansett Bay to Cuttyhunk). That's a much longer trip than crossing Broad Sound, but the currents are probably not as bad. What would I expect at full flood or ebb on Broad Soun
    I am not one to go looking for trouble on the water, so I pick my sailing conditions carefully.Changing plans if things get a little scary is no problem. Some local knowledge always helps. Thanks again!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    21,216

    Default Re: Casco Bay Local Knowledge - Potts Harbor/Potts Point

    I’ve sailed that whole area with no trouble. Sure there are tidal currents but nothing that couldn’t be managed. We’ve spent many peaceful nights up in Harpswell Harbor on our way down east or on our way back. Or even as a destination from Portland.

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