~ OCTOBER POTTER (part 1) ~ A North Sea Sailing Adventure in a Force 9 Storm
Part one of a "fairly eventful" cruise in a 14' 0" West Wight Potter from the Isle of Wight to Kloster Fjord, Sweden October 12th to November 17th, 1965.
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Stanley T. Smith, October Potter, West Wight Marine Ltd., (published in 1967).
Robin Somes, October Potter (republished, 2020), https://smiths.robinsomes.co.uk/
Frank Fumich, Huge Hurricane Sandy Waves, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bLToQWj-tA
JamestownTV, Orion Signal Flares Part III, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wuXj2cgsPA
Daniel Simion, Flock Seagulls, https://soundbible.com/2193-Flock-Seagulls.html
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Before beginning this true sea story based on the personal account of Stanley Smith's intrepid voyage, let us first briefly dive into some details about the boat and her skipper.
Stanley Smith had already made a name for himself crossing the Atlantic in a 20' boat he and his brother had built for themselves. Flushed with this success, Stan went on to design his beloved West Wight Potter 14, pictured here.
This diminutive vessel, just 14' long and with a retractable keel, was built of plywood, and represented what many would consider to be nothing more than a simple dinghy for messing about on a small lake, or other protected waters. However, Stanley knew better of his design. His deep knowledge of what makes a boat seaworthy and indeed seakindly was expressed in the form of the Potter 14's hull, a fact that was to be borne out in the journey to come.
To get some sense sense of the very limited dimensions and accommodations of this little ship, imagine the cabin accommodations. There is no galley and no heads. Just two 6’ 6" berths side by side, and not much else. The cabin sole to deck head height at the aft end of the cabin is slightly less than four feet, and there is sitting headroom in the bunks themselves.
With a depth in the water of only a few inches and being only 5' 3" wide, she was to be dwarfed by the mountainous seas presented in a force 9 gale.
#sailing #singlehanded #solosailing #seastory