Friday, February 25, 2011

Destination: Cutts Island

If you arrived here by searching for a chart, please see this page.

Its been awhile since I did a Destinations post.  When last I did, we were working our way through the South Sound.  Today, we'll pick up where we left off, but first a little South Sound refresher...
The southern part of Puget sound has a very different feel than that portion north of the Tacoma Narrows.  In the South Sound, the waterways are narrower, the boat traffic seems smaller, and wonderfully, the water is warmer.  You will actually see boats pulling water skiers in the South Sound.  In fact, the water is warm enough for oysters to grow.
Now onward to today's destination... Cutts Island is located on the Eastern shore of Carr Inlet in the South Sound, about halfway up from the South.

South Puget Sound - excerpted from chart 18448

Cutts Island is a State Marine Park, and is conveniently just offshore from the land-based Kopachuck State Park.  This could serve as an excellent destination if you were meeting someone for a combined land-sea based vacation.  (Nearby Raft Island is private.)

Other than the usual timing issues with the Tacoma Narrows, there are no surprises in the approach to Cutts Island.  We like to anchor on the South side, because the tombolo stretching to the Northeast provides protection at all but high tide, making a nearly enclosed little harbor.

Cutts Island - excerpted from Chart 18448
Several State Park mooring buoys (Carl and Jo report 7) are present in the little bay, but there is plenty of room for anchorage too.  Surprisingly, it will not be difficult to catch an empty buoy if you arrive in the morning.  Our experience is that the buoys serve mostly day-use boaters.  Again, the cruising traffic in the South Sound is much lighter than you will expect.

Cutts Island itself is a small, steep-sided little island surrounded by sandy beaches, and with some brief hiking paths.  We found clamming to be excellent on all the beaches (always check for a red tide alert before clamming).

But the real party is out on the sandspit.  When it is exposed, it is a beach party/picnic place for folks with runabouts.  Although both sides of the tombolo had runabouts pulled up, the water skiers were courteous and did not ski on the South side, in the anchorage.

Cutts Island is the ideal summer anchorage - sun, sea, and sand, and lots of activity during the day.  But at night, things quiet down, the runabouts all go back to shore, and you are left with peace and quiet. 

And the next morning, be sure to rise early enough to soak up the beautiful horizon-spanning sunrise.


Anonymous said...

Did you get my email Bob re: your Dehumidifier?
Dave Calhoun

bob said...

Hi Dave -
No, apparently I did not. To what address did you send it?


patatat said...

Wow, small world. I grew up in Gig Harbor... As a kid I would dream of rowing my Grandpa's rowboat to Cutts (also known locally as 'Dead Man's Island'). Never quite made it in the row boat, but I've had lots of great times there over the years.

Anyway, just ran across your blog and I'll be looking forward to following along! Beautiful DE45, by the way.


bob said...

Welcome Pat! And thanks for the kind words.


Douglas G Young said...

I believe the island is also an old Indian burial ground. I recall an old story about copper rings being found around the island perimeter on the shore where they had fallen from the trees. Adjacent to the island is Copachuck state park and camp ground. On the shore there is a large colony of sand dollars. Our kids could spend all day exploring the shells found at low tide.

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