Introducing new Port Commissioner Jonothan Saunders | The Scuttlebutt

The port scene has been relatively quiet these last two months. There were no meetings of the Port Commission in December; the next meeting will be on Jan. 4.

NEW COMMISSIONER. The Port Commission and staff welcome aboard newly-elected Commissioner Jonothan Saunders. Mr. Saunders brings to the port more than 35 years experience working in the maritime industry. Having a Coast Guard master’s license since age 20, he has operated private yachts, managed the construction of private and commercial vessels locally and abroad, managed the repair of Navy vessels, and operated a local marina boat repair facility. He and his son have resided in Poulsbo since 2008, and he operates a small contracting business here.

A commissioner, one of three, is elected every two years and serves a six-year term. The next election will be in 2019. Because the Port District, a separate jurisdictional entity, is substantially smaller than Poulsbo city limits — about one-half in size — many city residents do not vote for port commissioner. Perhaps someday the city and the port will share the same footprint.

WINTER RENDEZVOUS 2018. It’s time again to start thinking about the fifth annual Winter Rendezvous at the Portof Poulsbo Marina. This year it will take place Feb. 9-10. This special event is brought to Poulsbo by Chip Hanauer, the OneEighty Foundation, VisitKitsap Peninsula, the Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association and, of course, the Port of Poulsbo.

Saturday is the big day, with the Gloggfest, Running of the Spades (a poker run), the Vikings’ Valisblot Bonfire, and a fantastic version of a Treasure Hunt Artwalk and the Spanish Gally-on! These events are free to play, and the prizes will be huge.

For out-of-towners, lodging specials will be offered; check for details.

2018 PROJECTS. The port’s small and industrious staff is planning numerous projects for 2018. The short list includes: water system replacement for docks AA, B, C, D and E; new signage; upgrades to the fire suppression system; new life ring cabinets; and much more.

Further enhancing the marina and the waterfront community will be the arrival of the fire district’s long-awaited fireboat.

POWER SQUADRON COMPASS ARTICLES. The most recent Power Squadron article addresses “cold-related injuries” and hypothermia. Check out for this discussion as well as other great articles.

PORT QUIZ. The last Scuttlebutt’s nautical term was the phrase “taking the wind out of the sails.” Today, these words are used to suggest that one adversary presented such an outstanding argument that the opponent was unable to continue in the verbal pugilistics.

In the days of sailing vessels, the phrase explained a battle maneuver whereby one ship would pass close to windward (upwind) usually ahead of the other combatant vessel. The result would be that the “victim” ship would lose headway due to the loss of wind power to its canvas.

How about this nautical phrase from World War II: “whole nine yards.” Send your best guess on this nautical term’s meaning to The first response with the correct answer will be recognized in The Scuttlebutt’s next issue.

Got a naval term to offer? Don’t be shy … you too can contribute to our community’s nautical heritage and The Scuttlebutt.

FREE PUBS. Each month, two entertaining and informative publications are delivered to the port for free distribution to the public. “48 North, the Sailing Magazine,” and “Northwest Yachting,” which emphasizes power boating, are available from the sliding window on the marina side of the bathhouse (near the ramp to the docks). Each reports boating events scheduled throughout the Northwest, and discusses issues of interest to the boating community … and, as previously noted, they are free.

PORT EMAIL LIST. The port’s email list permits the port executive director and staff to efficiently contact marina boaters, visitors, and Port District residents. If you would like to be on our contact list, please send your name, contact information, and email address to

PORT INVITATION. The commissioners, employees, residents, and guests of the Port of Poulsbo (, one of 75 Washington state ports, wish you a safe visit to Poulsbo’s spectacular Waterfront Park, and a safe transit on Liberty Bay. Bring your friends and families down to the port’s marina and greet our staff and visiting boaters on E and F docks.

Port commissioners meet twice monthly to discuss issues and review policies. These meetings are open to members of the public. Mark your calendar for the first and third Thursdays, 1900 (7 p.m.), and come down to the port’s floating conference room to find out what’s going in the Port District of Poulsbo.

— Stephen L. Swann is a member of the Port of Poulsbo Board of Commissioners. Contact him at