Sunday, November 21, 2010

new territory

Spent just about all day yesterday fishing with my long time friend Steve on the Rappahannock River. Please note right here I said "fishing" and not "catching." No luck. We marked a ton of fish on the bottom, but the baits we trolled could not entice them at all. Didn't matter. It was, as Steve said several times, a glorious day. Blue skies, a light southwest wind and temperatures in the sixties. A beautiful fall day for the Mid-Atlantic.

I enjoyed the day on the water with a good friend. I also enjoyed visiting the old port town of Urbanna. This tiny town on Urbanna Creek just off the Rappahannock reminded me of both St. Michaels and Oxford on the eastern shore. It's an old fishing/farming village than has gone upscale with weekend homes and lots of nice boats, both power and sail. In the photo above you can see some of the newer homes and a classic old buy boat that has been restored and is most likely used as a pleasure boat.

There is Steve reeling in a trolling line on his Donzi center console fishing boat. A very nice boat with lots of power, fuel efficient engines and plenty of room for comfort. I've fished with Steve on and off since the late 80's, starting in his old family 21 foot boat and then moved on up to 24 foot, 28 foot , 30 foot and now this 35 foot boat.

The trip got me thinking about a trip on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay. I've always been attracted to the eastern shore, also known as the Delmarva Peninisula, but for some reason I've ignored the other side of the bay. From yesterday's trip I can tell you it is a beautiful place with lots of creeks and rivers plus a handful of small towns like Urbanna, Reedville, Kilmarnock. Both Fleets Island and Gwynns Island look like they are worth exploring. I can easily see a long weekend trip anywhere from Mobjack Bay in the south to the Wicomico River in the north. Tangier Island and all the other islands of Tangier Sound are not that far away from Reedville and Ingram Bay. Maybe a sail up the western shore and then crossing over to the eastern shore. Wouldn't that be fun?

Here are a couple more views of Urbanna from the bridge over the creek, boats houses above and some of the marinas below.

And below is the view coming in after a nice day on the water. A full moon and a handful of sailboats moored along the farmland of Bailey Point.
Yes, it was a glorious day on the water. And it gave me something to think about for the future.



Alan said...

Cool! Thats my old sailing grounds from the CHASE sailing camp I did out there summer before last. We made stops in Fishing Bay, Urbanna, Indian Creek and Deltaville. One week we even made it across the bay to Onancock.

Steve said...


very good to hear from you. I think it was just about a year ago that I met you in Hampton and then a few days later saw you on the WTP passing through the locks in Great Bridge.
All the places you mention on Chesapeake Bay look like great places to explore. Between the Bay and the sounds of NC there is a lot of territory to cover.
I hope I cross paths with you again when out on the water, maybe get to hear some stories from your ocean sailing.


Bill said...

Yes indeed! You certainly should do some exploring over here.

We might have crossed paths out there yesterday - a buddy and I drove up to Fredericksburg then down to the Middle Peninsula to Mathews to look at a marina.

If/when you make a trip to the places you've mentioned, there is a nice anchorage in the Great Wicomoco, just behind Sandy Point. There also is a really nice, protected spot right at the mouth of Antipoison Creek in Little Bay, behind Fleets Island.

Swing by Queens Creek, too! Also a very nice place to anchor for the night - very protected. It's where I keep my boat.

Hope to encounter you out there someday...

Steve said...


Antipoison Creek --- what a great name. Thanks for the info. We'll see you up there some day.


EyeInHand said...

Beautiful photos, Steve. And an excellent area to explore. My grandparents lived on Fleets Island at Windmill Point when I was growing up. I spent a lot of idyllic summers there, and learned to sail, fish and crab in those waters.

Antipoison Creek has an interesting story to go with the interesting name, by the way. It's related to Stingray Point across the river, by way of Capt. Smith.

Your first photo is a little too far off to be sure, but that buy boat may be the newly restored F.D. Crockett from a little downriver at the Deltaville Museum, though it didn't have radar last time I saw it:

John England does great stuff there with traditional old boats, and holds a fun weekend-long messabout for old style boats in the Spring. In any case, the Crockett is one buy boat at least that hasn't become a yacht.

I suppose it's better to have them serve as pleasure boats than not have them at all. At least someone is keeping them afloat, which unfortunately takes a well padded bank account. They just had a buy boat reunion in Reedville recently.

Steve said...

I'm a big fan of preserving buy boats, skipjacks. For personal use, charters, or whatever it takes to keep that history on the water. I love seeing them on the water.