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Sarah Creek Yorktown Deltaville Urbanna Reedville Tangier Island
  Sarah Creek, York River

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At anchor in Sarah Creek




Leaving Sarah Creek

Arrived in Sarah Creek, York River Sunday afternoon, 8th June after a 552 nautical mile non-stop run from Brunswick, Georgia. This is a great little anchorage at a confluence of creeks and directly opposite a very accommodating marina with great facilities, the York River Yacht Haven.

Geoff received a nasty insect bite, not sure whether from Belize of Brunswick, so has had treatment at the local clinic here. We waited a couple of days at Sarah Creek in the hopes that would clear up before heading further north along the western, Virginia coast of the Chesapeake to the Rappahannock River and then up to Annapolis.

The marina here have a courtesy car for marina users. They took pity on Geoff's arm and loaned us the car for two visits to the medical centre.

Bought two folding mountain bikes before leaving Brunswick. Now using these in Sarah Creek area. Soooo much better than the rusty little heaps we used in 2005.

Had a visit from a swimming snake at dusk on Monday while anchored here. Saw him swimming across the bay towards the boat. Assume he expected some tasty morsels on our hull. Took a dive as soon as we took a closer look at him. We believe it was a Water Moccasin.

We enjoyed Sarah Creek and the assistance and friendliness of the folk at York River Yacht Haven, even though we were anchored out.

We also enjoyed the restaurant there, the River Inn. Best seafood since Key West 2004. Beautifully cooked and presentation second to none.

An additional "excuse" to hang out in Sarah Creek for a while was the total absence of any wind.


Geoff in the new dinghy




Iza testing new dinghy


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Yorktown waterfront and bridge over York River


War memorial

In Brunswick we bought a couple of used folding mountain bikes. Very good condition. Hope they fit in the new cat!

Used these in Sarah Creek to reach the cinema and shops. Iza then had the bright idea of visiting Yorktown on the other side of the York River. "Just over the bridge," she said. Highway 17. Very busy. No cycle track. Steep climb. Holes like cattle grids where the lifting bridge opens for large ships, just waiting to grab a tyre.

We only used the bikes because the books implied there was no mooring suitable for Dream On at Yorktown, no dinghy dock and the water was very deep for anchoring. Having made it safely over the bridge and into Yorktown by bike the first thing we saw was a new town dock, perfectly suitable for visiting yachts or dinghies. The second thing that at least Geoff noticed was that Yorktown had beaches covered in bikini clad nubile young ladies.

Required a Ben & Eddies ice cream to lower his blood temperature.

Yorktown lives on its revolutionary war history. The whole battlefield is preserved with guided walking tours around the site where General Cornwallis surrendered. The war finished shortly thereafter and the US officially gained independence. The British flags of surrender still fly.

Toured Yorktown by foot, free trolley bus and by bike, then back over the bridge to Sarah Creek.


Schooner "Virginia"


Amazing what you meet on the Chesapeake


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Leaving Deltaville


Interesting channel in and out of Deltaville's Jackson Creek

June 12th - Motored, (no wind again) about 30 miles from Sarah Creek on the York River to Jackson Creek on the south side of Deltaville in the Piankatank River. Jackson Creek has one of the hairier entries which on the chart does not look wide enough. The channel heads straight for a beach and house before taking a right angle with little room to spare either side.

Anchored in Jackson Creek. Dinghied ashore and walked, and walked, and walked looking for Deltaville. Had a lift part way into the town that does not exist, and luckily had a lift part way back. Everything is quoted as a mile away. No quaint little town centre that one expects here.

Deltaville is not a place we would choose to revisit.

Negotiated our way out through the Jackson Creek channel again the following morning heading to Urbanna, on the Rappahannock River.

Every channel marker along the way has an osprey nest and most nests have young.


Osprey nesting on green channel marker 7





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Urbanna Creek


Dream On at anchor in Urbanna Creek



June 13th - We were not impressed with Deltaville, and when Iza fell and twisted her ankle there, this was an omen to leave. Back to the boat, raised the anchor and sailed, yes sailed for a change, all the way to Urbanna. Our first wind for over a week.

Headed northeast out of the Piankatank, north around the headland, then almost due west along the Rappahannock. Total distance around 25 miles.

Urbanna also has a fairly tight entry and again the approach is straight towards a beach and house, but the entry channel is wider than that at Jackson Creek in Deltaville. Inside is a very sheltered creek and a busy waterfront with many marinas and marine support businesses.

An easy walk or a 25c trolley bus ride into town, just up the hill and a quaint little town it is too. This is what Deltaville ought to be. Urbanna has a town centre with many restaurants, markets, interesting shops and a good supermarket which is an easy walk from the dinghy dock. For those of you familiar with the fashion store "Banana Republic" Urbanna has its own version "Urbanna Republic." Not quite on the same scale though.

Urbanna gets our "Yes" vote.


Sailing through the bridge over Rappahannock River



  Carter Creek

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Carter Creek

We made the mistake of leaving Urbanna and heading back down the Rappahannock River to Carter Creek on a weekend. The books did warn us that this was a popular place at the weekend but we were not quite prepared for the amount of boat traffic around, nor the lack of good anchoring space.

The "Miss Ann" a vintage 124 foot tour boat still operates from the resort.

We anchored opposite the resort for the afternoon and watched the world go by, surrounded by jet-skis and every other possible watercraft with no apparent speed restrictions. By late afternoon, enough was enough and we moved down the main Carter Creek to a smaller offshoot and a quieter anchorage.

It was here that the first of a few very heavy thunderstorms hit us just after dark. It was forecast by NOAA and did everything they warned it would do. Sudden very heavy gusts of wind, incredible lightning and torrential rain.

When living on a boat, it is not possible just to go to bed and ignore such storms, We have to be ready for wind damage, lighting damage, anchor dragging and making sure that the boat can cope with the rain deluge.

This particular storm had three sessions over two hours before it finally moved on. The following morning, we also moved on, to Reedville. .


Miss Ann


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Waiting for fuel




Sunset over Reedville


Menhaden fishing boat


Menhaden fishing fleet at plant


Reedville, situated on the Great Wicomico River and with a population of around 500, was named after Elijah Reed, who moved here from Maine in 1873 to establish the first menhaden processing plant. After a time there were a number of menhaden plants started along the creek leading to the small town, but only one plant now remains.

The 100+ foot specialised menhaden fishing boats can be seen here, offloading their catch and preparing for their next trip. Each fishing boat has two specially built "tenders" that are launched from the fishing boat and maneuver the net right around the shoaling menhaden. The fishing boat then draws close and sucks the menhaden from the net into its refrigerated holds.

Menhaden are a type of herring that shoal in very large numbers. Products derived from menhaden are used in such diverse items as fertilizer, perfumes, animal and poultry food.

The only drawback is the smell. So Reedville is a great place to be when the wind is in the right direction. We use menhaden oil occasionally to entice fish to our hooks. Beware a following wind!

Reedville itself and the creeks around the town which lies on a sleepy peninsular is another great find. Beautiful historic homes are preserved that trace the history of Elijah Reed and his descendants lie along the single main street which ends at the waterfront.

Reedville has a museum that belies the town's size. The museum traces the American Indian history in the area, then on to the fishing and menhaden industry, plus local boat building.

Another night of thunderstorms caught up with us here with lightning so sever that we disconnected every bit of electronic gear that could be disconnected. The next move would have been to store all the electronics in the oven, a makeshift "Faraday Cage."

Decided to buy fuel in Reedville as we had done a fair amount of motoring since Brunswick and were actually still using the fuel, (sufficiently bio-protected and polished) from July 2006!

Drew in at the fuel dock of Reedville Marina, having had no response to our radio call. No-one there ate 10am.

Hung around for a while, walked around the town looking for anyone who might be a marina manager to no avail.

Moved across the creek to the fuelling dock at the Cockrell Creek Crab Deli. Yes they had someone of the dock, and yes they had diesel, but no, they could not find the key to the pump!

Moved again down an adjacent creek to the more organized Buzzard's Point Marina. Operative, fuel and key available so Dream On enjoyed a fresh fill up. We just had to remember where the fuel cap was after 2 years!

We spent three nights here enjoying the famous crab cake, the local ice cream parlour and the scenery. Having said that, the third night here was not intentional.


Elijah Reed's family house


Reedville Main Street


Reedville Main Street


The Gables, Reedville


Skipjack, Claud Somers


Reedville Fishermans' Museum

  Tangier Island

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Across the Bay from Reedville, lies the island of Tangier. Although closer to the eastern Maryland coast of the Bay, Tangier Island is in Virginia. The island is mostly marshy, has no cars and remains a fishing village in a time warp.

The original residents came from Cornwall and current residents still have an accent that reflects this. Time has stood still on Tangier, and with very little solid land available, as the fishing industry has increased, small fishing shacks on stilts in the waterways have been built. The fishing is mostly crabbing and shrimping, so the island claims numerous good, but basic eating establishments.

We knew that anchoring space was limited and the channel into the harbour was narrow. We also had the choice of visiting the island by ferry, operating twice a day from Reedville. However, with the wind forecast as it was, we knew we would have a better chance of sailing further north if we started from the east coast, not the west coast, so decided to sail over to Tangier. We have anchored in some very tight corners before so were confident we could find a spot here.

So on 17th June we enjoyed an invigorating 7 knot sail over from west to east, with perfect wind from the north. Motored in to the entrance channel and harbour at Tangier with Dream On feeling quite large amongst the mostly smaller fishing boats. The ferries are far larger than Dream On and we certainly would not have wanted to meet one of those in the channel.

Then, finding a harbour not much larger than Dream On's turning circle, we soon realised we would not be able to anchor, so the books were right! Hung around for a while, took some photos and left again, deciding to head north to the next island with a similar history and similarly remote, Smith Island.

Once outside the Tangier channel we turned north into what had developed into a very rough northerly sea and winds up to 26 knots. No fun! After and hour or so of this steadily worsening weather, we agreed the best option was a run straight back to Reedville. Hence our third night in Reedville.




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