Thursday 2 August 2012
(Barry’s 40th Birthday)
Journey: The Tides, Irvington, Virginia – Urbanna, Virginia – The Tides
Time: ~ 12:00 – ~ 3:00
Vessel: 320 SeaRay Sundancer
Conditions: sunny, hot, slightly rough water in the Rappahannock River
Although I did not captain any portion of this journey, I am including this as an entry for my Captains chronicle.
Lori and I decided to borrow bikes from The Tides and ride into Irvington for coffee. It was a lovely morning and I wanted to see the town during daylight. We found the coffee shop just a few doors down from Nate’s Trick Dog Cafe, where we ate dinner last night. While having coffee I noticed these cute columns on a dentist office. I thought it was extremely cleaver.
Irvington has a number of cute, historical looking, buildings and homes. A nod towards the yesteryears where steamboats ruled the waterways.
When we returned we met with the boys just as they finished breakfast. Lori had purchased a local newspaper at the coffee shop. She read a blurb in the paper reporting that so-and-so’s cousin had come for a visit and they went to visit someone else. Then she’s reading a real-estate advertisement offering 35 acres of waterfront land on Carter’s Creek with deep water and over 200 feet of water front for $4,000.00. She read another ad, “Look at this, FIFTY acres on the water for $5000.00!” We all said it must be a typo. Then Lori says, “Oop, wait, it says here Yesteryear – these are advertisements from 1912.” Too funny.
In celebration of Barry’s fortieth birthday, we wanted to go someplace interesting for his birthday lunch. I mentioned that Urbanna looked to be a short distance up river on the other side of the Rappahannock River. After a quick assessment of the charts and a look at our cruising guide, we decided to go check it out.
Earlier we had heard that The Tides also has a salt water pool. We asked a staff member about it and he said it’s on the other side of the creek. You can get there by boat, using the Tides shuttle, or walk by land the eight miles it would take to get there. As we left the Tides dock, we slowly cruised a short way up Carther’s Creek in search of this salt water pool. Going around the point where the Tides sits allowed us to see even more spectacular homes.
As always, I enjoyed seeing the variety of vessels that can be seen as you ply the waterways.
When we departed Ft. Washington yesterday, I asked for a list of boat rules. Eric answered, “Oh, there are no boat rules… except one… you can’t sit on the bow when we are underway. Except I want to break that rule on this trip.” On the way out of Carter Creek, on our way to Urbanna, Eric and Lori had an opportunity to break that rule. When we reached the Rappahannock River, and wanted to cruise at a decent pace, they came back into the cockpit area.
Entering the Rappahannock River we encountered slightly rough water, but compared to yesterday when everything was FLAT today seemed rough. We were amazed at the size of the Rappahannock. I never would have guessed it to be so huge. But, it also seemed a bit like the Patuxent River – complete with a bridge near the mouth and towns along the way to visit or places to eat.
As we approached the channel we thought might be Urbanna we were perplexed. It didn’t look like a town as we expected. Traveling further into the channel we could then see a back creek protected area where the town sat along the shoreline. Ooohhh, this looks more like what we expected. Then I noticed the sign on the hill side announcing Urbanna. Duh, that helps.
We cruised around the back creek area, inspecting Urbanna’s waterfront buildings and marinas, boat houses, covered slips, boats, and looking for a place to tie up.
After searching for a place to tie up, we returned to Urbanna’s city dock. Lori went inside the visitor center to ensure we could keep the boat tied up for a short time. Lori returned with all kinds of information, including the name of the woman inside, Diane, who had provided suggestions of what we could do and how we could get around. Very helpful.
Walking along provided a few amusing signs. Lori wondered if they have had a rash of dinghy thieves in Urbanna. I didn’t think we had to worry about going faster than 5 knots, especially since we are on land.
We had a lovely lunch at a place on the water called All Fired Up. The woman that served us had a great deal of knowledge about the area, far better than we ever got from anyone working at the Tides.
We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon at the poolside … until we noticed the storm clouds coming up river. When you looked towards the channel to the Rappahannock River, it looked quite dark. Eric and Lori went to cover up the boat even though Barry kept saying it’s not going to rain.
A storm hit about 6 in the evening. We watched a boat come in from the Rappohannock, which already had storms brewing. I wondered if the boat had come from the Bay, where I’m guessing the storms were even more intense. While docking they had a few hard hits on the pilings and pier before coming to a final stop and tie up. Before they had finished securing their vessel the storm let loose.
The dark cloak of rain clouds prevented us from seeing past the Tides’ marina. At one point the storm was so close that a bolt of lightning and clap of loud thunder exploded simultaneously just outside. I had been watching the storm from the window and I quickly jumped back. We had planned on meeting the boys at the bar around 6:30 for drinks and dinner. Lori and I had to laugh when we realized, we didn’t have to leave the building to reach the bar, whereas, the boys’ room was in another building and they would have to walk outside to get to the main building.