Friday, October 5, 2012

Fishing Bay Yacht Club, Jackson Creek, Deltaville

The last time I recall being in Deltaville Simple Life was dragging her anchor in a thunderstorm that had popped up during the night in a place called Godfrey Bay. That was in the spring of 2004 on our return trip from the Bahamas when we hurriedly ducked into the Piankatank River to seek refuge from impending storm warnings. I distinctly remember seeing a green glowing day marker #11 as I nervously flashed a spotlight over Simple Life's stern while she dragged toward it. With blinding rain pelting my face I tried to keep her powering forward against the wind as Joe wrestled with anchors on the bow in darkness. The boat was precariously close to the mark before the second anchor deployment finally hooked.
Needless to say when Joe planned our layover in Deltaville a few days ago to pick up our general delivery mail memories of our previous encounter were conjured up. As far as I was concerned, there was no apparent reason to stay in Deltaville...This time I was pleasantly surprised. Hospitality abounds in Deltaville!

Surprisingly, on the approach from Chesapeake Bay into Jackson Creek we spotted brown pelicans and pods of dolphins that seemed to welcome us as we entered the bay. The approach to the anchorage in the dredged eight foot channel was a bit unnerving in that it zigzagged through areas with one to two feet of water on either side. Once inside the anchorage basin in Jackson Creek not far from the "north south" route on the Chesapeake was both scenic with beautiful homes, abundant birdlife and well protected. Bald Eagles soared overhead occasionally plucking an unsuspecting fish from the creek and Great Blue Herons waded onshore in search of wayward crabs. Dozens of Monarch Butterflies in straight line formations passed by on their migration south to Mexico.

Simple Life was anchored just off the Fishing Bay Yacht Club which has only docks with one powerboat at the dock in a sea of masts. It seems to be a racing yacht club and the number of J-Class sailboats outnumber any others. Fishing Bay Yacht Club offers reciprocating rights to members of yacht clubs from out of town. This generous offering includes one free night's dockage water, electricity and use of all facilities. Since it was near sunset, Joe chose to anchor upon arrival and wait for morning to inquire about dockage. The anchor was weighed around 9:00 AM the following morning after Joe called the dock master to inquire about availability. The dock master answered his cell phone said it was his day off, but that there wasn't a problem with dockage. He instructed Joe to tie off at a T-dock on the end and said, "Make yourselves at home." He then asked the name of our yacht club and was quite impressed that we'd come all the way from Rhode Island. He told Joe to be sure to head up to the main clubhouse to sign the guest book.

Simple Life needed water, charged batteries and a bath and so did we. There were three choices of buildings where we could take showers. The impressive newly constructed main clubhouse which was commissioned in 2002, Fannie's House which was closer to where the boat was docked or a smaller facility on the opposite side of the manicured grounds.

After a couple of hours of scrubbing the boat and refilling the water tanks we did make ourselves at home. There were no other transient boaters there and no members at the clubhouse. Fannie's house essentially became our condo for the day. I found a great book to read in the library and Joe perused a cruising guide to Chesapeake Bay. The house had a full kitchen, two showers, a living room, dining area all overlooking a screened porch and the docks.
On Thursday I called the Deltaville Market to inquire about transportation for shopping. A congenial manager offered transportation and told me to call the following morning and she would send a car to pick us up at the town dock and drive us back afterward. I was relieved. The food supplies had dwindled and were in need of re-provisioning. We'd been traveling leisurely and stopping for days at a time in creeks with no opportunities for provisioning. When eating three meals a day on a boat resupplying is needed once a week.

This morning after a spectacular sunrise; occasionally I do get up early enough to witness one. Simple Life made her way back to the Chesapeake escorted by a few pods of dolphins as they broke the surface off her bow in a calm sea. Our next stop will be Yorktown on the York River. We'd heard positive comments about the area and thought we'd explore. Now that it's October like the cool northerlies that have yet to appear, our traveling pace will quicken. The cold will eventually chase us south and the plan is to be in Belle Haven, North Carolina before November 1. After that date our insurance will clear us for the departure south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and we'll be on our way.
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Location:Deltaville, Virginia