Mobjack Bay Vacation

July 10

Gretchen and I arrived at the cottage we rented on the Ware River off of Mobjack Bay about 2:00 p.m. The cottage is beautiful, just as advertised. It was originally the overseer's house on the Glen Roy Plantation. Glebefield was one side of the plantation, the other Churchfield.

The manor house is next store, part of a subdivision derived from the old plantation grounds. One unique feature in our front yard is the ice house, built to store ice delivered by ferry in the days before refrigeration. It is quite cool in the ice house even on a ninety degree day!

We checked out the dock at the cottage but didn't feel great about keeping our boat there. But following a few calls, we had her docked at the Servern Yachting Center and went for a cruise of the Severn River out to Mojack Bay. Great first day!

July 11

Rain, rain, rain...not a good boating day! So, we drove to the farmer's market in Yorktown to get veggies for the week. Then we went to Topping, VA, to Merroir for lunch. It is a renowned restaurant owned by the Rappahannock Oyster Company. The name is coined from terroir, a French term denoting the taste wines get from the earth. Hence, Merroir is the taste given to oysters from the sea! The roasted oysters were delicately wonderful but the crab cakes were too rich...from cream or mayonnaise....we were not impressed.

Following lunch, we drove through Urbanna in the rain and then visited the Deltaville Maritime Museum. They have a wonderful new facility, but the artifacts within are not very impressive at this point in time. The museum has restored the F.D. Crockett, a large boat used to buy oysters and other seafood from fishermen on the water. It is an impressive boat. They also have a family boat building camp starting this week...a neat idea!

We ended the day with cocktails and an excellent dinner of the vegetables we gleaned at the market (egg plant, onion, pepper, tomatoes and corn) over pasta....superb!
July 12
Beautiful weather and a great day to be on the water. Not a perfect flat day for motor boats but the sailors were happy as well today. First we headed up the Ware River to find the place we are renting. The photo below shows the boat dock on the right of the folks who own the cottage and the yellow house on the left is the old manor house of Glen Roy Plantation. It is a long way up the Ware River so we were glad keeping our boat at their dock did not work out. It is a long way down the river to the Chesapeake!

Next we explored the North River. It was lunch time when we arrived at Greenmansion Cove, so we anchored by the plantation manor house for which the cove is named. After lunch we headed upriver until we saw Elmington, one of the loveliest estates on the Bay. Note the owner's yacht....I'm sure its value alone is more than the Morgan's net worth!

On our way back to the cottage we decided to try a vodka tonic for cocktail hour. We picked up some blueberry flavored vodka. It was horrid, we'll stick to gin and tonics! Maybe we should have bought regular vodka and made it the same way as we do G&Ts? Oh well, another day!

July 13

The weather forecast was for thunderstorms and showers in the afternoon but the morning through 2:00 p.m. looked good. So we crossed Mobjack Bay out to the New Point Comfort Light House. A north east wind was building 1-2 foot waves in the bay and we learned that motoring through the chop is no more desirable than sailing through it in a small boat. So we headed back up Mobjack Bay to the East River. We were keen to see a tide mill on the estate of Sally Tompkins, the only woman commissioned a captain in the Confederate Army. She ran a hospital during the Civil War with a 95% survival rate! We thought we saw her house but did not see the mill. Reading the cruising guide tonight leads me to believe we were not up the creek enough to see her house. So maybe tomorrow we'll return!

Following our boating for the day, we walked around Gloucester Point Park and went to the visitor's center at the Virginia Institute for Marine Science. We saw Brandon Conroy's photo on the student wall, a former CVGS student. He told me at Cheryl's retirement dinner that he was working on his PhD at VIMS.


July 14

One thing for sure....this has been a sailing week in terms of weather. Winds and waves everyday have certainly prevented us from going long distances in our motor boat. Today we motored across the Mobjack Bay to the East River again. We read the cruising guide and wanted to try to find the tide mill. Once again we failed, not for lack of effort. We even churned up some mud going up the creek where it's supposed to be! As we left the East River to go back to the marina, a storm looked like it was going to get us pretty wet. But it passed over the Severn River to the east and we put away our foul weather gear coated with only a few rain drops!

July 15

Calm winds and waves were what we found leaving the marina, so we decided to head toward the York River. Given motor boat conditions, we quickly found the small channel on the southern entrance of Mobjack Bay and scooted into the York. We decided to do a big loop (not the Great Loop for sure), but rather the Goodwin Thorofare off of the Poquoson River back into the York River. We ducked into Back Creek to see the large scallop fishing vessels and to see if the worst marina I have ever stayed in has made any improvements....doesn't look like they have!

The water looked pretty calm leaving the Thorofare, but the wind and waves were building coming down the York. We headed back to Mobjack Bay knowing we would have to run several miles the into same wind and waves to get back to the marina.

Goodwin Thorofare

Back in the Severn, we anchored for lunch and I utilized my lifetime Virginia fishing license and new fly rod for the first time. Didn't catch any fish but I did have some good casts. It was a "river runs through it" moment!

This evening we headed to Southwind Pizza in Matthews for dinner. It is an eclectic place, packed on this and from what I glean every evening. The food was great!

July 16

The weather was for substantial wind and waves, the result of a cold front that moved through during the night which raised Small Craft Warnings. Arriving at the marina, we found the forecast was accurate. So we decided to take the boat out of the water on this our last boating day. It was a good choice since it took us until 2:00 p.m. to get the boat ready to travel and then cleaned up at the car wash. We finished the day walking around Yorktown....need steps you know! Stopped at Whitley's Peanut Factory on the way back to the cottage. Great stop...we tasted everything but purchased the traditional salted peanuts to bring home!

July 17

Time to head home. We had a leisurely breakfast, packed the car and headed home. We stopped in Gloucester Courthouse for a sandwich and made it home by 3:00 p.m. We had a fun week even though the weather was really unsettled for this time of year. The Chesapeake is known for calm summer days, but we only had one morning like that. Hence our crushing range was curtailed. The boat handled well and we did get out on the water all days but one. Gretchen and I look forward to our next trip, hoping we will have more "motor boat days" up near the Bay Bridge


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