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Tucked away in time

The last weekend of each month during spring, summer and fall brings a huge farmer’s market to “downtown” Deltaville. You can buy not only fresh, locally grown produce, but also plants, crafts, art and other items.

The Deltaville Maritime Museum is dedicated to the village’s heritage, displaying ship models, photographs and exhibits, and sponsoring a week of small deadrise boatbuilding. The Holly Point Nature Park by the museum has a nature trail along the banks and in wooded areas, with a dock on Mill Creek for kayaking and small boats.

The Deltaville peninsula enjoys the Rappahannock River off its northern shore and the Piankatank off its southern shore. The two branches of Jackson Creek meander through it from the Piankatank, and Broad Creek flows in from the Rappahannock. The long, protective arm of Stove Point Neck cradles the harbor of Fishing Bay, a wide, popular anchorage (although the holding is poor) and home of the popular Fishing Bay Harbor Marina, with many amenities including an Olympic-size pool, ValvTect fuel and other facilities (www.fishingbay.com).

A selection of marinas

I’ve asked several knowledgeable citizens how many marinas are in the area. The answers have been varied, but in general “probably 30.” This is in part because a dock with six boats is considered a marina, but also because there are marinas in Jackson Creek, Broad Creek, Fishing Bay and Porpoise Cove. It’s impossible to include detailed information about every marina, yard and facility on the creeks and in the area, but I’ll give a few examples. However, don’t construe that to imply that any of the others are less worthy of your consideration for your particular needs. The Waterway Guide (Mid-Atlantic Edition) is one of several guidebooks that give more detailed information.

Of the two creeks, Jackson Creek is more rural. Coming in from the Piankatank can be scary to the uninitiated because it seems as if you’re going to run right up onto the beach before you take a hard turn to port. And there are very shallow shoals close on both sides of the channel. But tugs, large buyboats and deep-draft sailboats do this regularly. Study the charts carefully and scope it out with binoculars before you enter.

Several marinas, as well as Fishing Bay Yacht Club, are scattered among nice homes, green yards and beautiful trees. The first facility you’ll see, to starboard, as you enter, is Deltaville Marina (www.deltavillemarina.com) and Deltaville Boatyard (www.deltavilleboatyard.com). While two separate businesses, they are at the same location. The 5-plus-acre marina has 75 slips, a pool, Wi-Fi, docks for boats to 110 feet and many other amenities.

From the marina you can look out across a protective shoal to the Piankatank River and enjoy onshore sea breezes on hot summer afternoons. Its Web site is one of the most helpful marina sites I’ve seen, giving not only information about the facilities but also about local businesses, events and needs of transient boaters. It is family owned and operated, and its principal, Keith Ruse, has been in the marine repair business for 25 years. He’s very much hands-on, and the concept of “family owned and operated” takes on special meaning when you see his wife, Jacqui, and four children, ages 8 to 13, about the premises.

Keith is an ABYC-certified master technician and a graduate of The Landing School (Maine) yacht design program. The yard has four other ABYC master techs and 10 ABYC-certified techs. The 7-plus-acre yard is full service, with a focus on systems installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, upgrades and repowers. It is a Yanmar Gold level dealer, with five Yanmar-certified mechanics. It also has dealer status for Raymarine, SeaLand VacuFlush, Volvo and Northern Lights.

The new 35-ton Marine Travelift can haul boats to 60 feet, and the 15-ton-capacity Pettibone crane with a 60-foot boom can do many jobs other yards can’t, such as repower lifting and mast stepping. Both wet and onshore permanent berths are available, with 215 boats stored during the winter. Southern Bay Rigging (www.southernbayrigging.com) is on site, with an on-board swage machine capable of swaged fittings up to half-inch.

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