Broad Creek, generally considered the “business creek” of the community, has many more marinas and yards along its shores. The entrance channel, from the broad Rappahannock, is relatively straightforward but occasionally shoals. It’s important not to let wind or current drag you to the side. Shortly after you get in, you’ll find Dozier’s Regatta Point Yachting Center to port (www.dozieryachtingcenters.com). One of its many attractions to us is that from many of its transient slips you can look out over a point and into the beautiful Rappahannock. Amenities include transient slips for boats to 110 feet, floating docks, covered slips, pool and gazebo, cookout area, meeting facilities, private bathrooms, filtered water system (important for drinking water in this area) and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Farther up the creek to starboard, you’ll find Norton’s Yacht Sales, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year (www.nortonyachts.com). Its hands-on owners are third generation. This is far more than a sales center. It has transient and permanent dockage, including 60 covered slips, as well as fuel and many other services. It’s a full-service yard with 35-ton lift, and it’s a certified Yanmar dealer and Gold Star service center, offering Yanmar support classes. It’s also a Fischer Panda dealer.
The facility has gained quite a reputation selling both new and used boats. It reports that it was listed among the Top 4 in the nation in sales for the 2007 Hunter Marine model year and has been awarded No. 1 Worldwide Hunter Dealer in Customer Service for the 15th consecutive year. It also has a dealership in Oriental, N.C.
Norton’s not only sells boats; it also has a popular sailing school. Its sailing instructor was recognized as one of the “Top ASA Sailing Instructors” in the nation in 2006.
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Deltaville isn’t the only special destination that’s nearby when you’re passing up or down the Bay and raise Stingray Point or Windmill Point to its north. Within close reach also are Urbanna Creek, with its historical village and marinas, and Carter Creek, with the village of Irvington, the famous Tides Inn resort and other marinas. These creeks are a short run up the Rappahannock.
Cruising up the Rappahannock, you’ll pass under the high-rise Norris Bridge about nine miles from the mouth. Just beyond that, to starboard, opens the broad mouth of Carter Creek. It was named for “King Carter” (1663-1732), so-called because he owned about 300,000 acres between Carter Creek and the Corrotoman River. King Charles had granted the land to his father. The footprint of his plantation house still exists on the peninsula between the river and the creek. The shores and tributaries of Carter Creek include part of Lancaster County, the village of Weems and the small town of Irvington, for which most visitors know the creek (www.townofirvington.com).
Although Irvington has a small permanent population of both longtime “been heres” and recently arrived “come heres,” it is often thought of as a resort town. This is because of the widely known Tides Inn, with its luxurious rooms, fine dining, excellent golf, tennis and many other pleasures (www.tidesinn.com). It also has a marina that welcomes transients. As you approach, you’ll admire the stately luxury yacht Miss Ann. Launched in 1926, she’s docked at the inn and takes out private parties and makes regular runs for those wishing to experience the “ultimate cruising life” of the wealthy of yesteryear.
There are other interesting places to visit in this area, such as Christ Church, circa 1735 (www.christchurch1735.org), the White Fences Vineyard (www.whitefencesvineyard.com), and the Steamboat Era Museum (www.steamboateramuseum.org).
Other maritime facilities in the creek include marinas with transient slips, a yacht club, a shipyard and haul-out facilities. As noted earlier, there are so many marinas in this area that we can’t mention them all. When you come, you should get a good guidebook and investigate. You’ll find many good choices and opportunities.