by Alice Snively
For that Last Fine Fall Weekend
Oxford on Tred Avon
Ah, my cruising friends, fall has fallen, there are fewer boats about and now is a great time for one final fall adventure on the Bay. Bending the rules a bit, this trek has a couple of objectives. I just know that some of you are thinking about holiday shopping, so here’s a way to take a short weekend cruise and get some gifty goodies as well.
Tred Over to Avon
Throw on your woolies and set your sails or point up your bow to Tred Avon River and its most famous village, Oxford. To reach the river, check your charts and plot a course for Choptank River, making for the flashing Red 10 bell buoy just southeast of Tilghman Island, and north of Cook Point. Travel on a course of 103 degrees for about a mile and a half to the Red 12 buoy; then change course to 86 degrees. Continue about 4.2 miles toward the flashing Green 1 that marks the entrance to Tred Avon, and keep it to port as you pass. A course of 27 degrees for about 1.8 miles will take you to the flashing Red 2, and you will see the village of Oxford on your right as you go along. Keep this buoy well to starboard.
At this point, you can continue on this same course for not quite another mile to Tar Creek to port. You can anchor there for the night if you want the privacy; it’s protected from the north and east. Or you can turn slightly to starboard, and look for a Red 2 and Green 3 very close together marking the entrance to Town Creek at Oxford.
In the off season there is usually room to anchor in the basin just inside the creek. From there you can dinghy the short distance up the creek into town; or you may be able to arrange to tie up at the marina. There is also a restaurant nearby where you can tie up to dine; you may be able to leave your boat there if you want to explore the village.
Booty in Oxford
Oxford is not as commercial as St. Michael’s, but it does have some lovely shops where you can find interesting Eastern Shore gifts, and there are several good restaurants in the village. It also makes for a not-too-taxing but picturesque walking tour. Perfect for strolling on a sunny autumn day. There are a number of commercial crabbers based at Oxford, and it’s interesting to watch them at dock sorting their catches. The waterfront street is lined with lovely homes, and throughout the village there is a variety of buildings with interesting architecture.
If you happen to be taking a longer cruise in the area, or are in need of provisions, you will find what you need. The locals are very friendly and will happily direct you to the proper places.
Oxford is one of our favorite places to visit, and we never go to the Choptank area without a stop there. It’s not particularly crowded, even during the height of the season, and the atmosphere is always pleasantly slow gaited. At this time of year, it’s a lovely close to a cruising season.