by Alice Snively
A Lovely Spot for a New Season
Broad Creek on the Magothy River
Latitude 39 degrees, 05 minutes;
Longitude 76 degrees, 26 minutes
This week’s gunkhole quiz: How many streams named Broad Creek feed into the Chesapeake Bay watershed?
I’m not sure either, but to look back on summer 2007, I’m suggesting Broad Creek off Magothy River for a lovely gunkhole adventure.
Fine for Family Cruising
Among the reasons for exploring Broad Creek is that it’s a great place to take the kids. On either side of the creek are beach areas. Shallow-draft powerboats can anchor close, and access is easy by dinghy. While the beaches are small, they are clean and inviting for the whole family to exercise, explore and if we get another warm weekend swim.
Of course there are ducks, geese and herons, even snowy egrets to watch. There are a few homes tucked into the tall woods that line most of the shore and a small private marina near the headwaters. The feel is still one of pleasant quietude and semi-seclusion. This creek is also well-protected, in its upper reaches especially.
Island in the Stream
A small island in this creek adds a romantic feel to the place. Partly covered with bushes and small trees, it also has a beach where we watched people and critters at play. On our second morning there, two Canada geese couples paraded their goslings to the island to forage. Swimming lessons followed, and they trailed behind us for a while as we took our leave of the creek. While the island isn’t large, neither is the creek, but even on the holiday weekend we were there, it didn’t seem crowded.
Finding the Broad
Fill the coolers, stock the fridge, grab the kids and follow these directions to Broad Creek. The Magothy is a western shore river, north of Annapolis and the Severn River. [Chart 3 in Maryland Cruising Guide.]
Because of crab pot floats, if you are approaching from the north, it’s advisable to continue south to the pair of markers, Red 4 and Green 3, before turning to starboard to enter the mouth of the river on a course of about 307 degrees. From points south, come to the same two markers and follow the same heading into the river.
A little more than two miles up this course is another Red 4 marker to starboard, with Green 5 to port just beyond. Pass between these two markers, keeping to the middle of the channel because of shoaling. Once past, the river widens; continue past Sillery Bay and well-known Dobbins Island, which will be to starboard.
Straight ahead, look for the Green 3 marker, which indicates the western side of the mouth of Broad Creek. To starboard is a Red 2 daymark, indicating the eastern side. Enter the creek between these two, keeping to the center of the channel. There is deceptive shoaling from both east and west at the mouth of this creek. If you are in a sailboat with more than a shoal-draft keel, keep a close eye on your depth finder.
The creek spreads out once you are past the mouth, and then it makes a hook to the northeast. Go slowly upstream. There are shallows, but if you touch ground, you can back off easily because the bottom is soft mud. You can anchor just about any place you like, but if you continue up past the starboard side of the island, there is anchorage with little traffic.
Another Feel-Good Place
Usually when we find a place where there are more than two or three boats, we leave to find something more remote. But there was something indefinable we loved about Broad Creek. We stayed there two days, and we took our leave of this gunkhole reluctantly. Broad Creek is one of the best anchorages on the Magothy.