by Alice Snively
One Last Cruise This Year
Stop and Shop at Oxford on Tred Avon, Latitude: 38.69; Longitude: 76.17
Ah, my cruising friends, fall has fallen, there are fewer boats about, yet some days it feels like summer. It’s time for one final fall adventure on the Bay.
Bending the rules a bit, this trek has a couple of objectives. Some of you are already 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
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 the Choptank River, and make 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, which marks the entrance to Tred Avon. 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. You will see the village of Oxford on your right as you go along. Keep this buoy well to starboard.
At this point, you have a choice. For privacy and protection from the north and east, try the Bellevue side of the Tred Avon. To anchor in Tar Creek, (southwest of Plaindealing Creek), continue on this same course for not quite another mile, turning to port.
From this gunkhole, you’ll have to cross the Tred Avon to reach Oxford. Try making the crossing on the Oxford-Tred Avon Ferry, said to be the nation’s oldest private ferry, which runs daylight hours through November.
If, however, you turn slightly to starboard and look for a Red 2 and a Green 3 very close together, you’ll reach 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. If you prefer a marina, this time of year you’ll almost certainly find room at one of the four or five on Town Creek. They’re spread out around the split creek, but each has advantages, and each is close to one or more of the town’s restaurants.
Booty in Oxford, Me Mates
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, near and far. It also makes for a not-too-taxing but picturesque walking tour. Perfect for strolling on a sunny autumn day.
The waterfront street is lined with lovely homes, and throughout the village there are a variety of buildings with interesting architecture. As well as plenty of historic atmosphere, you’ll also be able to find minimal provisions.
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.
Fair Winds until Spring
This will be our last gunkhole adventure for 2007. But we’ll have more for you come spring. Meanwhile, have a safe and happy holiday season, and a warm winter filled with dreams of the coming summer’s cruising delights.