Volume 16, Issue 22 - May 29-June 4, 2008

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Gunk- Holin’ by Alice Snively

Granary Creek, Wye East River

38 degrees, 53 minutes N; 76 degrees, 08.5 minutes W

After a long winter off the water, get away to wooded quietude — but first check your filters

Spring hath sprung, and you are itching to mount your water-borne filly for a frolic on the waves of Chesapeake Bay.

I suggest a cruise up the Wye East River to Granary Creek. This lovely little anchorage is similar to the more popular Dividing Creek, except it attracts fewer boats while offering the same wooded quietude. Feeding into the river from the north through the Wye Island Wildlife Refuge, Granary Creek is also well-protected.

The Unfiltered Truth

Before casting off, take note. Among the items on the out-of-sight, out-of-mind list are filters. Boaters of both sail and power persuasions have discovered the hard way the consequences of clogged filters. Before you take that first cruise of the season, check all the primary filters on your boat. The oil filter is only one of several that are critical to prevent engine failure and stranding. All fuel-system filters should be checked as well as freshwater cooling-system filters. The configuration of these differs from boat to boat, but your manual schematics should show where they are and give information on recommended types to use. Check and clean or replace them according to the manufacturer’s directions.

We were lucky that our clogged fuel filters prevented us from leaving port, for it’s a sorry situation if your engine quits mid-Bay because of gunked-up filters. Blocked fresh-water filters can cause engine overheating and damage, and while blow-boaters may have sails for backup power, they are useless in a dead calm. In other words, filter maintenance is not a get-around-to-it task, and don’t forget to keep a minimum of one of each filter in your repair arsenal, so that even if you are disabled offshore you’ll have replacements.

No Brainery to Granary

Reach Granary Creek by first cruising to Eastern Bay, either from the northern shortcut through Kent Narrows or around the southern end of Kent Island.

Grab your charts and locate Eastern Bay. East of center of this bay, just north of Tilghman Point, locate the Red 4 marker. If you come from the Bay side (west), travel northeast to this marker. If you’ve come through Kent Narrows, travel southeast.

From Red 4 marker, follow a course of about 168 degrees to the Red Nun 8. The privately owned white lighthouse to port at the tip of Bennett Point is a prominent landmark.

At the Red Nun, turn east to a course of about 101 degrees and travel to the Green 3.

Alter course to northeast and look for the Red 4 to starboard ahead of you. You have entered the mouth of the Wye River.

Continue up to the end of Bruff Island (which looks like a peninsula) to starboard.

Turn to starboard around the northern tip, staying well away from shore. Keep an eye on your depth. This is the Wye East River.

The channel loops to the south; follow along to the Red 2 daymark and keep it close to starboard.

Continue easterly toward the Green 3, keeping it to port. From here there are no more markers.

The channel runs northeast from Green 3. Follow it for about a mile, keeping close watch on depth since there is shoaling from both banks of the river, though more from Wye Island on the port side than to starboard.

Soon you will see the wide mouth of Quarter Cove to starboard. Dividing Creek is across it on the north side of the river. Granary Creek is about half a mile beyond, also on the north side.

Stay in the river channel until you are directly abreast of the entrance to the creek. Steer sharp to port and enter the creek just to port of center to avoid the shoal that projects from the eastern shore.

With seven to eight feet of depth, you can anchor just about anywhere nearly up to the head of the stream.

Now’s the time to visit Granary Creek. In the heat of mid-summer, it can feel uncomfortable for lack of breeze. But if you wait until June to voyage to this gunkhole, you may be rewarded by incredible firefly displays.

Any time of year, there are snapping turtles, bald eagles, herons and other wildlife. But it’s the calm surround of trees and wake-free waters that make Granary Creek a great escape after a long winter off the water.

© COPYRIGHT 2008 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.