Friday, August 3, 2018

Pax River and Tilghman Island, and then Rock Hall, Maryland

Rock Hall, eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay
We had heard from some other boaters that the two most desirable marinas in Rock Hall were past the town’s harbor.  In checking, I found out that both those marinas wanted $3 per foot per night – that amounts to $135!  While reading in our Waterway Guide, though, I read that the town of Rock Hall has a free dock on their harbor.  Free being our favorite price, that is where we headed!  No one else was there, which surprised us.  Perhaps a sign facing the water that said “No Parking, by temporary order of the Police Department” might have something to do with that.  I called their police department, though, and they explained that the order was for cars parking on the lot adjacent to the dock.  Great!
Rock Hall is a cute town, with a history, like many Chesapeake Bay towns, of fishing, oystering, and crabbing for a living.  There was a nice monument to that industry right there next to the harbor.
We had some nice dinners in restaurants right there.  On Sunday morning, we found a cute restaurant, just a short bike ride away, for breakfast.  In town, we found a grocery store for re-provisioning.  What else could we want?

We stayed longer than we had intended because of some nasty storms that came through.  One night, about 3:00 a.m., while the boat was violently rolling from the wind, we could hear that it was hitting the pilings.  Yikes.  So, we got up to make her more secure against damage.  We were lucky it wasn’t raining, but even so, it was a struggle to put a more secure fender board with more fenders between the boat and those sharp pilings.  It took everything both of us had to hold the boat off the pilings as it rolled high on the dock side and started to come down on the pilings.  Phew.  Glad to get back aboard and rest after that extreme effort.

Flag marks channel that goes around the harbor

nice mural on a grocery store

monument to oystermen

closer look at monument to oystermen

Kittiwake at Rock Hall city dock

Necessary collection of fenders!

another view of our fenders

fenders that saved the boat! 

I’m including Pax River in this posting, since we were there only a few hours, took no pictures, met no other boaters!  The correct name is Patuxent River Naval Air Station.  We went there to make a trip to the Naval Exchange to replenish our liquor and wine stores.  Dan purchased a couple of shirts and shorts.  The ones he continually wear on the boat were starting to show wear and tear! 
An unexpected benefit of stopping at Pax River is that one of the men who work at the marina has a business of boat signs.  You’ll recall that the boat sign on the back of the boat (transom) was actually misspelled….   Now, we have a new sign and the name Kittiwake is now correct!  Yay!

The access to Tilghman Island is through another draw bridge.  This one opens upon request.  The marina, Knapps Narrows Marina, was just past the bridge.  They have a terrific restaurant/bar right on the property.  Also co-located is an Inn.  This was the first time on our journey that we got complimentary breakfast!  Not only that, but it was pretty wonderful.  It included boiled eggs, a nice selection of bagels and sweet rolls, a beautiful fresh fruit salad.  I love the flower garden outside the Inn – just masses of flowers, no organized manicured space here! 
We enjoy stops where we can get our bikes out and explore.  Tilghman Island fit that bill.  This is another fisherman’s town, with lots of crabbing boats docked at the marinas.  Riding around town, you cannot miss the tributes to the men and women who do the crabbing.  There is a monument to those from this island who have lost their lives in those waters over the years.  Dan and I only go out when the weather is agreeable – we stay at the dock if it’s stormy or extremely windy.  Those folks who earn their living by catching crabs don’t have that luxury.  They go out in all kinds of weather.  It can’t be a fun job in the winter.  Another sign that this is a working fisherman’s town are the signs all over town nailed to the telephone poles that are the silhouettes of the boats that ply these waters with the name of the boat.
In riding around town, we looked at another marina, and then heard sounds of partying nearby.  In exploring the source, we found a really nice restaurant with outside kitchen for cooking crabs and a lovely covered patio dining area. Friendly people were there, all digging into their portion of crabs.  Neither of us are fans of whole crabs – seems like a whole bunch of work for just a little bit of meat!  So, we order dishes with crab that has been picked by someone else! 

sailing school we saw as we approached Tilghman Island

typical working boat

working boats lined up at end of day

bridge that opens to admit us to the channel

pretty garden at the marina/inn

the exit to the channel

all the power poles in town have different boat cutouts with names

outdoor dining room at Ticklers

outdoor kitchen at Ticklers

plate full of crabs!

long view of the outdoor patio


sunset #2

Sunset #3

sunset #4

duck on the water

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