Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wye River Wildlife

Wye River is a WILD river.

Not like in "The River Wild" and no rapids with Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon. But wild as in untouched by man--or at least few developers.

The Wye River is across from St. Michael's and it's like we remembered from our one day here in September 2002 when we moved the first MicMac down to Virginia. We only had one night to spend at anchor here then since we were in a hurry to beat any hurricanes.

So we spent three days this time sailing (or motoring) from one perfect creek to another. Too many choices on where to anchor! Plus, one side of the river is an island owned by the state of Maryland and saved from development.

We dropped the hook for lunch in Granary Creek within sight of horses, an eagle, and a muskrat. Then on to Skipton Cove for sundown with lots more cow-nosed rays, ospreys, and blue herons (they are everywhere!). Since no ducks were in sight, we enjoyed duck with orange sauce on the grill. Finally emptied the freezer, which drains the batteries much too quickly.

There's this impressive old manor house/estate (Wye Heights Plantation) on Skipton too with walled gardens and this creekside steps entry with eagle scuptures. Date on the boathouse by the shore said 1687. The owner didn't invite us to visit, and Pete didn't want to trespass. He's always saying I'll get shot!

On the 12th, we headed to Pickering Creek and a nice onshore surprise. The cruising guide says it has lots of homes. Truth: only two until the end of the creek where a mega-house and new vineyards look pretty impressive. That owner also wasn't around to invite us in for a taste of his chardonnay grapes.

Cruising guide also said there was a kayak/canoe landing for the 400-acre Pickering Creek Audubon Center. Truth: there's an easily accessible (which means a ladder is included) brand new dinghy dock with a tiny "Waterman's Shanty" sign.

So we'll now doubt everything that's in a cruising guide. Or perhaps the author lives on Pickering Creek and wants to discourage boat traffic?

Lots of birds (obviously) at Audubon Center, plus a succession forest, and organic farming displays. We hiked about two miles of their maintained nature trails and literally ran into Bambi. We needed this trails fix after being gone from Governor's Land trails so long. The director told us that about 10,000 students (1st through 10th graders) visit annually.

Then on to the Wye West. Dropped the hook in Grapevine Cove where we were once again the only boat and had our own little private beach. VERY hot with no breeze that night. Thank goodness for fans!

There are still googads (nautical term, I'm sure) of cute little creeks and coves to explore on the three branches of the Wye River. So this is a future repeat destination.

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