Oxford, MD (Thursday, 10/5)
We left Rock Hall after Denise had a chance to get in a run, and with the sun shining brightly. Shortly after leaving we cruised under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and bypassing Annapolis to our west. Although wanting to go there again, the timing was not good as the boat show was starting and most of the marinas were full up and overpriced. We had decided to go explore the eastern shore of the Bay and the town of Oxford, where we were headed.
It was a nice day to be on the water and there were lots of boats, either fishing or just cruising about. We cruised south with Kent Island to our east bypassing the Bloody Point Lighthouse at its southernmost point.
We continued running on the eastern side of the Bay, but could clearly see the western shore as at this point the Chesapeake Bay is fairly narrow; only 7 miles away. We followed the coastline of Tilghman Island to our port (left) and then turned east into the Choptank River. Seven miles later we turned north into the Tred Avon River and into the Oxford area.
All along these bodies of water there is farmland and beautiful homes sitting on large pieces of property.
This area is quite remote and is not easy to get to like most everything on the Delmarva Peninsula. The options include the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the north by Annapolis or the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-tunnel out of Norfolk to the South, and both involve then further driving on mostly 2 lane highways with lots of traffic. In a lot of cases, it is faster to get around by boat and that is why in many places there are ferry services. For example there is one from Oxford to Bellevue – which takes you to St. Michael’s. In 20 minutes you could be across the water when it would take nearly 1 hour to drive. It is also the only way to get to some of the remote islands that are all around these great eastern-shore Rivers.
We arrived at the Oxford Yacht Agency marina where we had reservations, passing several large marinas by Hinkley and Brewer along the way. This is a boater’s town and there are lots of boatyards, shipbuilders and marinas along the waters surrounding the town. Besides that, there is not much else going on in Oxford; it is mostly a residential community with a few good restaurants and a strong community bond by the locals.
We pulled into the marina slip and got the boat all tied up. There was no one in the Yacht Agency (aka Sales office) and “Rodney” the live-aboard pseudo dockmaster was at his “day job” so we would have to check in with him later.
We had reserved a rental car with Enterprise and scheduled them to come pick us up at the Marina after lunch. We had some provisioning to do, and we wanted to check out the town of Cambridge (located south of Oxford) to see if wanted to take the boat there. This would give us a chance to check it out, and to explore this part of Maryland which we had never seen.
Once the driver arrived, he took us back to his location in the town of Easton – 10 miles away. It is a much bigger city offering all kinds of retail shopping and services. We found a Supercuts and Mark was able to get a badly needed haircut before we continued with the day’s adventure.
Afterwards we drove south to the town of Cambridge where upon arriving we learned there would be a full “IronMan Triathlon” competition here on Saturday (7th). The place was already getting filled up and getting around the park where the registration and race packet pickup was a challenge.
Once we got through that area, we drove along the waterfront and then through the downtown area. We parked and walked around a few of the shops, picking up a few things along the way.
One of the things we wanted to investigate was the “free wall” that we could tie the boat to if we came here. However, with the IronMan competition here we decided we were not going to bring the boat; water access would be limited due to the swim in the inlet.
Not quite dinner time, but wanting to enjoy some of the scene, we drove back towards the water and stopped into “Snappers” for a couple of beers and an appetizer. It was near the “free wall” so we got to see the area and have knowledge should our path take us back here one day again.
Before leaving Cambridge we went to the Walmart Super Center to pick up oil for the boat (only available in 2.5 gallon jugs at their Super Centers); one of Mark’s future boat chores. From there we headed back to Easton, for grocery provisioning. Here there was a new and large Harris Teeter’s that allowed us to get everything on our list, and more.
We had also spotted the Chick-fil-a as we entered the shopping plaza, so we made that our “dining out” option for the evening. We were happy to once again be south of the Mason-Dixon line and enjoy the best of what the south has to offer.
We drove back to Oxford and had time to watch another 2 episodes of “Manhunt: Unabomber” before ending our very busy day.
Oxford, MD (Friday, 10/6)
Because of our change not go to Cambridge, we chose to stay a second night in Oxford and explore this town today. We also saw that the weather was not going to be great (remnants of tropical system Nate) in the coming days and decided to go into Solomon’s a day earlier than planned. We called Zahniser’s Yachting Center (where we had reservations and had stayed in the spring) and got confirmation that we could arrive a day earlier as long as it was after the 12:30 checkout; there was a boat in the slip we would be assigned and we had to wait for them to leave. We also made reservations at Whitehouse Cove Marina in Poquoson to ensure we could stay there next weekend when visiting with Denise’s nieces.
After all this had been scheduled we took the rental car and drove all around Oxford. This gave us an opportunity to explore lots of areas that we would not have seen by bike or walking.
In the afternoon we drove back to Easton to return the rental car, but first had to stop at the Walmart there as Mark wanted one more gallon of oil. The representative from Enterprise drove us back to our boat where we had some office work to do.
That night we walked to the Oxford Inn and dined at Pope’s Tavern. Rodney (dockmaster) had suggested it as the best “go-to” place to eat in town, and we were not disappointed. We had fresh fish and enjoyed meeting Chef Lisa who has a winter home in Palm Coast.
We topped off the evening with another episode of “Manhunt: Unabomber” before ending our day.
Here are more pictures of the Oxford area: