Welcome to Deltaville, Boating Capital of the Chesapeake.
Whether or not this small town between Virginia’s Rappahannock and Piankatank Rivers is, as the sign suggests, the boating capital of the entire Chesapeake is a question I will leave to Marylanders in Annapolis and Rock Hall.
For my part, I was content to forego considering the question in favor of getting somewhat familiar with the place to which we repaired nearly two weeks ago to work out Meander’s latest and greatest kinks.
Deltaville is neither a big place nor a dense one. It appears to automobile-bound landlubbers as a modest collection of churches, businesses, and residences strung out along Route 33, the General Puller Highway, just west of the end of Virginia’s Middle Peninsula at Stingray Point. You’d miss it if you were driving too fast, although you would risk ending up in the bay if you didn’t put the brakes on soon after hitting County Road 662.
But if you pay attention to the business signs that adorn the road forming Deltaville’s backbone, you’ll soon see that every fourth or fifth one testifies to the importance this small town has for the Chesapeake Bay boating community.
There are places for people who own boats, or want to.
And places to help the people outfit the boats they own.
(Bay Canvas and Waterside Graphics, incidentally, went right to the top of Pam’s and Honey’s running list of Deltaville favorites. I wonder why.)
And places to help build the places at which the people can dock their boats.
And, finally, places at which the people can acquire joyful clutter with which to fill their boats.
Let’s take a closer look at that last sign.
I don’t know what to think about folks whose cheerful perversity could move them to promote their ocean-themed business with a pun on the French phrase for “seasickness.” But I know I’d like to meet them.
So these are the hints about the place that the place itself offers to those who constrain themselves to the road. But its motive force, as with all places that thrive on the water, is off the road and at the water’s edge.
It’s at the water’s edge that you will find the places where the people can dock their boats. . .
. . . and the boats the people have docked. . .
. . . and, finally, the people themselves. People like Mike and Mark, who last Saturday landed this big rockfish Mark is holding. . .
. . . using this small net Mike is holding.
So this is Deltaville. What the people of this little town do on the land, they do in support of what people do on the water.
People like Mike and Mark, who clearly know what they’re doing.
And people like me, who just as clearly don’t.
So if the Southern Chesapeake should find you in a boat on the water that sorely needs support, Deltaville is a wondeful place to land.