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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast
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  #1  
Old 08-28-2012
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Sailing to St Mary's

We are thinking of going to St Mary's and spend the weekend up the river. Would like to stay at a marina and see two, Lookout Point and Bluhaven Pier, but have not stayed at either one before.

What would be the best marina to stay at and what, if any attractions are there within walking distance from a marina or slip? Seems to be a lot of history there, especially Lookout Point but I think it may not be feasible to visit the light if we sail to the point.

Any other attractions on the Maryland side of the Potomac or near by?
Was thinking of sailing up to Solomon but the forecast for wind is up and down this weekend, and really don't want to spend the weekend motoring around.

Any ideas?
Unfortunately we cannot anchor overnight due to recent head issues (seal to the motorized pump just want and will not be fixed by this weekend.)
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Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailing to St Mary's

I just took a look at Bluhaven Piers website and am intrigued. I didn't know they were there. We have used Point Lookout for overnights a couple of times most recently in August this year. The docks are as rough as any I have yet to come across on the Chesapeake and seem be be nearly underwater at any tide. If you go, I'd suggest asking to tie alongside the pier in lieu of dealing with a short, rickety finger pier on one of their slips.

The bath house is not horrible but nothing special either. The only bright spot is the onsite restaurant is pretty darn good (At least it seemed so to us after sailing overnight in the Governor's Cup.) In all seriousness the 3 of us all enjoyed our dinners and several of the dishes we didn't try look really good as they went by to other tables as well. Despite my rather harsh assessment PLM worked ok for our needs at the time(110V to allow a cool nights sleep, and a decent hot meal that none of us had to prepare) and I'd do the same again under the circumstances. If it were cooler, anchoring and taking the dink to dinner might be considered.

Now, as far as being able to see St Mary's City or Point Lookout from either of these marina's, I don't think its happening, unless you can somehow pre-arrange ground transportation.

St Mary's City is very easy to visit if you can anchor in Horseshoe Bend, but since you have issues that preclude anchoring overnighting here is not an option. Depending on where you are starting from it could be possible to sail to St Mary's anchor while you go see the sights, then sail back down and around to Pt Lookout or Bluhaven.

If you try Bluhaven, please post your experiences there. There are at least a couple of us that will make stops in that area a couple of times a year at least and would like to know if there is an alternative to PLM if we want a slip.
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Last edited by PalmettoSailor; 08-28-2012 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailing to St Mary's

I may be wrong but aren't there transient slips at the college pier..it's been a few years since I've been there. I know I used their docks for my dingy.

Friends and Visitors: St. Mary's College of Maryland

If not there are others..

http://www.visitstmarysmd.com/activi...ities/marinas/

Last edited by aa3jy; 08-28-2012 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailing to St Mary's

Bluhaven does have a really nice website but unless they had a major renovation work completed, when I used Google Earth on the marina, it looked much different, like a small rundown marina.
Yes, not anchoring is making us dependent on a marina. The head seals just came up and we will need to remove the head's pump, clean and replace seals. Long and not a good story associated with the previous owner of the sailboat.

Perhaps the wind forecast for the weekend will be better in a few days and we'll head up to Solomon or down to Reedville.
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Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailing to St Mary's

Quote:
Originally Posted by aa3jy View Post
I may be wrong but aren't there transient slips at the college pier..it's been a few years since I've been there. I know I used their docks for my dingy.

Friends and Visitors: St. Mary's College of Maryland

If not there are others..

Marinas | St. Mary's County, MD Tourism
I know the early finishing boats raft off the School docks after the Governor's Cup, but there is nothing on the website to indicate the general public would be welcome at any other time.

We used to go up from Deltaville for 4th of July and everyone just anchored off the docks. If the school rents transient slips it would be welcome news to me.
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Re: Sailing to St Mary's

You have to realize that marinas on the lower Potomac, both VA and MD are in very rural areas so walking to nearby attractions just ain't going to happen because there is nothing there.
Yes, St. Mary's college is good to see and I've been to a number of their summer Friday night concerts that is usually attended by a couple thousand people. As far as their dock, I've tied up there more than a few times, never overnight, and no one has ever come to me to say you can't tie up here or stay as long as you want. If space is available, it seems like its help yourself.
if you want to be able to see the sights, you need to go up to Solomon's. Not nearly as much in Reedville, but I like the town. My grandparents use to own the prettiest home in the town many years ago.
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Re: Sailing to St Mary's

One other thing, I've never heard of Bluhaven until I read this thread. Looking at Google, it looks pretty small. No one mentioned Corinthian Yacht Club next door to Point Lookout Marina. I've never been there but friends tell me it's a nice marina. Again, not within walking distance of anything.

Across the River in VA is Olversons marina. Also, not within walking distance of anything but they do offer several courtesy cars to use to go shopping or hit one of the local restaurants.
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Last edited by chuck53; 08-28-2012 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailing to St Mary's

If you can get into Point Lookout State Park, there's a neat U.S. Civil War Museum there. Might want to check with the park for the hours of operation. Point Lookout Marina, which is located in Smith Creek, had a good restaurant the last time I was there, but it was way overpriced. Just down the road a bit is Scheible's Fishing Center, and the restaurant there was a lot less expensive and the food was a lot better.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Re: Sailing to St Mary's

Gary, what's the water like getting into the state park? is it pretty skinny in there? I didn't know there was a museum there even though I did know the Union prison was pretty nasty, one of the really bad ones.

I don't see where anyone has mentioned St. Mary's Yachting Center. Been a few years since I was there but seems they had a decent restaurant.
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Last edited by chuck53; 08-28-2012 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 08-29-2012
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Re: Sailing to St Mary's

It's pretty skinny at low tide while going through the inlet, but inside there's about 8 feet at the end of the dock. At one time there was a large, Chesapeake Bay cruise boat, Tangier Island Cruises, that docked just inside the inlet. I'm sure it drew at least 6 feet and measured about 85 feet long. I'll probably make a stop there in October on my way south for the winter.

When I last visited the Civil War Museum, which was about 15 or more years ago, it was open 3-days a week and the admission was about $5. Lots of really neat stuff there. The history of the point is really interesting, and you are right, it was among the worst Hell-holes of the north. Andersonville, in the south, beat them all, though.

You'll find lots of information on the area at

Good luck,

Gary
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