by Jody Argo Schroath
The first—but far from the last—time I entered the enchanted world of Yopps Cove was on a quiet fall day several years ago. Along with Skipper, the ship’s kibble-eater, I was beginning a comprehensive exploration of Carter Creek’s several branches, prongs and coves aboard Journey, one of the Albin 28s available to me as a member of the Chesapeake Boating Club. I’d been to the Rappahannock River’s Carter Creek several times before, of course. After all, it’s home to the Tides Inn, that nationally famous resort and maritime attraction for us would-be weekend idyll rich, as well as the adjacent town of Irvington, with its wineries, B&Bs and the historic Christ Church, built in the 18th century by one of the richly famous and famously rich Carter family of Virginia.
For a small creek in a thoroughly rural portion of Virginia, Carter Creek has a lot going on. Which is why, even having been there several times, I’d only really begun to catalog its many ins and outs. On that particular fall day I had made a short hop up the Rappahannock from Windmill Point and was planning an overnight stop at Rappahannock Yachts, which lies on the east side of Carter Creek, just beyond Eastern Branch. Carter Creek’s entrance is well marked, beginning with paired markers “1” and “2” a quarter mile or so from the protective spits of land that mark the entrance. Once inside, I turned to starboard to begin my expedition on the Eastern Branch. I then took the first turn to starboard again, which turned out to be Yopps Cove.
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