It’s easy to stop at the same old places; but forcing herself to cruise outside the box, the author finds a gem in Crown Pointe Marina, off Virginia’s York River.
by Jody Argo Schroath
Unless I’m deliberately out to explore new territory, I often find myself falling into the cruiser’s sin of simply doing what I know. For example, when I am transiting the lower York River, I invariably take aim for Riverwalk Marina in Yorktown when the weather is good and for Sarah Creek when the weather is not. It’s not that either is a cakewalk—Riverwalk has wicked currents and Sarah Creek has a narrow and peculiar entrance—but these are the devils I know. So when Skipper The Ship’s Dog and I were cruising through that very neighborhood last June, I practically had to kick myself into turning off the York a few miles early to head up the Perrin River instead. And that is how I came to discover Crown Pointe Marina.
The entrance marker to the Perrin, “PR”, is a mere four miles west of the end of the York Spit (or two miles from the Swash Channel, if you want to take the shortcut coming from the north). From there, it’s simply a matter of following the markers from “2” up to “7”, where the channel begins an S-turn to avoid shoals off Jenkins Neck to starboard and Allens Island to port before passing Cuba Island to enter the river. Beyond the entrance, the river takes a sharp jog to the left, while Crown Pointe Marina lies directly ahead—half a dozen piers jutting out into the water and a small basin leading to the haul-out yard. The fuel dock sells ValvTech treated diesel and non-ethanol gas.
I found our slip for the night with no trouble, and soon Skip and I were headed ashore to check in with office manager Kimmarie DaSilva and then explore our new York River “find.” If the name Crown Pointe doesn’t ring any bells, DaSilva explained, it may well be because it was known as Cooks Landing until only eight years ago. Since then, the new owners have been sprucing things up a bit at a time, and now everything is pretty much up to date and working well. That includes two sets of bathrooms and showers and two pools. Crown Pointe is also home to the York River Yacht Club and a number of workboats. There is no restaurant nearby but a ride can be had to a grocery store about 10 minutes away.
Skip and I spent a happy afternoon walking the docks, chatting with watermen as they washed down their boats for the day and watching the busy service area. In the warm June sun, it felt like an awfully long way from where our walk had taken us—near L dock—all the way back to the boat on A dock. By the time we arrived back at the boat, I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about the cold beer I pulled out of the refrigerator. For a while, Skip kept up appearances by staring daggers at the gulls that strayed into the red zone he had established around the boat, but soon his eyes drooped and he folded himself down beside me and
surrendered to a belly rub. As the sun dropped into the York River, I finished my beer and gave Skipper a final pat. Now that I’ve found my way into Crown Pointe, I thought, I’m going to have the devil of a time deciding where to stop next time.
Crown Pointe Marina
Fuel: gas and diesel
Power: 30 and 50 amp
Depth: 6 ft