Issue: November 2007
MARINA HOPPING: Welcome to the Neighborhood

The Tilghman Island Marina welcomes boaters to its quiet backyard setting with pleasure.

by Ann Levelle

Early this summer my husband John and I were headed via Knapps Narrows to Dun Cove for a quiet night on the hook. While navigating the narrow channel that leads from the Bay to the Narrows, we saw several lovely new homes lining the southern entrance and wondered if we hadn't
accidentally missed our turn and ended up in someone's private channel or neighborhood marina. But as we neared the Knapps Narrows bridge and saw the Tilghman Island Marina sign welcoming transients, we knew we were in the right place. As we passed the marina, which is surrounded by beautiful water- front homes and suburbia-green grass, we were intrigued by its homeyness--so intrigued, in fact, that on our way back through the Narrows the following day, we had to stop to check things out.

After tying up along one of the marina's two T-heads and securing the multitude of fenders necessary on the wake-whipped edges of Knapps Narrows, John and I headed down the dock, and through the side yard of one of the nearby homes. Then we found ourselves on an oyster shell pathway that ran the length of the small, 41-slip basin--which is essentially a collective backyard for fifteen of the homes in the Tilghman Quay community. At the head of the basin we found a floating dock with several personal watercrafts, a couple of kayaks and some small powerboats that the marina rents by the hour. We also saw a covered patio deck with picnic tables, a grill, an ice machine, soda machine, bicycles and the small bathhouse building. I made a beeline for the small shed building, thinking that the office might be there. But instead I found the office in the garage of the home next to it. Odd, I thought . . . but I nevertheless felt at home there, warmly welcomed by owners Ron and Nancy Cicero. Along with their cars, there was a desk set up for checking guests in, lots of brochures and a door that led to the pool, which the Ciceros share graciously with all marina guests.

The Ciceros bought the marina in 1999, along with a new home that was completed in 2001. The marina was in relatively rough shape, Ron says. But over the past eight years, it has been extensively redone. And as for sharing his home with marina patrons, he enjoys it----but has had at least a few folks interrupt his dinner when they marched upstairs from the office, thinking his home was a clubhouse.

Ready for a Tilghman Island tour, we asked Fanoula Sullivan, who was tending the office, for a lunch recommendation. For upscale, she told us, you can't beat the Tilghman Island Inn next door. For a less expensive but still delicious meal, she said, we should head over to Bay Hundred Restaurant, at Knapps Narrows Marina just next to the bridge. We opted to stroll through the quiet Tilghman streets to Bay Hundred, where we enjoyed our meal and watching the happenings on the water.

After our Tilghman walkabout, we were nearly ready to head back to Annapolis. We made a stop at the heads (which were immaculately clean), then took a look around at all the boats in the basin, had a quick chat with a very pleasant neighbor and cast off our lines. Although we had stayed only a few hours, we felt like we'd been treated like houseguests, welcomed into a quiet little neighborhood's backyard marina. Nothing like a good old-fashioned welcome to the neighborhood.

Tilghman Island Marina
Tilghman, Md.
Power: 30, 50 amp
Depth: 6', 9' at T-head
Dockage: $1.75/ft
Pump-out: free

FROM THE EDITOR: Again with the Hyphens?

First of all, lest you think I have some kind of hyphenation obsession, let me assure you it is purely coincidental that we find ourselves discussing hyphens here for the second month in a row. Last month, as you may recall, in my near-tearful farewell to Wendy Clarke (her column, that is), I pointed out that "good-bye" is properly spelled, at least in this magazine, with a hyphen. In some dictionaries you may find "goodbye" or "good bye" or even "good-by," but the latest edition of our official oracle, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, says it's "good-bye," so that's that. End of discussion. Because I said so.

This month's hyphenation question is far more interesting--largely because it can't be so easily settled. And that's because neither Merriam-Webster's nor any other dictionary offers any guidance in the vexing case of Chris Craft v. Chris-Craft--which comes to bear this month in "Oldies but Woodies", senior editor Jody Schroath's delightful confessional about five less than fruitful years as the owner of a wooden Chris. With the exception of iconic words like Coke and Kleenex, dictionaries are of no use when it comes to ordinary brand and corporate names. For those you have to look elsewhere, like cereal boxes and letterhead and brochures and office buildings and boat hulls. And websites.

Hark back with me now to 1996, the dawn of the Google Age. Or at least early morning of the Google Age. I mention this because it was a pivotal time for us wordsmiths. As more and more information found its way onto the worldwide web, the easier our nitpicky jobs got. The less necessary it became to visit the local library, the less often we had to trot down to the grocery store to check the spelling of "Ziploc," the fewer phone calls we had to make to see if "Bowleys Marina" gets an apostrophe or not (it doesn't) and ditto for Tim's Rivershore Restaurant & Crabhouse (it does), and, while we're at it, do they in fact use an ampersand and spell "crabhouse" as one word?

They do, and Chris-Craft uses a hyphen. At least they do now. Back in the early Google days, though, things weren't quite so cut and dried. Indeed, back then the company was quite ambivalent, hyphenwise. With the actual logo, they were consistent in hyphenating with a little chrome star; but in ordinary text, where chrome stars are not an option, they were maddeningly inconsistent. Sometimes Chris-Craft, sometimes Chris Craft, sometimes both in the same paragraph. And since the rest of the world seemed to favor the un-hyphenated form, that's what ended up in our house style guide.

Now hark forward (I think that's possible) to the present day, and imagine our surprise when we discover, in the process of preparing Jody's story for prime time, that Chris-Craft is now very consistent in its use of the hyphen. So we have updated our style guide. Henceforth, and until further notice, we too will use the hyphen. And you, dear reader, may rest easy, secure in the knowledge that we are ever vigilant about such things. . . . Or maybe you don't care, and that's okay too. When it comes to hyphens, we care so you don't have to