Please forward my compliments to Jack Jacobs on the article he wrote, “Local boaters raise bay safety concerns,” in the Jan. 2 edition of The Virginia Gazette. The article is on point to the dangers facing unaware boaters who may visit the James City County Marina.
I am a retired state trooper and a boat owner on the Powhatan Creek and have tediously mapped with sonar the dangerous section through the Sandy Bay section of the creek because I have seen boats run aground and barely escape the hidden, muddy shoal that is invisible when the tide comes in.
Although the state has only two reported incidents on file, it does not reflect the true number of groundings in that area, since most boats encountering the shoal get unstuck by themselves or have another passing boat pull them off. So, the impression that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries doesn’t think there is a problem due to official incidents reports is their excuse to not address the problem.
It’s the same mind set with James City County’s John Carnifax about it’s “not our responsibility,” even though the county plans to spend millions of taxpayer money to refurbish the marina, making it possibly on par with the beautiful new marina on Grey’s Creek in Surry County that has a new 30 boat slip dock, fuel, pump out service and a very good Surry Seafood Company restaurant.
That future expenditure will be a good thing for the few boats that reside at the JCC marina, but visiting boats will avoid Powhatan Creek and instead go up Grey’s Creek to the Surry County-owned marina because it is safer to get to with deeper water.
Boaters talk, and running aground is on the “don’t do” list; so why take the chance when similar services are available in Surry County?
James City County