Cruise for Fall Colors on Classic Va. Deadrise

The leaf change is upon us, and a Rappahannock captain is offering a fall colors tour like never before, on a special river aboard a special boat.

Starting this month, Rappahannock Roundstern will take guests leaf-peeping from Survivor, a classic sixty-year-old deadrise. Oh, did we
mention that this part of the Rappahannock is a haven for bald eagles too?

“If Captain John Smith could have known what October looks like here, I’ll bet he’d have explored the Rappahannock in October instead of August,” chuckled Capt. Richard Moncure as he described the format for afternoon cruises from Tappahannock upriver to Fones Cliffs and back aboard his 38’ roundstern deadrise workboat.

The boat leaves June Parker Marina on Water Street in Tappahannock in mid-afternoon for the three-hour round-trip upriver and back along this section of the 1,800-mile-long Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. The cost is $325 for up to six people.

Moncure, the skipper for the cruise, has a “day job” as River Steward for the non-profit Friends of the Rappahannock. Nate Parker, the mate, is manager of his family’s marina.

As the days cool around Fones Cliffs, the Rappahannock’s riverside maples, sweet gums, and sycamores show their best colors. The afternoon sunlight illuminates a flaming corridor of deep reds, bright reds, oranges, and yellows, with the cliffs glowing gold at the end. The odds are that several bald eagles will punctuate the scene as they soar over the cliffs. It’s one of the most striking October spots on the Bay.

But fall colors aren’t the only October offering from Rappahannock Roundstern. Their other boat, Chatty Lou, also 38’, is adept at trolling and jigging for fall rockfish downriver on Morattico Bar, running out of her slip in Simonsen on Lancaster Creek. And she docks right across the creek from the Morattico Waterfront Museum, another great stop for an autumn day
on the river. For more information, visit Rappahannock Roundstern’s Facebook page or call Capt. Richard Moncure at (804) 214-0447.

-John Page Williams