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BriEOD
04-22-2008, 01:02 PM
I did a search of the archives and surprisingly didn't find any previous threads relating to the Washington DC area. I am being relocated to the DC area at the end of the summer. I have been in the area many times and know my way around. I know the Potomac River runs right through the city and I have personally seen skiers and read about skiers using the river (recently WaterSki Mag had an article about this), despite some questions surrounding the cleanliness of the water.

Alternatively, I know the Severn River is out near Annapolis. I have some family in Severna Park who frequent the river (Sea Ray owners) and I have been out on it a few times (actually I was out last summer). I have seen ski boats and even a course on the Severn. However, the river does flow out to the Chesapeake Bay and in the upper portion is brackish and eventually salt water as you approach the Naval Academy and Bay.

Additionally, I know Lake Anna isn't to terribly far away and I have some other family (MC owners) on the James River outside of Richmond. BTW, they are members of the Virginia Power Boat Association (Boat Club) and have a SWEET set-up.

We will likely settle in Northern Virginia in the Alexandria area due to the proximity to where I will be working and the insane commute it would require to live further out (especially with gas going up as it has). I'm curious if anyone is in this area and what they do for skiing? The Potomac would literally be in my backyard. However, I have read mixed things about the environmental condition of the river. I have children and don't want to expose them to something. I would really appreciate any thoughts/comments on this.

Thx,
Brian

shepherd
04-22-2008, 01:43 PM
Brian,

You may be thinking of this thread: http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=15386&highlight=patuxent

As you probably know, the chances of finding good (i.e., calm) skiable water close to D.C. are pretty slim. When we lived in Alexandria, we trailered our boat to the upper Patuxent River - there's a park with a few ramps in the Croom, MD area. There's a ski course there. I've skied with this guy a few times http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=16845&highlight=patuxent . But it appears he disappeared from this forum.

The Potomac River is pretty crazy on weekends and nice summer evenings. The only other real options may be the ski club at Mattawoman. The problem with the Severn and other places close to the Bay is that they tend to get overrun by jellyfish during the warmer months.

Good luck.

HdGPS190
04-22-2008, 02:36 PM
Hi Brian,

We live in McLean in Northern Virginia and when we got our boat we did all the research on where to ski around DC, and pretty much came up with the same list that you did. We visited and tried them all and for the reasons that you and Shepard mention we decided not to keep the boat around here.

We opted to head north and settled to keep our boat in a marina in Havre de Grace, MD. It's 90 miles each way which equates to about a 90 minute drive each way, but it's fresh water with lots of bays and several ski courses. Most of them are set up in different orientations, so if it's ever breezy, there's bound to be one that's calm enough to ski.

There are a couple of sand bars in the area where people pull up and hang out, but the ski courses are rarely crowded. This is especially true if you go out early or stay out a little later in the evening. Lots of decent dining options up there too. There is great fishing on the Susquehanna flats if you're into that as well.

The downside is that it is 90 miles away. To compromise we decided on not trailering our boat back and forth but to keep it in a marina. I even opted to keep it on the racks so it would be no hassle for us to have the boat launched within minutes of getting there.

The plus side for us is that my in-laws ended up moving there so we get to stay with them over the weekend and break up the back and forth. But for the first few years we put on the miles. Once you get there though it is well worth it.

We have friends who are part of the Sea Ray crew and do the Annapolis area with them. Plus I used to sail a lot out of Annapolis, that town is fun!

Once you get here just let me know if you'd be interested in checking out the area and I'll show you around.

peason
04-22-2008, 02:45 PM
Hi Brian,

We live in McLean in Northern Virginia and when we got our boat we did all the research on where to ski around DC, and pretty much came up with the same list that you did. We visited and tried them all and for the reasons that you and Shepard mention we decided not to keep the boat around here.

We opted to head north and settled to keep our boat in a marina in Havre de Grace, MD. It's 90 miles each way which equates to about a 90 minute drive each way, but it's fresh water with losts of bays and several ski courses. Most of them are set up in different orientations, so if it's ever breezy, there's bound to be one that's calm enough to ski.

There are a couple of sand bars in the area where people pull up and hang out, but the ski courses are rarely crowded. This is especially true if you go out early or stay out a little later in the evening. Lots of decent dining options up there too. There is great fishing on the Susquehanna flats if you're into that as well.

The downside is that it is 90 miles away. To compromise we decided on not trailering our boat back and forth but to keep it in a marina. I even opted to keep it on the racks so it would be no hassle for us to have the boat launched within minutes of getting there.

The plus side for us is that my in-laws ended up moving there so we get to stay with them over the weekend and break up the back and forth. But for the first few years we put on the miles. Once you get there though it is well worth it.

We have friends who are part of the Sea Ray crew and do the Annapolis area with them. Plus I used to sail a lot out of Annapolis, that town is fun!

Once you get here just let me know if you'd be interested in checking out the area and I'll show you around.

Another reason why this forum is the best! MC folks always willing to help out! I have relatives in the area and just went back for the first time in 20 years - it seems like a beautiful place to live - I was amazed by all of the trees! Traffic was pretty crazy though - but I guess you get used to it. Good luck with the move Bri!

dog paw
04-22-2008, 05:11 PM
Brian, I'll be glad to give ya the 10 cent tour of Anna when you make it to ground zero. We have a place there. Not alot of "good" places round here, (that I know of anyway) I'd rather not run lower Potomac water through my engine much less ski in it, it is nasty :D

Anna has already reached summer weekend nutjob status and the waters not 70deg yet.. Weekdays are still sweet.

Might check out the digs in the Lake Anna area, plenty of stuff up for sale. Lot of DC gov peeps with the cool jobs live on the lake:cool:

Lake to work for me is 130 miles.... who has the insane commute???

mayo93prostar
04-22-2008, 05:21 PM
Brieod, I am in Annapolis area and ski on the Rhode river just south of Annapolis. There is a slalom course and jump on South River which you can see from Route 50. I know a guy that skis almost every morning on South River, really early. Yes it is brackish and get jellyfish in summer but not too bad. I have been to Lake Anna on a Friday, not too bad but hear it is busy on weekend. I know of a private ski lake across the Ches. Bay and there is one in an old gravel pit south of Annapolis. Deep Creek Lake out in Western Maryland is a popular vacation spot but too far to commute. There is also Raystown lake up in Pennsylvania that I have heard about. I would not go on the Potomac either because of the nasty water. Good luck with the move and shoot a PM when you are in area.

mayo93prostar
04-22-2008, 05:22 PM
dog paw, I would like to take you up on the anna tour some day if possible. I have been there once but definitely not familiar with the area. great to know there are some MC'rs out there.

Jerseydave
04-22-2008, 06:21 PM
I know Jimmer on here skis the upper Potomac river, all fresh water. You may want to search him out (surprised he didn't jump on this thread yet)

Here's a link that may help, not skiers but wakeboarders.

www.dcwake.com

dog paw
04-22-2008, 07:49 PM
dog paw, I would like to take you up on the anna tour some day if possible. I have been there once but definitely not familiar with the area. great to know there are some MC'rs out there.



Sure! Work has been so screwed with us weekday water time is REAL tough. Need to make the time! Hopefully this summer will be better, but we said that last year! Out every weekend with the wallys though :D Ashamed to say it but I dont think I had a ski on last year at all:confused:

I beleive Jimmer is in the Hagerstown area I spent a lot of time way back @ Dam4 there on the upper Potomac. Deep creek IMO is small COLD and crowded. Pretty area though. Raystown In PA... Hot Daym thats a nice piece of water!! Large clean and DEEP! Corps progect, NO houses or development other than a couple of parks and marinas. Bad part is all the coves are no wake and your sorta stuck sking in the mix on the weekends.

Doug G
04-22-2008, 10:46 PM
I lived in Sterling for a few years and commuted to Mclean / Tysons Corner .. I hear ya on the commute it was one of the main reasons I moved back to PA. I visited again 2 years ago and holy sh.t has it been developed even more! Can't help ya with the water that was pre-boat for me

BriEOD
04-23-2008, 03:59 AM
Gentleman,

Thanks for all of the replies. This is precisely the type of information I was looking for. Well, at least I have a little bit better clarity on what my options are. I will keep this thread rolling and intend to hit all of you up when I relocate in August.

Thx again,
Brian

jimmer2880
04-23-2008, 08:12 PM
Sorry I'm late to this thread.. been busy.

Anyway - My river place (on the Potomac, above Dam 4, where it's much cleaner than down by DC) is about 1.5 hours from Alexandria with 0 traffic. Fridays after 2:00 - it's a 3 hour drive.

The next time you're in the area, I'd be glad to give you and whomever you bring along a tour and tug on your arms a bit. Water usually gets close to 90 during the summer. It's not perfect, sometimes high water to contend with, but it's close to me. The river up here is very twisty and turny and almost always has at least 1 tall cliff on 1 side. So - even when the wind is up, there is usually some decent water to be found.

BriEOD
04-24-2008, 07:18 AM
Thx Jim...I'll let you know when I make it up that way.

krra1
04-24-2008, 07:36 AM
I have also skied on the Rhodes River for the past few years. It's very nice in the morning but starting around 10:00am the winds from the bay come in and about noon the traffic (on weekends) puts an end to the flat water. We would get there around 8am ski til noon and hang out on a island beach for the rest of the day. Week days the water behind Flat Island is very nice most of the day. Starting this summer we moved the boat to the Elk River. It's 30 miles north of Baltimore, bought a water front place there. This area has several coves, courses and a jump although I have yet to ski on any of them since the boat has not made it into the water yet. This area is not too far from the area HDGPS190 refered to.
The Potomac River near D.C. is not recommeded, there is always logs, wood, trees and other things in the river.
There are two main ski boat dealers in the D.C. area. Bay Watersports on the eastern shore. They sell Mastercrafts. The other (Chessie) sells Malibu's, Centerons and Nautiques. Chessie is located in Elkton Maryland about 30 miles north of Baltimore. Both are very nice and will help out in any way.

Tom023
05-19-2008, 03:32 PM
Just saw this thread and agree with what has been said. I grew up in Alexandria and skiing on the Potomac. Water quality in the 70s was bad but then it was cleaned up considerably. They bass fish in view of downtown and I never got sick once from the gallons of water I swallowed. My kids mysteriously have three legs, but not sure that's from the water.

One big problem on the Virginia side of the river is lack of access. There is a ramp at National airport (too far north for skiing), one 10 miles south at Belle Haven Marina in Alexandria (too shallow at low tide), and the next one 10 miles south at Ft. Belvoir. You'll exercise your military privleges there and use that ramp I suspect. It's a little shallow there too at low tide, but the bottom is soft and once you get out in the river you are fine. Lots of places to ski down in that area.

I can't speak for how crowded the river is these days, but I imagine weekends are busy and weekdays dead. With fuel costs, you may have the river to yourself soon.

Lance
05-20-2008, 09:52 PM
Brian,
Is it safe to say you are going to be working in a building with five sides? I haven't tried any of the places you mention except Lake Anna which I have been going to for nearly 20 years (back when I bought my MC while an an Ensign in the Navy) and still love the place. We are on the warm (private) side so not nearly as chaotic as the public side.

The one thing though that I wanted to mention if you aren't already aware of it relates to your commute and where you live. A lot of people that work at the Pentagon, Crystal City, Rosslyn, etc live south of town and "slug" to work... basically they have HOV lanes here on I-95 that require you to have 3 or more people in your car. Plenty of people want to drive but also want to get in the HOV lanes so will pick up "slugs" to ride to and from work. If you live and work in slug friendly locations this is a way to substantially reduce your housing costs (or correspondingly increase what you get for your money), result in a reasonable commute, and eliminate commuting costs. I have a friend that has worked in the Pentagon for 12 years and slugs all the time and swears by it. If you were to go this route it would put you closer to Anna which might also tip the scales.

I am not on TMC as much as I used to but remember when you posted pictures of your son who I am thinking might be about 3 / 4 now and depending on how long you are here you will be dealing with the school issue. Alexandria has a reputation for some of the worst schools in Northern Virginia.

I'll also offer up a free tour of Lake Anna when you get settled in.

Lance

p.s. I plan to finally upgrade my 87 to electronic ignition and will be using the thread you created for doing the upgrade

Lance
05-20-2008, 10:00 PM
To close the loop... Lake Anna is about 90 miles from Alexandria (depending exactly where you are headed on the lake) and the commute can be anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3.5 hours depending on how many idiots are on the road. We usually plan for 2 hours which works most weekends. At least once a year though you get stuck in the 3+ commute (usually a medivac situation).

That is by far the biggest downside is that to get from LKA from DC your only real option is I-95... probably the busiest stretch of the busiest highway on the east coast.

I guess the consolation is that if you want to waterski you should be up and out before the traffic starts to heat up ;)

panshovel68
04-20-2009, 12:00 AM
I have to mention, Port Tobbaco and Dalghren. The water is not nasty, ive seen nettles there once in the three years skiing there. I know you have your spot already but it really is nice. There is alot of good bars/restaurants there. You can always find flat water for footing up the creek and there is a course that usually has pretty good conditions! Worth checking out.

BriEOD
04-20-2009, 04:02 PM
Good to know. But, I have my own slip and can throw a football from my house and hit the river. My days of trailering are over!

gregjalden
05-14-2009, 07:09 PM
Brian. I live in Alexandria and grew up on the Potomac. I do keep my 08 TT on the Rhode River bcause the river has narrowed from the hydrilla that grows in under 5 feet of water. You just have to go out either during the week or early in the AM. The water is fine south of the city. Drop me a note when you get settled.