Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Bolling marina

Photos by Airman 1st Class Alex Saltekoff

A crane lifts docks off a semi and places them in the Capital Cove Marina next to the Slip Inn restaurant. When fully operational, the marina offers a variety of boating services.

A contractor pulls a dock next to another one before lashing them together.
Base boat owners who use the Capital Cove Marina noticed a welcomed sight on Bolling this week as contractors arrived with flatbed trucks carrying several loads of new, floating docks ready to be installed.

The marina, operated by 11th Services Division and located in the southwest corner of the base, offers direct access to the historic Potomac River.

For years, the popular facility has provided a vast array of services to wing members and their families at prices, security and quality unparalleled by any other area marina.

Last year, however, facilities at the marina were damaged beyond repair by flooding during Hurricane Isabel.

In fact, when the docks were twisted and destroyed by the rising waters of the Potomac, they were rendered unserviceable, and so the wing decided to replace the docks and to upgrade marina facilities at the same time. Several projects have been under way this summer to repair the facilities and enhance both operations and safety at the marina.

Marina manager Bobby McCullough said planned marina upgrades included the recently completed major dredging project, the replacement of the damaged docks and river bulkhead, and building a new, safer boat ramp. The marina improvement plan also includes upgrades for landscaping and fencing to enhance both security and aesthetics.

Earlier this year, the marina was completely closed for a time and all boats authorized for berthing or wet storage at the Capital Cove Marina were removed from their assigned slips and relocated to either dry dock in the storage yard or to other marinas in the area while contractors dredged and dock replacement began.

The contractors, who began dredging operations at the marina in February, have completed their tasks and dredged the entire marina basin to a depth of six feet, which has markedly improved the navigability in the marina. This improved navigability will permit the creation of extra slips on the docks.

Though wing officials had hoped the planned dock repairs would be completed in midsummer, it was soon discovered that the flooding that occurred on the Potomac after the hurricane not only damaged the docks in Bolling's marina, it also damaged docks in every other marina along the National Capital Region's portion of the river, all of which were ordering parts to accomplish their own dock repairs.

The recent arrival of new floating docks indicates improvements are progressing at the marina and boat owners can look forward to using the facility's services again soon.

When the marina is fully operational, the boating services it offers include wet, dry and canoe storage, transient berthing, ramp access, forklift services, emergency pumping, battery charging, quick hauling and sailboat rental. Skippers and crews can also purchase marine fuel, ice, soda, beer, snacks, bait and even District of Columbia fishing licenses.

For more information, call the marina at (202) 767-4651.