Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tangier Island, VA

We left our marina in Maryland just before lunch time, and with the sun setting early, that only gave us a few hours of travel.  So we headed for an anchorage halfway to our destination- Tangier Island.  We anchored just in the mouth of the Patuxent river, where we had anchored on our way  north in the spring.  It was a great spot last time we were there, but this time, it was quite rolly.  We survived the night, but by 7am, I woke David up and said I was done with the rolling, it was time to haul up the anchor and move on.  We made it to Tangier early afternoon. Tangier is located just south of the Maryland/Virginia border on the Chesapeake Bay.  It was windy, and the current in their channel is rough.  Our docking situation was a short pier with some outer pilings to tie up to.  This is a very small Island that lives off the water, the “marina” is really just a few docks in front of the owners (who is 80 years old) house.  He wasn’t around when we pulled in to consult with so we tied up where we thought was good but it was tough with the current pushing us hard into the pilings.  We were glad to have the thruster to help push us off the pilings enough to drop in our fenders (bumpers) to put between our boat and the pilings. 

Once tied off, we got the bikes down and went for a ride around the town and island.  The channel is lined with crabbing boats and shacks for sorting and equipment storage.  This island makes their living off of crabbing. In all our time spent on the bay we have not seen some sort of mass gathering of crabs, it seems to still be done the old fashioned way, with gathering from your set out crab pots (cages) or by running a line with bait along it and netting the crabs on your bait.  Either way, it is a manual, labor intensive job.  I guess the price of a Maryland blue crab in a restaurant reflects this. 
In town the homes were simple, but well cared for, and the people were friendly.  Talking with them, you could hear an accent, but not much of one, but listening to them talk to each other was almost like listening to a foreign language.  It was cool.  There were only a car or 2 found on the Island.  Most people get around via golf cart or bike.  There is no bridge connecting to the Island, but a small ferry that runs between the eastern shore and the Island.
After reading the weather report, we decided to spend another day at Tangier.  We weren’t interested in crossing the bay in 3-4 foot waves, as the weather was calling for.  It was a windy day, but pleasant in the sunshine.  David and Kylynn bundled up the kids, loaded them into the bikes and off to the beach they went for the afternoon.  Matthew and I stayed behind for a pleasant nap.  The kids loved the beach, even though it was windy 60 degree weather.  They had a great time digging in the sand.  I think this would be a great place to visit in a bit warmer weather.  We will have to come back sometime.

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