Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tangier Island......

About 12 miles from the shore of Reedville, VA, lies the little Island called Tangier, in the Chesapeake Bay.

Approaching Tangier Island

A visit to Tangier is like taking a step back in time, such is the feel of the island. There is no place else quite like it and we treasure our visits there. To do so, you must drive to Reedville, Va at the very end of Route 360 and take the Chesapeake Breeze (a large ferry boat) over to the Island.
The ferry boat, Chesapeake Breeze

A restored "Buy Boat" in the harbor at Tangier

Recently, it was decided to visit Tangier, along with Norah and Howie and our friends here on Pearson's Island, Pauline, Neal, Jeff and Cameron . So we reserved our golf carts and headed to Reedville! Transportation there is either by foot, bike or cars except for a few older service pickups etc. The streets are really more like tiny lanes, and two golf carts cannot easily pass each other!

We are blessed to have a dear friend who grew up on Tangier Island.... Corey Crockett. His lovely mom, Yvonne met us at the dock!! Grabbing our golf carts she took everyone on the "Tangier Tour" of the tiny Island which is about 1 mile wide and almost 7 miles long, if you include the marshes...without the marsh, I would guess that it is no more that about 2 miles long of "high ground"! Yvonne has lived all of her life on Tangier, but takes the boat every Thursday to Crisfield, Maryland to work until Monday, when she returns by boat to Tangier. Corey grew up there, but left after high school, as most of the youth do, unless they choose to be a waterman, which these days has become most difficult for anyone on the Chespeake.

Scenes of Tangier

Yvonne, Norah, Howie and Molly waiting for our crabs!

On Tangier, a sweet, sort of Cockney English is still spoken and it is easily recognizible to our ears, but often "strangers" cannot understand it. When Corey goes back to Tangier, he lapses into this lovely speech and we struggle to keep up, as he talks with his buddies and the local watermen.

Of course, the main food on Tangier is seafood, and most especially Blue Crabs, so of course we had to eat.......

YUM... Fried Soft Shell Crabs!!

On the Chesapeake Breeze

Yvonne, Corey and Aunt Peg are such wonderful folks! Peg is staying with her son in South Carolina, as she has had some health issues, and we sorely missed seeing her on our visit. We had a great day with Yvonne and soaked up the sweet Tangier spirit that is so soul soothing! It is hard to explain, but you just know the world is good, as you smell the salt air, and watch the children on bikes, buy the recipes clipped to the fences by the Island folks, and just in general, enjoy a slow and calming pace on this little jewel in the Chesapeake Bay.

The way of life here is quite different....there are only about 500 people living on the Island today, and most of them support their families from the water, or by being "watermen".... working crabpots, dredging for oysters, fishing and such. Others leave the Island to work in nearby Crisfield, Maryland, taking a boat daily or weekly and returning to the Island accordingly. It is a good life, but not one for the faint of heart....there are many challenges to living on a tiny island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay! Others work in the tourist trade, catering to the "strangers" who visit the Island, coming over from Reedville or Crisfield by ferry boat each day to sample the best crabcakes in the world and wonderful homemade corn pudding, Spoon bread and pound cake.
If you travel to Eastern Virginia, give us a call and let's go to Tangier....but we'll pack a bag and stay a few days at the Sunset Inn Bed and Breakfast...this is where Grace first served us those wonderful breakfast treats I call "Tangier Muffins". Little sausages wrapped in a biscuit or croissant pastry, dipped in cinnamon and sugar then baked! Yum....I make these so often and always think about those days on Tangier!
On Sunday, Yvonne came over on the boat to stay with Corey for a few days, so they came by for an evening supper with's always good to see them and spend a little time just chatting and letting the tide rise or fall!
It's been nice to remember the "Tangier" ways and to re-visit this place we love so much!


Jim and Dee said...

I would love to visit that island. Jim's family are shrimpers, so we know the way of the waterman is so different. Thanks for a great post and taking us with you to Tangier Island.

Leno said...

Sounds wonderful.. So glad Bob is back to feeling well again.

Joe and Sherri said...

I love the coast! My sister and BIL live on the coast and we love to go down and visit them. Have fun and stay safe

Chuck & Kathy said...

What a wonderful sounding place, thanks for a peek of it. Looking forward to seeing you at Nicks rally.

Chasingthe70s said...

Black as a Mercury?

Bob and Molly said...

Yes,'d you know???
Black as a Mercury, for certain! LOL

Melissa said...

I found your blog through Mark & Renita's - I really love this post! I would be very interested in republishing it as an article to my website. Please check it out:

Safe travels!