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
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 golfcart...no 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.
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.
YUM... Fried Soft Shell Crabs!!
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.