Monday, October 4, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010 – Tangier Island, Virginia

 After breakfast we visited with our neighbors and had a tour of their boat, Me’ Nou. It was a 35-foot Island Cat made by Island Packet and was about 15 years old. It was very spacious with two queen size berths forward, a nice galley and salon area and another room used for storage. It was built for heavy seas and had, in fact, survived two hurricanes.

By 9 am, we were off once again – this time heading south 12 miles for Tangier Island – another remote watermen’s village where we arrived around noon. Tangier Island, a third the size of Smith Island, is a much more bustling place with twice the number of permanent residents. The local accent is thick and sometimes even difficult to decipher. The people, however, are very friendly and welcome visitors. There are some cars on the island, but most people make their way by foot, bicycle or in golf carts.
Our friends, Todd and Brenda Lanning of Life’s 2 Short, left the town of Crisfield this morning which is about 10 miles northeast of Tangier Island to meet us and arrived mid afternoon. After they were secure and settled in, we took a walk into town. We found a nice little community and noted that the folks there had done a good job catering to the tourists. The homes and yards were in much better repair compared to those on Smith Island. There were several restaurants, shops and bed and breakfast places. It was still a very small place – the island is only about two miles long and has two main roads, Main Ridge and West Ridge, that run north-south, and between them is a “gut” with several bridges that connect the roadways.

On our walkabout, we saw many yards with family burial plots. In some places you are still permitted under law to bury family members in your yard. With such a limited amount of land on Tangiers ridge it became a necessity to bury family members close to each other and directly adjacent to the home. They put the cement slabs over the top of the burial site so that in the floods, the bodies would not dislodge and float about. Hmmm . . . sounds like a horror movie in the making!
Back at the dock, the four of us enjoyed a cocktail on the bow of Blue Heron and then decided to pool our resources and gather up various snacks to enjoy aboard Life’s 2 Short. We played “Catch Phrase” and “Think While You Drink” – with lots of laughter and too many drinks!

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