Tangier Island, VA

May 3, 2011

Houses beyond the island marsh.

Tangier Island. A quiet place, removed from the hustle and bustle of the world. Imagine a New England fishing town taken from the shore and plopped down on its own little island, left to its own for decades. The people are all very friendly and glad to have you. The inlet is littered with docks, crab traps stacked on shore, and small motor powered crabbing boats. The houses are almost all whitewashed, a few handfuls of paper homes all placed along narrow paved roads. There are but a few trucks on the island. On a cool spring evening, the small streets are buzzing with golf carts, teens and children on bicycles, and those out for an after dinner stroll. Everyone here knows everyone else on the island, so do not be surprised if the town’s people give you a taken aback stare before saying hello. There are a few small restaurants and gift shops on the island, but the shops are only open in the summer for the short tourist season. Signs all around the island give insight into the island’s history. My favorite was the large purple painted house that was apparently imported from Dublin for a Tangier resident.

We pulled into Parks Marina for the evening. Mr. Parks is eager to talk with travelers. He and Gary hit it off beautifully. We were not the only travelors to find safe harbor at the Parks residence. Mr. Parks is kind enough to feed the stray cats on the island. Among all the feline visitors walks Mr. Parks’ big old dog (whom Kris and I lovingly dubbed the “Dingy Dog”). He keeps watch over the dock, and greets you with a slow tail wag. Bathrooms are provided in the dock house for your convenience. It’s a slow paced, sleepy place to be, and it suited us just fine for the evening. Tomorrow we are off on my last leg of the trip, up the Chesapeake further to Annapolis, MD.