Our memories of Tangier

This trip to Tangier was a photographer’s dream but this scrapbooker also wanted our memories captured.  I will enjoy some of these scenic shots (that I’ve posted previously) by enlarging and hanging on our walls but I had to capture these moments in time with my beloved Ray too.  These photos will make us laugh and reminisce as we look at our yearly Project Life digital scrapbooks.

Our first day on the beach - the lens hood made a vignette

Our first day on the beach – the lens hood made a vignette

That hat - us in the golf cart

That hat – us in the golf cart

Ray on Rayville Dr.

Ray on Rayville Lane

He wanted fried oysters

He wanted fried oysters

Circa 1800's  - he looks like a Quaker and I am his lady in a long gown of the era - NOT REALLY

Circa 1800’s – he looks like a Quaker and I am his lady in a long gown of the era – NOT REALLY

 

 

Waiting for the sunset on a raised deck at the Bay View Inn

Waiting for the sunset on a raised deck at the Bay View Inn

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Eating crab bites – I say they should be called crab balls – he ate 5 of them. Makes me think of Chevy Chase in Funny Farm eating the mountain oysters!

Waiting on the sun rise - he's such a good sport

Waiting on the sun rise – he’s such a good sport

Is this shutter release working? A man with a remote.  At sunrise

Is this shutter release working? A man with a remote. At sunrise

I love this dreamy light and I will keep this shot of me and him even though I'm without makeup

I love this dreamy light and I will keep this shot of me and him even though I’m without makeup

The shadow couple again - he says I have a burqa - I say a veil

The shadow couple again – he says I have a burqa – I say a veil

It's shutter remote time but I love this image

It’s shutter remote time again but I love this image

Hide the remote

Hide the remote

Love our live together!

Love our life together!

Humanity

Over a week ago, I traveled 107 miles by land and 15.5 miles by passenger ferry to Tangier Island, Virginia.  This small island located in the upper Chesapeake Bay enchanted me with a glimpse of a simpler life.  But that being said, simple is subjective. There is no rush hour on Tangier since there may be only 20 cars on this diminutive piece of land yet you might have to pull your golf cart over to let the person cross the bridge and pass you.  But these islanders have to depend on Mother Nature for gentle weather to harvest crabs and oysters from the bay as well as the capriciousness of tourists.

As I talked with many of the locals and listened to their delightful “old English” accent, I was able to understand that they appreciate their history and the uniqueness of their lives.  It was only 122 miles from where I live but it was vastly different from what I consider “normal” and I thought that was quite wonderful.

I was inspired to write this post by The Daily Post – Humanity

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Feline Friday

I really wanted this week’s post to be all about Bud.  Poor Bud seems to not be the star of the blog as much lately.  Could it be because Max is so little and everything he does is so cute?

Both fur-boys still have grooming time together.  Big brother’s tail is the most popular toy for Max. Poor Bud.  Max seems so energetic compared to Bud’s lumbering around. Big brother will watch his little sibling’s antics and sometimes he will pounce on him to calm the little mess down.

Max has 2 speeds – “crazy” and “sweet” – I give you a glimpse of “crazy” – video

I will try to get more of Bud for next week.  I promise Bud!

Tangier Golden Hour

I’ve heard about this mystical light for years from photography websites.  The definition of the golden hour is the half hour before and after a sunrise or sunset.  I’ve never been inspired enough to go out and capture it until last Friday.

I woke up without an alarm around 5:15 and peeked out of the window.  Of course, my moving around woke Ray up too.  As soon as I glimpsed the view from our cabin window, I knew.  We had to go out even though I had assured Ray the night before that I wouldn’t possibly want to do the sunrise.  Ha, the joke was on me.

We scrambled to get our clothes on and my camera gear.  We hustled to our golf cart and broke the quiet of the dawn.  It was exhilarating to feel like we were the only souls awake on that island.  That was just an illusion but an enjoyable one.  The temperature was just right, not too cool or humid.

At first, I wanted the big tree at the cemetery facing east.  But that was a bust.  So we went to the marina.  Oh my.  I felt this humming in my soul as I set up my camera on the tripod.  I prayed I would have the settings right to catch the magic that was before me.

So I give you my golden hour on Tangier Island -

From our cabin porch

From our cabin porch

The water tower became a major focal point instead of an eyesore

The water tower became a major focal point instead of an eyesore

We were not the only ones awake!

We were not the only ones awake!

One of my favorites overall

One of my favorites overall

What can I say

What can I say

The early crabber gets the crabs (oops)

The early crabber gets the crabs (oops)

Good morning Sun

Good morning Sun

Sigh

Sigh

A moment of silence

A moment of silence

Tangier Island Life Captured

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Everywhere I looked was a postcard in the making.  I could describe this little slice of land as quaint, charming.  But I imagine it’s harder to live there year round but has it’s obvious rewards.  You know your neighbors, it is safe for the kids to play on the streets and yet people are dependent on the bay for their livelihood.  I imagine them as squirrels stocking up for the winter with only duck hunters as the only probable tourists, oysters for their winter “crop” and mother nature blowing all around.

But looking back at these photos it’s hard to imagine that life is hard there.

My Tangier Island experience

Tangier Island is a photographer’s dream!

We arrived by passenger ferry from the northern neck region in Reedville, Virginia which took us 2 hours and 15 minutes of drive time and the ferry ride was about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  There is another ferry from a Maryland city.  Tangier also has a mail boat that the locals can also use to get back and forth to the main land in Maryland.

I deliberately didn’t look at any web photos of this tiny island in the Chesapeake Bay.  This was an experience I wanted for myself and it wasn’t exactly what I imagined but it was more.  It was more charming, more picturesque, more real, more peaceful, more fun than I imagined!

The narrow streets were perfect for golf carts which is the vehicle of choice for most.  There were bicycles, scooters and even some cars and trucks.  The homes and businesses were crowded together in a haphazard sort of way.  The most shocking thing to my eye was that there were graves in people’s yards!  There were several cemeteries next to the few churches on the island but those in people’s yards was obviously necessary since space is at a premium.

The island is 5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide (approximately).  There are marshes everywhere and it’s so scenic with boats here and there.  The only negative about this place is the bugs.  Where there are marshes there will be mosquitos and gnats.  The little buggers were very thirsty and took a lot of unasked for donations from Ray and myself.  We did kill many a vicious mosquito though so if you are a PETA extremist – get over yourself.

The Reedville ferry drops people off at 11:30 am and leaves again at 2:30 pm.  Three hours wasn’t enough in my mind so we booked a room at The Bayview Inn.  The innkeepers were very nice and served an amazing made-to-order breakfast that was so very delish and included in the rate.  Ray and I agreed that the price of the room was not reflected in the ambiance/decor but it was clean and the bed was comfortable.  It is not a 5 star establishment but it was worth every penny for 24+ hour access to the beauty of Tangier.

The Tangier Islanders do speak with a lilting inflection that is from their Cornwall, England origins.  It was not hard to understand once you listened for a while.  Did I think they were from England?  No.  But it was different for this region and it was charming as well.  Work on the island revolves around the watermen and tourism.  Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are the prime item on the menu cooked many different ways.  Soft shell crabs are Tangier watermen’s biggest ticket.

The island doesn’t have a bank or a jail and it’s a dry island so that might explain why they don’t have a jail, ha ha.  We only saw a policeman right before we left yesterday.  They do have a fire station and rescue squad along with a newer medical facility but it isn’t a hospital.  The new school is a K thru 12 and is easily the largest building on the island.  The nearby church is the tallest building with its steeple.

I am so glad that we were able to experience the Tangier way of living for a short time.  Watching kids play on the swingset at the school, ride their bikes or the older kids in boats on the marshes made Ray and I realize how innocent life is there.

My mind was blown by the fact that they are so isolated from the world.  There is no easy access to shopping other than a small general store.  Sometimes they don’t have milk or bread for a few days between grocery runs to the mainland.  There is no Walmart, Target or a convenience store anywhere!  The innkeeper shared that this last winter was so harsh that an ice-cutter had to come to clear a path for the mail ferry to run otherwise no groceries could be brought in.

Brenda asked if anyone commutes to the mainland for work.  I don’t believe so.  It’s $40 round trip per person.  The innkeeper said sometimes they had to stay overnight to complete their shopping or medical trips to the mainland.

Our cell phones didn’t have a signal the entire time we were off the mainland.  It was nice being unplugged from the world for a while. It was the most relaxing 24 hours I can remember experiencing.

The beautiful Bay from inside the air conditioned ferry:)

The beautiful Bay from inside the air conditioned ferry:)

First glimpse of the island

First glimpse of the island

Destination Tangier Island, baby!

Destination Tangier Island, baby!

They are proud of their crabs!

They are proud of their crabs!

This made me laugh

This made me laugh

Golf carts are obviously treasured here

Golf carts are obviously treasured here

One of three restaurants on island. More on this later.

One of three restaurants on island. More on this later.

The tallest building thanks to it's steeple.

The tallest building thanks to it’s steeple.

Posted outside of the church

Posted outside of the church – there is a lot of history on this island!

This house would have to be mine!

This house would have to be mine!  It’s being renovated from damage made by “Super-storm Sandy”

Sigh.  But then slap the mosquitos!

Sigh. But then slap the mosquitos!

One of several large cemeteries next to a church.

One of several large cemeteries next to a church.

Island charm

Island charm

This one was for sale - need to look up Tangier real estate prices!

This one was for sale – need to look up Tangier real estate prices!

The Tangier Island post office

The Tangier Island post office

I have over 500 photos to cull down.  Many of these shots posted were taken yesterday in the harsh noon sun.  But I have captured some beauties that I will post this week. For now I’m getting my landlubber legs back.