31 July 2013 Dozier's Yachting Center - Glebe Creek, VA, - St. Inigoes, VA, - St. Mary's, MD, - Corinthian Yacht Club, MD, - Olverson's Marina, Calleo, VA

Before I begin this saga, I think I forgot to tell you that when we pulled into Hampton, there was a charter fishing boat in the next slip.  The captain asked if we liked crabs. Our crab-picking experience is less than basic at best so I thought we would enjoy them.  He gave us 24 big ol' crabs and we spent 2 hours picking and eating till there wasn't a thing left except a big mess.  That's really and outdoor "sport" but we were inside so the vacuum sorta of cleaned up our mess.  We hadn't even connected our power when he offered them to us.  Again, total strangers who'd just arrived!  Tried to pay him but he refused.  We did leave him a tip just to show our gratitude.  They were mouth-watering but we'd never win a picking contest.

Our cruise from Dozier's Yachting Center out into the Chesapeake, up the Potomac, and into the Coan Rivers to Glebe Creek was a most pleasant trip.  Our friends, Bill and Rosemary, have a delightful "Rivah House" that is a treasure.  We had a magical visit with them.  Time flies so fast and we didn't realize that it had been a year and a half since we'd seen each other so we had so much catching up to do.  The weekend slipped past and before we were ready, it was time for them to return home to Richmond.

Bill and Rosemary's dock
Freddie, a friend who owns a marina a stone's throw from there, brought us a car to use.  He and his wife Cas are two of the finest people we know and haven't a selfish bone in their bodies!  The car came in so handy because this is a quiet cove entry with no one across from the dock---just a rookery of Great Blue Herons, and no "humanity" near by. Good fortune smiled upon us and new owners of the house next door to them are Russ and Wendy, a couple we met several years ago in Cambridge at a Grand Banks Owners rendezvous.
Reedville, VA's, restored smoke stack from one of the early menhaden processing plants.

We've always wanted to visit Tangier Island so we drove Freddie's car to Reedville and took the Chesapeake Breeze, a fast ferry (90 minute trip) from Reedville to Tangier Island, VA,nestled on the Chesapeake Bay 12 miles from the Eastern Shore. What a step back in time---maybe into the 50's.  There are no vehicles on the 1.3 mile wide island--only bikes and golf carts. Generations have lived here and some have never seen anything beyond their island.  Among the island's 700 residents, the most found surnames are Crockett, Parks, Pruitt, and Thomas. It isn't uncommon to find graves in front yards.  Regardless of their location, they're very close together for lack of space.

To quote from their website, life on the Chesapeake Bay, according to  Tangier Island waterman, "Is not an easy way of life.  In fact, it is a true labor of love.  Commericial fishing and crabbing for the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab is physical and demanding but it is the love for the Chesapeake Bay, its wildlife, and its beauty that makes it worth all the aches and pains we live with each day."
Tangier Island as seen on our approach by ferry

Tangier residents speak with an Elizabethan accent as this video demonstrates.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIZgw09CG9E  

Tangier Islanders take pride in their Chesapeake Bay heritage and have maintained a very simple way of life---simple as in basic and NOT easy.   On the other hand, lifestyles of Tangier Island are diminishing due to the waterman of the Chesapeake Bay struggling today to keep alive as they work the waters. The island erodes by 9 acres annually. 
Crab traps are very colorful
On the ferry trip back to Reedville, the captain pointed out many Osprey nests and the adults teaching the babies to fly.  We saw a parent with 2 little ones on another piling but guess this poor guy was left behind for remediation.

Our captain also took a small detour so that we could get a better look at the Menhaden fisherman.  The larger boat launches a smaller boat (although still quite large) and when the helicopter flying overhead spots a school swimming near the surface, the two boats separate, spreading a seine or net to catch the small silver fish.  They are very high in Omega 3 fatty acids so are unfit for human consumption due to their small size and very high oil content.  They're ground into meal and oil to be used in pet foods, livestock and aquaculture feeds, and other industrial products.  Approximately 300,000 to 400,000 metric tons are harvested annually. When the nets are pulled in between the two boats, they're "vacuumed" into a chute into the larger boat.

This looks like back-breaking work and those guys look as strong as an ox with wonderful upper body definition.  :-)

We'd planned to leave on Monday morning...which became Tuesday...Wednesday, etc.  We were there almost a week and had to make haste to free up their dock because they were returning on Thursday.  
I discovered a 6 mile (exactly!) country road for walking and Peter Cottontail came out to have a look-see.

St. Mary's College, St. Mary's City, VA, has an outdoor concert each week and their final one was approaching so we cruised there and spent a delightful evening.  The maestro is the head of the college of music but the rest of the orchestra were also all professional musicians.  It was definitely a first class performance.

This 130' Westport yacht docked perpendicular to us and they were there to present a sizable contribution to the orchestra.  A sextet came aboard this mighty vessel to play on their aft deck prior to the concert which was a nice fortuity for us.
The next morning as we sipped our coffee on the fly bridge, this scull stealthily skimmed past.

Our next port was Corinthian Yacht Club to rendezvous with trawler friends who are part of the Chesapeake Bay Cruisers.  Steeped in history, this icon is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.  The people there fell all over themselves exuding hospitality.  It enjoyed two great nights there.  I fortunately found some safe roads for my 6 mile trek--it surely would be safe--we were in Ridge, MD, so even on week days, I don't think I would've had to risk jumping in the ditch.  

I spied this sign so turned down a dirt road with nothing in sight and hoping for a good outcome.  I came upon a very old home and carriage house turned into a B&B.  I saw no vineyards but apparently there are some there.  The brand of their wine is Slack which wouldn't have been my choice of a name.  Each Sunday afternoon they provide live music and a wine tasting.

With our trawler friends, we shared a scrumptious meal in the clubhouse that evening with a grill-your-own-meat and bring a side dinner.  We sat out a dramatic electrical storm after dinner then we all headed for home.

This area of VA is called the Northern Neck which is bounded by the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.  George Washington called the Northern Neck, "The Garden of Virginia". This is a rural history-laden peninsula settled by the English in the mid-17th century.  Captain John Smith, the first tourist,  explored this area around 1608. 

15 boats cruised to Lodge Creek Yacht Club/Olverson's Marina, from the Corinthian.  This is the marina of Freddie and Cas and everybody loves them.  When we got in our slip I felt myself heave a big sigh because it feels just like coming home.  We spent 3 nights at play with our trawler friends but today they moved south.  We intend to head north tomorrow with Washington, DC, in our cross-hairs.

Here at Olverson's, every afternoon boaters gather in rockers beneath the lazy circling ceiling fans in the place dubbed Liar's Corner.  Tales are told and laughter is riotous.  We never know who'll appear--a visiting yacht club with new people to meet or friends who live nearby that we've known for years and they drop in to spin a yarn.

After our buddies departed one by one this morning, Bill went for a run and I took advantage of the pool here.  It was so quiet--just the sound of the water and the barn swallows swooping and chirping overhead.  We're loving this solitude but very soon we'll be in the midst of Washington and we love hubbub, too.

Bill and Laura
Aboard Kindred Spirit III
Olverson's Marina
Calleo, VA


Popular posts from this blog

28 February 2017 Odessa, TX, - Carlsbad, NM, - Tucson, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, AZ

December 2016 Wildwood - Ocala - Orlando - Tops'l Preserve - Ft. Picken's, FL - Daphne, AL - Biloxi, MS - Alexandria, Shreveport, LA - Longview - Lewisville - Dallas, TX

Austin - San Marcus - Denton - Grapevine - Fredericksburg - San Antonio - Terlinguas - Big Bend State and National Parks - Alpine - Fort Davis - Odessa