Manokin River Afternoon

Pete guides Obadiah downwind 


From Teague Creek to Wolftrap Creek is a distance of less than 4 miles, but it’s a fun 4 miles. By the end of lunch break the wind has picked up. Herds of white caps are galloping upriver. The wind and the tide are not yet at odds, so instead of choppy and bucking it’s a smooth gallop.


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Manokin River ~ Janes Island to Teague Creek

Doug in his Cornish Shrimper Tidings 


Forecasts call for clearing skies and tempering wind overnight. But back at camp the rain has not yet dissipated. In the evening, in the Executive Conference Room, there is some disagreement regarding the direction the company should take in the morning. The destination is not disputed  – the Manokin River – just how best to get there. Wind will be out of the North, dead on the nose.

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Leaving Tangier on Shannon Kay III

leaving Tangier aboard the Shannon Kay III

direct Youtube link


By mid-afternoon we need to work our way back to the docks. We pass the house owned by the retired guy on the mailboat. It’s surrounded by ankle deep water and tall reeds waving in the wind. This corner of the island is lower. I remember even 40 years ago the streets here flooded at high tide, and yards carved from a sea of reeds.





another Tangier mirror found



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Tangier Island Mirrored

Two images, taken eleven years apart


As we walked the island I kept having flashbacks to previous trips – things half remembered, familiar in some way. It wasn’t until I got back, though, and started going through the photos, that I realized I had photographed many of the same views taken before – some of them almost exactly – but eleven years apart. We even walked a similar clockwise route around the island.

Makes me wonder, if I could find photos from that first trip back in the 1970′s, how similar those old photos would be. How little has changed. The same boats, hauled up in the marsh, still decomposing decades later.












Tangier Promenade ~ Chesapeake Float 2015

Mailboat Harbor, Tangier 


Around the corner from the ferry dock is Lorraines’s, the only place on Tangier Island, we’re told, open for lunch today. It is closed. This according to Lorraine, who is sweeping the steps. Tonight is the Senior Prom, and the Prom Dinner is at Lorraine’s, so they’ve closed to decorate and make preparations.

She says, however, there is one table of four that has not been pulled into the banquet table and decorated, and she can set that for five. As long as we only want crab cakes she will serve us lunch.

Crab cakes it is.

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Tangier Island Homecoming ~ Chesapeake Float 2015

video: Mailboat entering Mailboat Harbor on Tangier Island

direct Youtube link 


Two other times I’ve been to Tangier. Once as a boy of 12, my grandparents took us – me, my brother and sister – on the ferry from Reedville, Virginia, just up the road from where they lived, where I spent summers. Thirty years later, when my own daughters were the same age, I took them over on the same ferry. Ten years later still, on the mailboat from Crisfield, will be the third time. What’s most surprising is not how much has changed in all that time, but how very, very little.




Our group meets for breakfast down by the town dock at the Waterside Cafe. (It’s good hearty food, with omelettes that cover a dinner plate and endless coffee.) From there the we split and parts ways. Some head back to the campsite to sleep and read through the rainy day; others drive south to scout the lower peninsula; five of us wait on the dock to board a boat for Tangier.

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