Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day everyone!  Remembering our Veterans and active servicemen and women around the World.  How blessed we are with our Freedom.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

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Sea shells painted in yard on Tangier Island, VA!

Photos from Tangier Island, VA

IMG_3114.JPGsign the following day in front of the free ice cream night give away!!

IMG_3100.jpgLining up for ice cream!

This boat below is called a Dead Rise.   It is the most common boat used by the watermen in this area.  They use them for crabbing, oyster and mussel harvesting and fishing   The watermen have these crab shanty’s out on each of their docks.  It is this man’s workplace where he harvests the soft shells crabs, and processes his other catches.  They get to these docks that are built out in the surrounding water areas by rowing or in smaller boats.

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This is a DEAD Dead Rise   photo by Hank

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The Chesapeake House where we had out late lunch/dinner and breakfast.

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photo by Janet     (my contribution to artistic looks about the Island)

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and lastly – life is just real slow here on Tangier !!!!

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Again – X2, crossing the Bay

Sunday, May 29, 2016

This blog will catch y’all up with where we are now.  I am still “messing” with the photos from Tangier Island but until I sort that out, this post is coming your way.

We have crossed the Chesapeake Bay 3 times now in the past several days.  When we left Crisfield, MD after the visit to Tangier Island, we went to Solomon’s Island at a marina called Spring Cove.  I had hoped to connect with long time friends Jack and Doris, who live nearby.  But, as luck would have it, they were returning from a visit to their daughter’s in Seattle.!!!   We have promised to meet when we get to Baltimore.

We rode our bikes to explore Solomon’s Island Sat. afternoon.   YIKES — what a crazy time that was.   There were weddings going on, people on bikes, motorcycles, cars, trucks, walking, meandering, lots of music and noise, body to body along the river area and park like setting, with so much congestion of vehicles and people.  We looked at each other and said – “let’s get out of here and back to the boat”!

The marina where we stayed as well as several surrounding us were all busy.  There must have been a 1,000 boats in the area.  We prefer the more laid back places than this.  BUT – they did serve a great hot dog at the bar!!

We connected with Tim and Melissa , on near Miss, from Atlanta. They are also doing the Great Loop.   We shared our first “docktails” with them and 2 others couples while in Georgetown, SC.

This morning we departed fairly early to avoid rain showers and thunderstorms predicted for this afternoon.   We arrived in Oxford, MD – (back across the Bay) shortly after Noon.  We are at Campbell’s Marina, on Bachelor’s Point.  This place is tucked into a small basin.  We rode our bikes into Oxford this afternoon.  LOVE this old old town.  It was settled in the 1600’s and I don’t know for sure, but I would bet that that guy, Captain John Smith was here too!!   🙂   The homes and yards are all neatly groomed and cared for, with many having these short white picket fences around at least their front yards.  (see photo below)  So far, this is the most picturesque town we have seen.

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typical house in Oxford, MD

This area is on the Choptank  and the Tred  Avon Rivers  We stopped at a small local market where the owner had just pulled out loaves of Portuguese bread from the oven, which he sells.  OH yeah — scooped up one of those babies in a heart beat!   Ms. Vickie, Hank can’t wait to have your jam on toast in the morning! –    YUM

Tomorrow we will visit St. Michael’s and where ever else we may wander.  If we can’t get a rental car because of the Holiday, we can take a Ferry from here.  Bad weather tomorrow, but hope to cruise – back across the Bay – AGAIN – on Tues. or Wed..  The trip gets shorter as the Bay narrows a the North end of it.   🙂

 

 

 

Tangier Island, VA

The Stephen Thomas ferry ride to Tangier from Crisfield, MD took 75 minutes.  When we arrived at Tangier Island we were met by Virginia who took us to the Chesapeake House where we booked a night’s stay at this B&B.  Lunch/dinner was served from 11:00 – 5:00PM with the last seating NO later than 5:00!   “No rush to check in, you can pay when you show up for your meal!”

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After settling in, we set off on foot to explore the Island.   I was not certain what to expect but here are some of the impressions that were made.  This is truly a waterman’s island.  The men of the Island make their living on the Bay.  They do what their fathers and grandfathers and ancestors before them have done, and that is harvesting crabs, clams and fish from the Chesapeake Bay.  They work out of boats that are called Dead Rise.  They have shallow drafts, are long and sleek, with a helm house near the bow and good working space all the way to the stern.  The rest of the Islanders are involved in tourism for the visitors, running small shops, a health clinic, and a K-12 school.

Captain John Smith came to this Island and it is said that he is the one who gave it its name!!   The Island is 5 miles long and 1/2 mile wide.  Approximately 300 people live on the island full time.  And like many isolated islands along our coastal areas, is declining in population as the young people go off for higher education and jobs.

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The language spoken is English, but it is heavily accented with a Cornish , from Cornwall, England, accent.  To my ears initially it had a touch of the Cockney accent, but it is softer and more melodic than that.   Thinking I might not be able to understand them, was pleasantly surprised that I did.  Everyone was very friendly and welcoming.

The streets are very narrow, but are paved.   The homes are mostly Victorian in style, and many are very old, dating back to the 1800’s.  Many white picket fences enclose the yards.  There is NO alcohol sold or tolerated on the Island.  There is one policeman, transportation is by walking, golf carts, bikes, and motorbikes.  There are a few autos, but mostly the residents get around on golf carts.  7 seiners are graduating from the high school this year.  One girl, who is the Valedictorian, and 6 boys.

We explored quite a number of graveyards.  Many more graves than what the present day population is.  Also of note were several graves in the front yards of the homes.  In early times that was to prevent grave robbers from digging up the graves as well as allowing the dead to be “close” to their loved ones still alive.

SMALL WORLD  —  For our late lunch yesterday at the Chesapeake House,  we sat with 4 guys who were on a sail boat.   GET THIS —-one guy is from Bluffton, SC, two from NJ some where, and the fourth guy is from Charleston, SC.   He is an emergency room doc and does some work at MUSC!!

AS luck would have it, we were there for FREE ICE CREAM night!   Every year for the past 5 years or so, the owner of this place gives away free ice cream to everyone who shows up on the night before he opens for the season.  There was also a drawing for gift certificates and t-shirts.  Lots of fun and the Salt Lick crew had not had any ice cream for a month.   What a treat!

lining up for ice cream

 

We spent today visiting the local museum and talking with more of the locals.  Lunch before boarding the ferry back to Crisfield was at Fisherman’s Cove.  Great crab bisque!!!

EDITING NOTE   It is very late and I am having difficulty loading the photos to go along with this blog…..will post this verbiage with pictures to follow tomorrow or when ever I get it done.   Good night all…….:)

 

 

Crossing the Bay

Wed., May 25, 2016

Yesterday we went to Jamestown and Yorktown, VA to continue our history lessons and tours.  Once Jamestown was established as the headquarters of government, Williamsburg fell into decline.  At historic Jamestown we learned more of the story of the early Colonists and their relationship with the Powhatan Indians.  This is where the tales of Pocahontas, the daughter of the Chief of the Powhatans  and Captain Smith are brought forth.  History is not very clear about their relationship, but most commonly told is that Pocahontas saved the Captain from death while he was held captive by the Powhatan Indian tribe.

Their times and lives were very difficult and even with additional peoples being sent from England, the death rates were very high among the early settlers.  Mostly from starvation.

We learned that Pocahontas married an Englishman and they, along with their infant son, sailed to England to promote the new colonies.  But while there, Pocahontas fell ill and died.  She is buried at Gravesend, England.

Yorktown is a quaint small town right on the York River.  In retrospect, we should have stayed at Wormley Creek, as it was “right” there…………but we didn’t realize it.   OH -well.  While walking around Yorktown we visited a small Waterman’s museum.  A couple of interesting ladies in the museum were fun to chat with.   Afterwards we found a waterside restaurant where we indulged in local oysters out of Monday Creek.  IMG_2040.JPG

These oyster shells are very beautiful with delicate scolloped edges.  I took one which I hope to send off to England for a program honoring Pocahontas this coming June.  I think she needs an oyster shell from her home waters to be put on her grave.!!!!!

Today – Wed. – was a boat traveling day.  We cruised across the Chesapeake Bay from Fishing Bay, past Tangier Island to Crisfield, MD.  Adios to Virginia and hello Maryland.  The day was warm, finally, sunny, and the seas were flat.   GREAT crossing.  About the only exciting thing we saw were a fleet of about 4-5 menhaden fishing boats and a couple of barges.

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Tomorrow we are booked on a ferry boat to go to Tangier Island.  There is limited docking space at this island, so that is why we are taking the ferry.    Will spend the night in the famous “Hilda Crockett’s B & B and restaurant”.  A few years ago, Hank met one of the grandsons while on an airplane.  Thus, making this ONE of the reasons to visit Tangier Island!!

May 23, 2016 Land trip

Enterprise Rental car was obtained today and we went off exploring historic Williamsburg, VA.  We were experiencing “cabin/boat” fever after being on the boat for two and 1/2 days watching the rains.

The driver from Enterprise who came to pick us up was named James Waller.  He is a descendant of a male slave and a female Native American from the Mattaponi tribe.  His great, great, great Grandfather escaped from a plantation in NC and arrived in this area of the Chesapeake, close to Gloucester, VA.  He was one of the Buffalo Soldiers fighting in Texas during the Civil War.  James Waller was a  very interesting man who not only enlisted in the Army, but after that,  he met a guy in the Navy who told him he could see the World from a ship — so he then joined the Navy.   With a deep belly laugh, he told us he was NEVER on a ship and was placed on land in a ship building area.  He has raised 8 children, 6 girls and 2 boys.  All are grown now and doing well.   While touring around historic Williamsburg we came across this street sign.  I think this family name is pretty important!

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A person could spend several days visiting the various exhibits, buildings, museums, “living” workshops, etc. that are a part of this American treasure.  I will admit that the physical place itself is a lot larger than I had thought it would be, covering many acres.

We had lunch in one of the old taverns, The King’s Arms,  where we enjoyed chicken pot pies served in old pewter dishes.  A lady in costume walked thru the dining room playing old songs of the era on a recorder       ( AND NO – I did not burst out in song!)

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We saw the Capitol building of Virginia where much of the language we now have in our Constitution was “birthed”.  The docent was excellent.

Below is the Capital building clock and a photo of the docent in the government meeting rooms.

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We also toured a silver smith shop, the blacksmith shop, the jail, the local Williamsburg village court house and saw the sign for the shoemaker!!

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Love these rain soaked sheep!

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Hank was arrested for drunkenness and I was arrested for not attending church services.   Tough rules to live by!

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Tomorrow, while we await the arrival of  a part for the wifi booster, we will visit Yorktown.   Wed. should bring good weather for us to  leave Fishing Bay Marina , Deltaville, VA and cross over to the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay — providing our legal beagle can get us out of these stockades!!!

 

 

BIG rain day – again

Sat., May 21, 2016 —–  blogging from Deltaville, VA.

Initial plans were to depart the Norfolk area on Wed. but due to bad weather we did not.  Thursday we did cruise about 45 miles out into the Chesapeake Bay and up the York River near Yorktown.  A cold and windy day with seas about 3 feet.  We made our way into this extremely narrow creek with not much depth to a place called Wormley Creek Mariina.  We made a slight error in navigating and “bumped” the bottom.   NO damage and no one had to be called to the rescue.

As Hank was in the marina office checking us in, I began the wash down of the boat with fresh water.  HOLY MOLY — I saw steam coming out of the pulpit area where our 50 amp power cord was plugged in!    RACE to shut of power inside the boat, then out onto the dock to the power box to shut off the breaker and then unplug the large power cable.   Back onto the boat to investigate engine room, crawl up past the bed to check the anchor locker area,as that was what was near it, and eyeballs and nose sniffing around like a mad dog!!   NO smell of burning smoke…..thankfully, but the power cable was hot to touch as well as the power plate area where the fuses are located and the actual connection.  By this time Hank is back on board wondering what the heck is going on.   SO — to make a long story short,,,,,,,, we discovered , due to poor design of the power connection area at the bow of the boat, that there was water trapped back behind this cover plate that was actually boiling and causing the steam.

The whole afternoon was spent taking everything apart, cleaning, drying, drilling weep holes to prevent this in the future, and then resealing the cover plate.   DRUM ROLL — reconnect to shore power, flip the switch!!!!!    YAY —- all is well.   Then we checked it like a new born baby every 15 minutes to make sure it stayed that way.   🙂   🙂

Alas, side trip to visit Williamsburg and Yorktown were not in the picture.   😦

Yesterday, Friday, we traveled about 36 miles Northward to Deltaville, VA.   We had a beautiful day yesterday – sunny but very cold.  Piloting the boat from the inside instead of from the fly bridge due to the cold.  We are on the Piankatank River at Fishing Bay Marina. Fishing Bay, according the the nautical charts is just north of Godfrey Bay.   This area is well protected and somewhat remote, but very pretty.

WE re-provisioned late yesterday afternoon.  Today is catch up day for business, boat cleaning, and hopefully laundry.   It is pouring down rain and may be like this all day.   I don’t even want to get off the boat to trudge up to the laundry facility.   😦

Friday Date night I spent with pirate Buc.  Hank had crashed early.   We both like his company and he agrees with everything we say.!

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Of interest, the former Presidential yacht,  Sequoia, is under wraps here at the marina and up on the hard.  It is reported that the raccoons have taken it over and are due to be removed within a few days.  History of this yacht states that when Winston Churchill came to visit the USA, President Roosevelt had this Navy vessel at that time, de-commissioned, so that Mr. Churchill could “imbibe” at will while here in the States.  Then after he left, the yacht was re-commissioned back into the Navy and government service.

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Some of the many Navy ships that we cruised by on our way out of Norfolk.

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