Chesapeake Bay – Crisfield / Tangier Island, VA / Solomons Is., MD
Today was the highlight of the whole cruise for my personal bucket list, Tangier Island. A place, few people visit, few people have heard of and an island that is light years away from the hussle and bussle of our usual towns and cities.
Day started fun enough with Kite Flying. Not as easy as it looks. We were given quite high tech kites, nothing like the ones I flew when I was a kid. I was the most successful and, as it was a kick, all us adults playing kids. This was not kids play with the winds off the bay.
Lecture in the lounge from Lori Gross about “Ospreys and Crabs”. I came thinking I would stay five minutes as birds and crabs are not my thing. But, stayed for the whole thing and really enjoyed the education. When you come into the room knowing nothing about the subject, I had no where to go but up. Great job Lori, who I learned is on this cruise for the first time and doing a great job; everyone loves her.
We are landing in Crisfield, MD, the “Crab Capital of the World”, and taking a ferry to Tangier Island, the “Soft Crab Capital of the World.” Who knows how they come up with these designations but I now know more about crabs and how they slide out of their shell around 27 times in their short life and are for a few days each time “soft shelled”. And how Maryland will not eat female crabs but Virginia will … or maybe it is the other way around. Quite an education.
Again we had many options, I signed up for the box lunch, the ferry ride and a golf cart tour once on Tangier Island. I am not sure how to describe Tangier Island other than to say it did not dissapoint my excitment of visitng. It is unique, all 475 residents live on the island with one tiny grocery store, no bank, one school, no alcohol is allowed to be sold, one policeman, no real roads, golf carts, no traffic light, no Starbucks.
Tangier Island Main Street by the only transportation on the island; a golf cart. Credit: Doug Jones
What does it have? A history going back hundreds of years, with residents still speaking an English dialect that is charming when they speak to you. When they speak to each other you can’t understand a word. They have no crime, everyone knows each other, no summer only residents, they all live there full time. Their livihood is crab fishing and it looks like every male on the island is involved. Google Tangier Island and read more than I can explain. It is a way of life, unique to anything I have ever experienced. Really worth the visit. Thank you American Spirit, I don’t know any other cruise line that goes there.
Great meals again, a fun speaker after dinner, fresh shucked oysters served with evening cocktails. Another fun in the sun day. We are still docked in Crisfield as I write this and will be leaving during the night on our way to our next port.