July 12, 2019
Sailors tell you to never sail on a schedule (although we all do), because the weather rarely cooperates. As was the case when we took our friend Brent on a weekend sail from the Northern Neck of Virginia over to Tangier Island.
He was in for a salty ride as we beat the whole 25 miles there. Truly, he received the full authentic sailing experience, complete with running aground as the dock master shoehorned our boat into a too-shallow slip. I think it took us twenty minutes just to make it the last six feet to the dock.
Once on Tangier Island, we explored this little fishing village that has been slowly sinking into the Chesapeake for the past hundred years.
Arriving after all the tour boats have left provided us a very intimate, albeit a little eerie view of life on the island. Since it was the end of the day, the dock master offered me a tour of the island. The boys walked about while I zoomed around the island with Mr. Parks, a well-known name in the Chesapeake history. He had been in the crabbing and oyster industry for sixty years before he retired to become a dock master. Mr. Parks shared with me how over half of the landmass had disappeared in his lifetime, as the Chesapeake has slowly claimed the island. He pointed out to where a British fort from the War of 1812 lay, now sunk under the water. Roughly 400 residents live on this island now, down from over 1200 when Mr. Parks was a kid. Three students were set to graduate this year from their high school.
Tangier Island is such a unique place, slowly eroded by time.
July 13, 2019
The three of us took another stroll around the island, waiting for high tide to leave.
Very cautious of the tide, we shoved off the dock at exactly high tide to ensure we didn’t hit ground again, and it was smooth sailing away from the island. That is, until we snagged a crab pot a couple miles offshore. As I said, Brent received a truly authentic sailing adventure.
July 17, 2019
We left the boat at a marina in Virginia and caught a ride north to Maryland to visit family and friends.
Today we visited Eric’s grandmother in Pennsylvania, picked up her old Grand Marquis, and started driving to Connecticut. We’re on our way to Betsy & Harrison’s wedding!
July 19, 2019
Today we helped set up the wedding venue, a grassy field and shaded grove next to the creek. Eric and I helped pick fresh blueberries from Harrison’s family property to be put on the wedding cake. They were delicious.
July 20, 2019
I regret that I didn’t snap any photos today, but I had a ton of fun at Betsy and Harrison’s wedding!
It was an early ceremony and reception to beat the worst of the heat. Once the reception disbanded a handful of us jumped into the Grand Marquis and drove to a watering hole for a dip in the refreshing creek. Then we moseyed back to the big tent and set up for an after party, where we danced to music, played yard games, and roasted marshmallows all night.
July 21, 2019
Before we left Connecticut Eric and I made an obligatory stop with Betsy and Harrison to visit an old graveyard and enjoy some ice cream.
I find reading old tombstones to be entertaining, and here’s a poem from one of my favorites:
Behold my friends as
you pass by
As you are now so
Once was I
As I am now so you
Prepare for death and
I think it’s healthy to reflect on our own mortality from time to time.
Here’s the words above:
Were I so tall to reach
Or grasp the Ocean with
I must be measured by
The mind’s the Standard
of the man.
Sunset on the road, a bit different than when we’re on the water.
July 25, 2019
My mom is the reason I enjoy understanding the history of the places I travel to, and so we planned a day trip to Historic St. Mary’s City.
It was pretty neat! For a moment in time this place had been the capital of Maryland, and although it’s settlement was short lived, the principles upon which it was founded resonated throughout time and helped shape our Constitution.
Lord Baltimore, a strong proponent for the separation of Church and State, fought for the right to practice Catholicism in the Colonies when they were persecuted. He insisted that the Church be built at the complete opposite side of town from the government building, in an era when both buildings were normally located next to each other. This symbolic gesture had huge implications.
When you wandered into the town shop they shared items that were sold during the time, from staples to decorative items such as this glass.
We enjoyed seafood for dinner!