browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Great Dismal Swamp, Naval City, and a Broad Bay

Posted by on May 24, 2012
Behind again, this time because our last stop – Tangier Island, Virginia – had no internet or cell phone coverage (we think they like it that way).
Since our last posting on May 13th we’ve travelled about 250 miles and experienced a wide variety of different ┬áplaces. The broad expanses of Abermarle Sound were exchanged for the narrow confines of the Dismal Swamp, and the bright lights and big city atmosphere of Portsmouth (Norfolk) were followed by the quiet days we spent on relatively isolated Tangier Island.
Chesapeake Bay is very big, being over 200 miles long with thousands of miles of shoreline created by extensive rivers and creeks that drain much of the eastern United States. Strong winds out of the north delayed us in Portsmouth for a few extra days, but this was not an inconvenience as there was much to do. While there we visited the Chrysler Art Museum (they have an extensive collection of blown and stained glass, including many priceless Tiffany examples), saw a glass blowing exhibition, and had a great meal at an old restored tavern during our visit to Colonial Williamsburg.

We especially enjoyed our visit to Tangier Island. Its original inhabitants have their roots in Elizabethan times, and even the accents of the current residents have ‘olde English’ influences. The island, which at its highest point might be a few feet above sea level, has for hundreds of years survived off the bounty of the local waters (principally soft shelled crab, for which the Chesapeake region is renowned). The common term used for these folk is ‘watermen’, which seems very fitting now that we have had a chance to visit this unique place.

We’re now anchored in a small cove at the town of Oxford, Maryland (eastern shore of the Chesapeake), where we’ll spend a couple of days exploring. We currently have thunder and lightning with a torrential downpour, which are not uncommon in this region in the afternoons. At least the boat will get a good wash!

After travelling together for almost two weeks it’s time to say goodbye to our fellow PDQ travelling companions Bill, Carole and Suzanne. We wish them fun in New York (especially at DeBeers!) and safe travels home. We’ll see you in Belleville for sure.

Cruising indoors for the first time, in the rain, on our way to the Great Dismal Swamp.

 

Our first locking experience - everything went smoothly.

 

As still as can be - what's wrong with this picture?

 

Norfolk harbour has many navy ships receiving maintenance - the Norfolk area is one of the largest U.S. naval bases.

 

Dinner and a movie (The Avengers) in a restored theatre with wide screen and THX sound - great fun!

 

At our inner city dock in Portsmouth - a bit like False Creek (and free!).

 

Vancouver has orca's, Norfolk has mermaids.

 

We recommend a visit to the Chrysler Art Museum for it's blown and stained glass displays.

 

We attended an excellent glass blowing exhibition at the museum.

 

Colonial Williamsburg is very large, with many restored houses, period costumes, and craft demonstrations from the 1700's and 1800's.

 

The original King's Arms Tavern, where we had a traditional meal in period settings.

 

Entertainers at the King's Arms Tavern.

 

A typical Tangier Island scene.

 

Milton Parks, a Tangier Island resident, and waterman for 60 years.

 

'Downtown' on Tangier Island - most people get around by walking, cycling, scooters and golf carts.

 

The island has about 500 permanent residents....and at least that many cats.

 

This is Spanky's Place (with Spanky), the island's hang out hot spot - open until 9:30 pm!

 

Sunset over Tangier Island.

 

4 Responses to Great Dismal Swamp, Naval City, and a Broad Bay

  1. Doug

    Whew, I thought maybe you guys had taken a wrong turn somewhere and had run into pirates! Imagine having to navigate from inside the vessel!! The nerve of the weather to cause that! Beautiful westcoast day here today. Heading up to Campbell River to go to Painters at Painters. Take care,
    Doug

    • john-and-ria

      No pirates yet, just lots of spirited Americans having fun during their Memorial Day weekend here in St. Michael’s, Maryland. We’re enjoying the party!

  2. Kay Riley

    Great to read about your travels to date. Seems as though you two are adjusting well to the cruising life, love all the photos with captions. Thanks for sharing and enjoy. Kay

    • john-and-ria

      Thanks Kay. We’ve found your countrymen to be most friendly and helpful all along the way, and we’re enjoying our time here a great deal.

      Take care….

      John & Ria

Leave a Reply to john-and-ria Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *