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Jun 29, 2009

Kayaking Tangier Island, Virginia

(click on the image to see my video!)

Last week, I took the ferry from my town of Onancock on the Eastern Shore of Virginia to Tangier Island, 12 miles out in the Chesapeake Bay. As a kayaker, my goal was to check out the paddling options. I borrowed a boat, life jacket and paddle, which are available free to visitors from the dock of the Tangier History Museum.

Turning right, I quickly left behind the small town and the sounds of the crab sheds and boats of Tangier’s main industry. A family of Canada geese walked along the shore. Osprey nested on a platform and great blue heron waded and fished in the shallows.

I soon entered a marsh creek where I could hear Virginia rails “clapping” in the grass. Occasionally one would flush and fly across my bow, colorful if somewhat awkward in flight. I was completely alone except for the birds.

Within 15 minutes a sparkling white sand beach came into view, a perfect spot for a picnic.

There was far more to explore than I had time for. I’d love to see this become a paddling destination. You could start in Onancock with a two-hour historic creek tour, stay the night in a B&B, take the ferry to Tangier in the morning, take a self-guided trip, then stay at one of their B&Bs.

Here’s a link to the Tangier Water Trails.

Learn more in my article on the "A day in the life" of the watermen who live here.

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