Category Archives: Tangier Island

National Geographic Traveler “Best of the World” for 2016

Tangier and Smith Islands—This entry explains why Tangier and Smith Islands in the Chesapeake Bay are “must-see places.” The hard-copy magazine format is online here; the web version with lots of tips and links is online here.

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Destination: Tangier Island, VA

Soundings, Sept-2010

Tangier Island, VA, is one of only two remaining watermen-inhabited islands left in the Chesapeake Bay, and both are doomed by global warming: With its highest point only 4 ft. above sea level (lower then the Maldives), and in an area with the fast relative sea level increase on the U.S. East Coast, inundation models show Tangier permanently submerged within 30 years.

This destination story on Tangier Island and its people appeared in the September 2010 issue of Soundings magazine, online here.

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Boats and the Flag

Soundings, July 2009

Boats played a key role in the evolution of “the flag” as a national symbol. During the War of 1812, a fleet of British warships sailed from Bermuda to terrorize the Chesapeake Bay, sack and burn Washington, DC, and attack Baltimore Harbor.  It was the success of Fort McHenry in defending Baltimore in 1814 that led Francis Scott Key to write his famous poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” (from the deck of a sailboat). It took another hundred years before one stanza of that poem was adopted by Congress as our national anthem.

A separate and slightly less famous flag, “Old Glory,” was flown around the world on the stern of an American whaling ship.

The thread of Boats and the Flag is explored in the July 2009 issue of Soundings. This story won an honorable mention in the 2010 Boating Writers International writing contest.

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Doing a Delmarva

Soundings, Sept-2005

In 2005, two friends and I took off for a week-long, 500-mile circumnavigation of the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay — “Delmarva,” as it’s called, shared by Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. We sailed to the far north end of the Chesapeake to the C&D Canal, down the Delaware Bay, and offshore from Cape May to Cape Charles, where we re-entered the Chesapeake and turned north again.

For Chesapeake sailors, “doing a Delmarva” is a rite of passage: A test of boat and crew, leaving the relatively protected local waters and venturing out onto bigger — much bigger — seas.

This trip is described in the May 2005 issue of Soundings magazine, online here.

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