Tangier Island Wedding
Not long out of Crisfield, the ferry passed a deserted menhaden processing plant. The little fish used to be big business on the Bay ($22 million in 2006). Now the menhaden, used commercially for oil and meal, are in decline. Only Virginia and North Carolina allow menhaden fishing. On clear nights, lights from houses and the aero beacon make Tangier Island visible from the mainland. In daylight, the island is so low the boat is almost upon it before a church cupola and the water tank rise above the horizon. It’s three by two and a half miles, and 60% of it is marsh. The harbor en-
it is a short walk back across the highway to the Stephen Thomas, the largest of the tour boats to Tangier. The parking tab: three dollars for overnight. When told we’d be back by 9 p.m., the lady at the gift shop said we should put that money right back in our wallet and have a pleasant day. The trip across the Bay to Tangier takes about an hour. The majority of the passengers this day were wedding guests. Remembering that Tangier is a dry island, many of the nattily attired celebrants were enjoying adult beverages from portable coolers. Conversation was lively.
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August 2011 Tidewater Times