When we arrived at Tangier, we first went to the sand bar that extends off the southern tip of the island. The beach was covered with little sand pipers dancing with the surf as they searched for food to eat at the waters edge. We walked out to the point in search of a large flock of pelicans that is known to roost there, but as we were approaching, they all took flight and sat in the water just beyond the point.
Disappointed, we decided to head into the town and check out the locals!
Instead of walking from the sand bar, we decided to row through the marsh and head into the town. This was a mistake! The island is sinking into the marsh as the sea levels are rising. At present time, the streets supposedly go under at nigh tide and several parts of the island have been abandoned as the island has gone underwater!
We were, naturally, rowing in from the sinking side, and we were confused by all the abandoned looking buildings! Navigating a maze of marsh canals was tricky as there is no cell phone signal on the island, she we were unable to pull up an aerial photo of the place to plot a route. Instead, we had to choose which canal to row through and hope that it led to town and not to a dead end!
Me made landfall a few times, thinking we could simply walk through some grass and into the town until we hopped out of the dinghy and realized how much marsh existed between us and the town! So, back into the dinghy we went to prod deeper into the marsh maze. We eventually came across a bridge and saw golf carts traversing it! We made it to a road that would lead us into town!
We tied the dinghy to a sign post by the bridge and climbed up into the street! Some of the locals we came across were friendly and would wave or say hello, others would simply ignore you and speed on by.
We followed the road for a while as we made our way through neighborhoods and into the heart of town. The town was quite interesting, there were gift shops, ice cream shops, and a general store, along with a slew of cats and locals that had come out into the streets. The island has a ferry that comes and goes once a day, so during those hours the town is full of tourists. We had arrived much after the last boat had left, so we got to see the locals that had come out after the tourists had left.
As the sun began to get low on the horizon and the insects began to bite, we decided to head back to the dinghy and row our way out of the maze before nightfall. Leaving the island, the sunset was gorgeous! The air was completely becalmed and the water was like glass.
The colorful sky continued onto the water with only a faint silhouette from the low island. As we left the marsh, the sky went dark and the world around us became hazy! It was a good think I left the anchor light on when we left because the tiny star of our masthead light shined above the haze that surrounded us. It felt like we were transported to another world, where the stars and moon shined brightly on the waters surface, only disturbed by the lapping of the oars as we quietly approached our floating home.