This past week, I traveled via of a mail boat to stay on an ever so slowly sinking island. The island is called Tangiers and was so named by Captain John Smith in 1608. Located in the Chesapeake Bay, 12 miles out from Virginia. It is home to 525 or more people; a hardy breed of Virginians.
The island laborers are called watermen and their labor of love is catching the Atlantic blue crab or Callinectus sapiadus. I prefer the more poetic Latin translation: beautiful swimmer, savory. Please read the Pulitzer Prize winning book, "Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay" by William Warner http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Swimmers-Watermen-Crabs-Chesapeake/dp/0316923354 to learn more about this Chesapeake Bay heritage because the blue crab population is in decline as well as the watermen's revenue and their way of life.
Within the Tangier's landscape of modest settlements, marshes and crab shanties is a beautiful Sandy Beach which is connected to the southern part of the island; hook-shaped with a lagoon in the middle for bird watching pleasure. Walking along the shoreline, I averted my eyes from looking too long upon the romancing teenagers hidden away in the dune grasses. I'm guessing privacy is at a minimum on a small island.
Every morning Terry and I packed up the golf cart with our painting gear and headed out to find a painting site. And everyday we donned our sun hats and painted in cool temps of 50 degrees and a frisky breeze of 20 mph... perfect weather to paint beautiful marsh and island scenes.
Here's a link to our trip photos of Tangier Island, VA http://www.flickr.com/photos/printmaker_who_paints_plein_air/sets/