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Summer Boating on the Chesapeake Bay

Friday, June 17, 2011

Landlubbers Back in Time


No boating for us this weekend, we drove to Chincoteague Island, VA instead.  But since you CAN boat there, I figured I'd write about our experience.  Buddy and I were the lucky bidders at a silent auction on a house in Chincoteague.  We headed out early Friday morning for the 3 1/2 hour trip.  It's an easy, pretty drive through the flat countryside.  A left turn at T's Corner means you're on approach and once you get past the daunting/fascinating Wallops Island you begin the long, beautiful, marshy approach in to Chincoteague and over the new bridge and there you are on Main Street.  A charming downtown populated with a couple of restaurants, some shops and bookstores and B&B's.  We stayed in the Jester Wallace House on Jester Street.  A truly charming beach home with 3 1/2 bedrooms, 2 baths and well equipped with everything you need (minus a few modern amenities like TV/internet).  (The owner is accommodating and friendly and to her credit tried to have the cable hooked up before we came, but it's not quite season there yet and she wasn't able to get it done). 

Jester Wallace House
My husband spent many summers on the island with his family as a child camping, fishing, crabbing and clamming; however, it was my first trip to the island (we were an Ocean City family).  We unpacked the car and Buddy was anxious to go exploring the island he had once known so well.  We drove out to the inlet as he talked and reminisced about his childhood, then down Maddox past the ice cream parlors, bicycle rentals, crab shacks and seafood houses to the entrance to Assateague Island.  Not much has changed and he knew the names of the businesses and told stories about locals he had met and things they had done as kids.  We paid the $8.00 weekend rate (it's $5.00 daily) and drove through the refuge all the way to the ocean.  To me it looked like an expansive, beautiful beach with lots of room to spread out (unlike Ocean City in the summer time when you have to hunt for your spot).  According to Buddy though, the dunes were washed out and the beach was half the size it once was.  There are nice eco-friendly facilities across the parking lot.

Chincoteague ponies

Chincoteague Island Lightouse
When we got back to the house, Buddy was a little anxious about what we were going to do there with no internet or tv...  No worries here though - it's a dream to me.  We spent three lovely, quiet days exploring the island, tasting lots of salty Chincoteague oysters and clams, fishing and biking around the island.  We played rummy on the screened porch at night and window shopped on Main Street in the evenings, chatting with the friendly locals.  Our house didn't have a radio, but I got the feeling that if it had, I would have turned it on to hear doo-wop playing and wolf man jack as dj. 
Buddy catching flounder

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