Sunday, May 3, 2009
Arriving at Smith Island
We took the boat over to Smith Island yesterday. It's the only way to get back and forth from the mainland to the island.
This island that sits in Maryland waters of Chesapeake Bay has seen major changes in geology over the years but the livelihood of its people remains the same. Watermen who make a living fishing for blue crab are the main inhabitants. When oysters were plentiful in Chesapeake Bay, they would make a living oystering during that season. But with the decline in the oyster population, they mainly crab now.
The language of the inhabitants is unique because it still retains a trace of English accent along with some of the "backward" speak that is unique to these islanders.
We are staying at one of the two bed and breakfasts on the island. Last night, we went to visit some people that we know from past visits. And we got caught up on the latest island news about who had died and who had left to take jobs "off island".
There are few cars on the island but more golf carts than last time. We walk where ever we go, and today will make the mile long walk out to Rhodes Point which is one of the three main settlements on the island. I'm going to record some dialect and video to put up so that the accent can be heard. This place is worth a book devoted to the history of the people and the fishery. Maybe another retirement project?
It was peaceful going to sleep last night, listening to the sounds of the geese, ducks, seagulls, and soft rain on the roof. I smell the ham cooking so I'm heading down for breakfast. More on this unique place later.