Tangier Island is great, but watch out for those black flies. We were there in late August, and I've never seen so many. Locals swear by Avon Skin So Soft as a bug repellent. Didn't have it so don't know if it's effective. Went to the beach and got into the water as deep as we could just to get away from the flies. Water washed off such bug repellent as we had (which worked only marginally, anyway) and the flies were swarming and biting around our ankles. We literallly had to run off the beach in a mad dash just to escape the biting black flies. Should have left the bug repellent on the beach next to the water. My wife took lots of Benadryl. I didn't. Her bite welts went down quickly. Mine stuck around until I finally went to a docter after coming back, and the doctor proscribed steroids. Tangier has a unique culture and is a gem. Very friendly people. Cornish accents. Guaranteed to lower blood pressure. We would go back, but we would go back prepared for the black fly onslaught.
Probably not a problem for visitors, but this IS an island and subject to storms. Hurricane Isabel wiped out a lot of the docks - many of the docks you see in town that look new ARE new, as they've been rebuilt since October 2003. The dock in photo 2 (taken in 2004) and photo 5 (taken in 2007) have obviously not been rebuilt.
Subsequent hurricanes have also led to significant floods. The school had to be raised up above the floor level (compare photo 1 and photo 3). Mr. Parks said that his house was already high enough.
Take LOADS of bug spray! The island is full of small black biting flies. The flies are around day & night. If you think you'll need 1 can of bug spray, take 2! Also, there were quite a few jellyfish in the water when we were there in August. Other than that, it was a great trip.
There are two entrances to Tangier harbor - the Chesapeake Bay side (west) and the Tangier Sound side (east). The Chesapeake Bay side has the deeper and more reliable channel. Unfortunately, there used to be a low power line across the channel which meant that most sailboats could not use it.
But the overhead power line has been put underground, so it isn't an overhead hazard anymore.
[Don't anchor in the channel - - If you cut the power line everyone on the island will be mad at you.]
The harbor at Tangier has been off limits to us in the past because of the shoaling. The fishermen and the tour boats don't have as deep a draft as we do, so it doesn't matter much to them. The Chesapeake Bay side is deeper. The Tangier Sound side can be more of a problem. Our depth alarm goes off in the channel even at high tide.
As the saying goes - don't take your boat "where the standing bird has a dry butt."