Cruising the Intercoastal Waterway


An experienced cruising couple share their favorite out-of-the-way stops along this legendary waterway.

Last fall, when Onne and Tenley van der Wal headed to Florida aboard their 1986 Grand Banks Snow Goose, one of their goals was to go to less-traveled places. Here are the locations the couple really enjoyed.

Tangier Island, VA This place was on Onne’s bucket list and the island and its people did not disappoint. The couple found the locals, who speak a unique version of American English, to be very welcoming. Tangier is a conservative and religious place. It is also dry, meaning no alcohol is available for sale. Otherwise, the island is literally getting wet. Since the 1960s, sea level rise has consumed all but 40 percent of the habitable land, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts that some of what remains will disappear below the water by 2033; much of the rest of it will be uninhabitable by 2055. “It’s very low-lying,” Onne says. “You can see how the water is coming up slowly, consuming everything. All the fishing shacks are on piles in the harbor, so they need a skiff to run out to their bigger fishing boats to go oystering.” But the van der Wals loved being there. They biked all around and had dinner at Lorraine’s Restaurant, where they ate soft shell crab—the island’s specialty. “It was just an eye-opener,” Onne says. “What an amazing community. I would have loved to stay longer, but we’re so glad we went.”

Seriousresearcher13, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Seriousresearcher13, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons