Photographer Travels to Island, Gets Stranded, Spends the Week Shooting

Photographer Travels to Island, Gets Stranded, Spends the Week Shooting

One Annapolis native decided to venture to Tangier Island to take a few photos. What he didn’t anticipate was getting stuck on the island — just 1.2-square miles in size — due to icy weather, finding himself in the middle of a National Guard supply drop.

Photographer Jay Fleming traveled by charter plane on 3rd January, with an aim to check out the Chesapeake Bay surrounding the island. Except, upon landing, he later found out the icy weather was so severe that boats could no longer travel to the island, and the next charter plane wasn’t until a week later.

Unloading food and supplies from Blackhawk helicopters deployed by the National Guard out of Richmond, Virginia

Winds greater than 60 miles per hour on Thursday, January 4th, and dry snow created huge drifts around the island

Breaking ice onboard the J.Millard Tawes near Ewell on Smith Island.

Naturally, Fleming decided to make the most of being on the island, taking pictures to document his time there. He captured the National Guard delivering food, mail, and medicine via helicopter. Conditions haven’t been so bad since Storm Octavia hit, back in February 2015.

He was also lucky enough to witness a tradition of the island that residents haven't been able to indulge in for over 40 years: locals began ice-skating whilst burning old boat parts on a bonfire atop the ice.

Winds greater than 60 miles per hour on Thursday, January 4th, and dry snow created huge drifts around the island.

'A beacon of hope' for the seawall that protects the western side of island from erosion, the cross at the western entrance to Tangier, covered in ice from the freezing spray

Islander, Jeff Crockett, works as a captain on a Tug Boat, he came back to the island to experience the freeze up and hunt waterfowl. In this photograph, he helps the National Guard unload food from the Blackhawk Helicopters.

Fleming said that while he was initially stuck, his experience on the island was so enjoyable that he decided to stay longer, spending a couple more days on the island. He returned home on the 9th January, a week after arriving.

See more of the images from his time on the island below. Reach Jay on Facebook, Instagram, and his website.

All images used with permission.

[via WTOP]

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2 Comments

Great story, and a pretty unique "vacation." Thanks for posting.

Pedro Pulido's picture

that's an unexpected awesome adventure with a great result. i'm jealous !!