The highlight of our island time was this pontoon-boat tour to seek the wild ponies.
Captain Dan’s Around the Islands Tours only allows six or less guests at a time.
~ Captain Dan ~
We passed the Waterman’s Memorial ~ honoring those lost at sea in different occupations.
~ Assateague Lighthouse ~
There are lots of old, dilapidated crab shacks in the Chincoteague Bay;
at high tide, they look as though they are nearly floating on the water.
~ duck blind topped by an osprey ~
I was astounded when I brought this photo up on the computer to see black-bellied plovers amid the willets ~ a first sighting for me.
~oyster watchhouse ~
Oyster watchhouses once housed those who protected the oyster beds from marauders and ‘oyster pirates’.
We were told that in more recent years, those who harvested oysters hung out here
until their boats were full, then hauled their catch back to shore.
~ double-crested cormorant ~
Dan said I could bring a thousand of them home with me, if I wanted ~ they consider them a nuisance.
The first wild pony we saw happened to be a lone stallion ~ Copper Moose.
Moose seems always to be alone, without a girlfriend, our guide said.
However, he was accompanied by plenty of seagulls ~
~ great blue heron ~
~ crab traps ~
Next, we spotted a group of four ponies ~ Phantom Mist, Tuney/Queenie, Daisy and Kachina.
I read somewhere that they are actually horses, but that the islanders fondly insist on calling them “ponies” anyway.
Many ponies that we saw were surrounded or “topped” with cattle egrets.
Dan told us that this sighting still didn’t qualify for his requirement of seeing ponies within 100 yards of the boat.
His guarantee stated that if he didn’t find ponies that close, he would return our money.
~ flock of white ibis ~
I think there might just be a couple sandhill cranes amongst all those egrets ~ too far away to tell for sure.
Finally, after nearly two hours, we approached the north end of Assateague Island;
as we rounded the northern tip, we were thrilled to catch sight of a larger herd ~ much closer to the boat.
Dan was excited to see a new foal with its mother, Cody Two Socks.
I have a lot of photos of these ponies ~ hope it doesn’t bore you ~ I was pretty excited to see them, obviously ~
~ Wild Thing ~
He is the stallion in this particular herd.
~ the new foal ~
It was still pretty wobbly.
~ Beautiful Dreamer ~
As we turned around for the return trip, our guide said we were far enough north that we had entered Maryland waters for a bit.
It was turning cool and clouds were approaching.
When we returned to Chincoteague Island, we were told we simply had to get some ice cream here ~ and it was worth it ~
As we left the island, a rainbow appeared ~ a wonderful day’s blessing.
This particular cloud reminded me of our toy poodle, Luci;
she’s been gone now for several years, but is fondly remembered by our family.
As we approached the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the sky was gorgeous.
What a very special day that was!
The next day was a scorcher ~ we took a brief morning walk along the Yorktown beach.
~ photo taken from the pier ~
We ventured south a bit to eat a seafood lunch along the James River.
We shared a bowl of she-crab soup, to begin with.
~ delicious slaw and a blackened salmon sandwich ~
It was such a blistering hot day, we just rested in the afternoon.
That evening, we ate at Smokey Bones ~ brisket and pulled pork.
On our last evening in Newport News, after hubby finished the job, we ate at Harpoon Larry’s ~ fabulous meal.
And the next morning we headed home ~ so I’m just posting my favorite photo
of that beautiful sunset over the Chesapeake Bay as we headed back from the islands.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:
but we will remember the Name of the LORD our God.”