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Old 24-10-2010, 18:01   #31
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have heard dismal swamp is gorgeous---i wish my boat fit.
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Old 24-10-2010, 18:29   #32
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for once i disagree with active capt -- we always use the grreat dismal - this time of year leave norfolk and over night at the first lock - about 3 boats just below the lock and one below the bridge - then a stright run to eliz city -
we are a 40' with a 56' mast and 5' draft and had a great time the 5 times we have been thu
the corps of eng has been dredging and removing dead fall and it is getting deeper

if you are a big power boat you will probably prefer the great bridge side as you can not pass very easily and it is absolutetly no wake and have to run at sailboat speeds

just our thoughts
chuck patty and svsoulmates
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Old 24-10-2010, 18:47   #33
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The wonderful thing is that the voices of the 'neysayers' are often heard most clearly by those who might detract from the voyages of others.

I Love it, and use it as often as I can.... use care, and I doubt you will encounter the doubters 'Dragons'.... all I saw of them were dragonflies.

Don't pass over the welcome at Elizabeth City, it is a high for the trip!

Blessings!
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Old 24-10-2010, 19:44   #34
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for once i disagree with active capt -- we always use the grreat dismal ... and 5' draft and had a great time...
It's OK to disagree - usually important facts come out of the disagreement. I'm not saying to avoid the Dismal Swamp. Not at all. All I've been saying is that the boat in question, a 6'+ draft, slow spinning large prop vessel should avoid it.
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Old 25-10-2010, 06:25   #35
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Just got off the phone with the Deep Creek Lock and they told me no way. If I were a sailboat with a keel I would bump a few times, but a large heavy hull like mine will suck up to the bottom and stick there no matter how many rpms I turn. He said it was a narrow shallow canal and whatever way I twisted or turned I would be hard aground.
So sad, it sounds lovely.
I'm stuck with the Virginia suburbs and speedboats whizzing by dragging their children behind them on a rope. Isn't there a law?
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Old 25-10-2010, 06:34   #36
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Lorenzo,

Sorry to hear that, but better to find out in advance. As far as the Chesapeake and Albemarle canal goes, your main problem will likely be tugs and their barges as opposed to speedboats towing tubes. You will have already passed through much of the populated areas by the time you get to the spot where the Dismal Swamp canal splits off from the other route. You may already know this, but I always have much better luck contacting the tugs on channel 13 rather than 16. If you have any doubt as to their intentions, give them a call. Best of luck. I hope you have a great trip.

Chris
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Old 25-10-2010, 10:41   #37
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Followed a dozen sailboats south out of Norfolk like a flock of geese, got to the turnoff and they all headed into the swamp. Oh well.
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Old 25-10-2010, 16:21   #38
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Okay, Lorenzo, you may not be able to do the Dismal Swamp, but don't miss Elizabeth City at the head of the Albermarle. It's definitely worth the trip. Maybe if you get lucky in Elizabeth City, one of the local residents may take pity on you and take you into the swamp on their boat. Where there's a will... there's a way.
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Old 25-10-2010, 16:28   #39
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"but can we really pass up somewhere called The Great Dismal Swamp?"

What about Grief Point and Desolation Sound, both in BC?
Great destinations both!

Having passed Grief Point without any and having felt anything but desolate in Desolation I can only say, they weren't named by the tourism bureau. Prehaps it is so with the Dismal Canal and it's swampy partner? Maybe hangovers were involved in the naming?

However, were I a buffalo and could read a map I would avoid Buffalo Head Smashed In.
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Old 25-10-2010, 17:17   #40
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Looks like a 'not to be missed' trip! Thanks for the tips!
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Old 25-10-2010, 18:21   #41
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Why the hell would you want to go there?

Where'ya going for vacation? The Great Dismal Swamp.


LOL
Laugh away. But consider going because of the scenery (and the relative lack of powerboats or rather powerboat wakes). Coming from the south headed north, we arrived at the first lock (South Mills) just past the last opening at 3:30 PM... Nothing to do but anchor in the side channel to the side of the lock:



Arrived a bit early for the 1:30 opening of the second lock (Deep Creek) so tied up to the old wall before the lock and had lunch at the Mexican restaurant right there. Walked over to the pharmacy, etc....:



Not very dismal at all.....
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Old 26-10-2010, 05:59   #42
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To quote John Bunyan:

"This miry Slough is such a place as cannot be mended; it is the descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore is it called the Slough of Despond: for still as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there ariseth in his soul many fears, and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place"
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Old 26-10-2010, 08:17   #43
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My apologies to the fair state of Virginia, this stretch of the Albermarle Canal is very stunning and you can get up into the swamp by dinghying up Blackwater Creek and the Northwest River. I must have been thinking of New Jersey.
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Old 26-10-2010, 09:02   #44
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Last time I was in the Dismal swamp I hit a tree! You can't say that to often in a sailboat. My 64' mast whacked an overhanging branch and it rained down leaves and twigs.
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Old 26-10-2010, 18:30   #45
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DWJ... you just brought back a memory I had hoped to erase. The last time we were in the DS, I hit a tree, too, and had leaves and twigs rain down up us. It also trashed a spreader light which dangled for many a day before we got it fixed. My husband STILL enjoys telling the story.
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