Well, I'm almost through. I'm anchored in the Canal just north of the South Mills bridge. One of my guides says you can tie up to the fenders just north of the bridge, but new signs say no mooring
to fenders. In another great display of government
wisdom they put the docks between the lock and the bridge. Of course the bridge only opens when you're locking through. So if you miss the last lock though for the day you cannot reach the dock
to tie up and wait for the lock through the next morning, you have to anchor
in a 75 foot wide canal. The docks at the welcome center were already rafted a couple deep. I guess I could have tried to raft one more but my cat would have blocked the canal. I guess it wouldn't have mattered since there's no place to go.
This was my first time through the dismal canal and I really didn't see any shallow (<6) water, though I did hit one snag. There were a few floating logs
, but none were very big. The problem was you couldn't tell how big they really were until you were right on top of them. While dodging one of these small pieces, I negelected to pay attention to the other hazard in the canal, the air draft
. Trees often hang out 15-20 feet from the sides of the canals and some of their branches aren't all that high and stick out much further. I managed to clean my windex off of the top of my mast
with one such branch. In a sailboat watch the sky as well as the depth sounder
As I said this was my first time throgh the canal and frankly I've not been all that impressed. I was hoping to see some wildlife, but what we saw was 1 snake, 6 turtles, 1 green heron, 2 vultures and 1 bald eagle. Oh yea, 1 dead opossum floating. The other thing we saw or should I say didn't see was swamp. The dredge material from the canal has been piled in a berm on the west side of the canal and completely blocks any view of the swamp itself. This may seem like wild and woolies to people who don't get out of the suburbs much but it's not much for real nature lovers. I found the Coinjock route
much nicer from a wildlife point of view. I'm hoping that the Pasquatank south of the lock will be better than what we've seen so far with regards to wildlife.