Did the Dismal Swamp Canal twice, once about 30 years ago delivering a 5&1/2' draft sailboat. Bumped the bottom once, probably a sunken log. Got to Elizabeth City where they had a wine and cheese party if more than 2 boats arrived. Since it was my buddy's delivery
, I got the rose lol. Discovered it was impossible to walk from the grocery store back to the dock
without a friendly local offering us a ride.
Second time was about 10 years ago on a 45' catamaran
drawing 3&1/2'. That boat had a 23' beam and we were happy to not meet another cat going the other way. It would have been possible but close in some places. No room at the Elizabeth City dock
for a cat at that time (I think that has since been rectified) so we kept going and anchored.
On both trips we made sure to hit a tree with the shrouds. After all, there aren't many places you can do that. If the Corps of Engineers has been trimming trees, or the beavers have been industrious, it may require more effort but you can still do it.
Everybody should do the Dismal Swamp at least once. It's pretty cool to be motoring along and wake up a deer sleeping by the side.
On the other hand, that roast beef at Coinjock is mighty tasty.
Enjoy either way, it's a no lose proposition.