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Old 16-04-2021, 14:02   #1
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Location: Deltaville , Va, USA
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Great dismal swamp transit

Hi all,
I just purchased a Caliber 40 LRC and am doing the delivery from Wilmington NC to Deltaville Va.
Id love to take the Great Dismal Swamp leg for the sightseeing and history etc.
But I draw 5-3. Army corps says controlling depth is 6 ft.
Go or no go??

Thanks
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Old 16-04-2021, 14:25   #2
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

Reference links


and contact:

https://dismalswampwelcomecenter.com/

Contact Info
Phone

252-771-8333

https://dismalswampwelcomecenter.com/boating/


Canal Water Depths:
The canal has a controlled depth of 6 feet. For latest updates on water levels link here:
https://www.nao-wc.usace.army.mil/nao/albepub.html


Notice to Navigation Interests
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District
CENAO-WRO August 17, 2020
DISMAL SWAMP CANAL AND ALBEMARLE AND CHESAPEAKE CANAL
ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY
Effective at 8:30 AM on August 18, 2020, the locks at Deep Creek, Virginia and South Mills, North Carolina will return to their normal operating schedule to accommodate vessels desiring to use the Dismal Swamp Canal of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
The locks will be operated at 8:30 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:30 PM seven days per week.
The drawbridges adjacent to these locations will operate as normal and in conjunction with the lock openings. There will only be one operator at Deep Creek and one at South Mills, so the bridge will not be manned when the lock is being operated, and vice versa. Locks and bridges monitor channel 13.

. . .
Continued, reference link:

https://dismalswampwelcomecenter.com...ugust-2020.pdf


Happy motoring.
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Old 16-04-2021, 14:52   #3
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

As to bridges and power lines on the canal, one had best check your air draft clearance. The things above you can be more hazardous and limiting then what is below.
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Old 16-04-2021, 16:54   #4
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

Thanks for the info.
Plan on calling the lock tenders to see what they think.
I’ll mention my air draft as well,,,
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Old 16-04-2021, 17:11   #5
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

It's a beautiful trip and sailboats travel through there all the time. You should be fine.
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Old 16-04-2021, 17:36   #6
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

Controlling depth means that’s the minimum depth - you’ll be fine. I believe mast clearance is 65 feet, That you have be shorter than.....

Matt
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Old 17-04-2021, 03:43   #7
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, s/v Norma Mae.
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Old 17-04-2021, 05:25   #8
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

Keep us posted on how it goes especially regarding weed and or logs. Wed like to do a spring trip south through the canal next year so will be nice to know what it looks like this time of year
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Old 17-04-2021, 05:27   #9
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

Sounds like fun to me,,
Thanks for all the reply’s,
Just didn’t want to end up like Bogart, pulling the Africa Queen through the canal,,,,,,
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Old 17-04-2021, 08:49   #10
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

I have done it a few times in a Tayana 37, draws 5 foot 10 inches, likely more as I carry a lot of gear onboard. Never any serious issue. Once I hit a log pretty hard but I skimmed of it, go slow (you want to anyways, its beautiful). There is a section where two canals meet in a T and that has a shifting shoal, but the engeneers there are auper friendly and helpful and mark and dredge it.
Your biggest concerns should be hitting overhead branches, stay center.. and clogging water inlet filters when passing the locks which can build up tremendous algae/grass layers.

Do it!
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Old 17-04-2021, 08:49   #11
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

Have done the dismal swamp many times with 5' draft and have a friend who did it every year with a 6' draft. As people have said, the depth is controlled to be at least 6 feet. You will be fine. You want to time it so you can make both locks in one day, or else you will spend the night there. Get to the first lock early and wait for the first opening, then you have plenty of time to get to the other lock. Or, enjoy and spend the night at the dock for the park which is almost mid-way. Free dockage (assuming nobody has taken up all the space) and if you get there while the park office is open and you wander in, you get a free chocolate bar! From the dock, you can walk to a supermarket.
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Old 17-04-2021, 08:54   #12
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

transited southbound October 2021 at 5-07 and was fine. airdraft <65'
well worth trip in spring and in bloom.
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Old 17-04-2021, 09:02   #13
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

I did it twice, admittedly 10 years ago. It is one of the jewels of America. Draw 5 feet, but probably a bit more heavily laden and in fresh water. Set the depth alarm for 8 feet and it never went off
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Old 17-04-2021, 09:20   #14
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

Thanks. I’m doing it based on all your intel,
Also spoke with Neil,the lock tender at Deep Creek. He confirmed it’s been a good 7 ft depth lately and sees no issues. In fact he said he had one come through that drew close to 7 ft, the bumped a few times but made it. As a reminder he said to be sure to carry 2ea 25 ft lines to use in the locks.

Thanks again, good stuff.
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Old 17-04-2021, 09:39   #15
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Re: Great dismal swamp transit

We did the Dismal Swamp - June ‘20 w/ 5’ draft without any issues other than an occasional log bump. Best to be lead boat as first boat can stir up logs We were second in line and I felt likely cause of bumps
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