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Old 08-08-2017, 05:16 PM   #1
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Dismal Swamp Canal scheduled to reopen in September

Dismal Swamp Canal scheduled to reopen in September

Dismal Swamp Canal scheduled to reopen in September > Norfolk District > Norfolk District News Stories
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:14 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. WK. Thanks for that. I had forgotten that the canal was even closed. We spent 5 years in the Elizabeth City area. Interesting part of the country with really fine people (after one's ear attunes to the local dialect). Good food, interesting history, Outer Banks close by and moderate winters minimizing the need to fully winterize.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:03 PM   #3
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Yep That's about the time every year they reopen it.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:16 PM   #4
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Hmmmm....

Pretty sure its open all year round except maintenance closures in the dead of winter.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:25 PM   #5
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Wifey B: It will still be dismal though.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:29 PM   #6
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Have you run it?
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:42 PM   #7
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Have you run it?
Wifey B: No. Haven't done so. Will one day, but might be in a RIB. Don't know. Draft has been the factor that has prevented us from doing it. That and faster ways to get where we're headed, but do want to do it sometime.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:53 PM   #8
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Compared to much of the ICW, not so dismal, especially with spring fowers or fall colors.

Like it 10X better than the Virginia cut....or more.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:30 PM   #9
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Compared to much of the ICW, not so dismal, especially with spring fowers or fall colors.

Like it 10X better than the Virginia cut....or more.
Wifey B: We turned around at Morehead City this trip so didn't see either one. Now, almost home. There tomorrow. We don't do much ICW, mostly outside and duck in. Virginia Cut is one of the few stretches and we have gone outside around Hatteras before but it's a long trip out there. Can be rough too but hasn't been when we've done it. ICW is more fun to me when you get little spurts of it. Going hundreds of miles straight on it, wouldn't be my thing.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:50 PM   #10
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Greetings,
Ms. BB. "Going hundreds of miles straight on it...." The ONLY part of the ICW we've transited that's been remotely close to straight is the Dismal Swamp Canal. Granted, the ICW is slow but quite interesting none-the-less.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:51 PM   #11
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Greetings,
Ms. BB. "Going hundreds of miles straight on it...." The ONLY part of the ICW we've transited that's been remotely close to straight is the Dismal Swamp Canal. Granted, the ICW is slow but quite interesting none-the-less.
Wifey B: I find it interesting in managed doses mixed in between outside runs.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:22 PM   #12
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The Dismal is pretty colorful
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:33 PM   #13
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The Dismal Swamp canal and particularly the Pasquotank River north of Elizabeth City before the South Mills lock is absolutely beautiful. That stretch of river is similar to the Waccamaw in SC but quite a bit narrower.

If you travel at 6 kts or so, the Dismal Swamp route is no slower than the Virginia Cut route. You can make Elizabeth City to Portsmouth in one day, but it might be nicer to stop at the visitor center for a night about halfway. There is a small but nice state museum across the canal from the visitor center.

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Old 08-09-2017, 08:31 PM   #14
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If you travel at 6 kts or so, the Dismal Swamp route is no slower than the Virginia Cut route. You can make Elizabeth City to Portsmouth in one day, but it might be nicer to stop at the visitor center for a night about halfway. There is a small but nice state museum across the canal from the visitor center.

David
Wifey B: Ut oh. I don't run at that speed. The dismal swamp will be nice to see, but not as our regular route. It will be interesting to see what the minimum depth is when it reopens.

In the summer, you could easily run it in a day couldn't you? How long is it from end to end?

Oh and here's the question for the day. It is the oldest continually operating man-made canal in the United States, opened in 1805. This brief interruption won't break that I hope.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:40 PM   #15
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Wifey B: I may have a scheme for sometime. Half of us take the RIB and go Dismal, the other half go around and meet us in Chesapeake. Then the next day reverse. Repeat if necessary.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:48 PM   #16
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Wifey B: I may have a scheme for sometime. Half of us take the RIB and go Dismal, the other half go around and meet us in Chesapeake. Then the next day reverse. Repeat if necessary.

I don't think you will enjoy the swamp. It's not a race.

My best trip using the Dismal Swamp Canal took three nights..... stop hike, kayak, spend a few hours enjoying the experience. It's not for everyone..... No tiki bars, no resort spa, no fine restaurants in the swamp
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:49 PM   #17
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I don't think you will enjoy the swamp. It's not a race.

My best trip using the Dismal Swamp Canal took three nights..... stop hike, kayak, spend a few hours enjoying the experience. It's not for everyone..... No tiki bars, no resort spa, no fine restaurants in the swamp
Wifey B: We can enjoy the experience. I don't mind a slow day with lots of stuff to look at. That's why I asked it's length. I read 22 miles and that seemed shorter than I'd think. If it's only 22 miles at 6 knots that's 4 hours. So, in the summer that would leave you 10 hours for exploring. If that's not enough, we'd do it again. Just doing it by RIB we would need to go all the way to have somewhere to sleep. I'm trying to figure this out. I don't race all the time. We only ran 20 knots today. Nice leisurely cruise from Daytona south.

We've got some other options on the Dismal route but thinking of them all. Also, could go to the welcome center one day, have someone meet us there with a car, come back early the next morning and continue.

I do think in a full summer day though you could see a lot and you can always do it again. In fact, we could just go right back through the other way and see what we missed.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:53 AM   #18
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It's great that it's finally getting this maintenance. As others have said, it's a beautify run, but when we did it in 2012, our 4' draft boat had a dozen or more strikes on submerged debris, probably branches and limbs. None we damaging, but it took a lot of the fun out of it and left me with "that was great, but not a second time".
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:03 AM   #19
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We took the Dismal Swamp route three times and the Virginia cut once. We both prefer the Dismal Swam route for its beauty and lack of speeding boats.

There are two locks and they normally open four times per day, not on request so that pretty much determines how fast boats should be travelling. If you get to the northern most lock early, there's a tie up and a short walk to a chain grocery store and one or two fast food restaurants.

The welcome center is a good place to visit and spend the night. Boats usually raft up if the dock is full and it's a good way to meet new people.

There's also a state park that you can explore.

I will admit that it's not as isolated as one might imagine. There are farms and a highway that runs alongside much of the canal. Still, it's a nice trip.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:24 AM   #20
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Hmmmm....

Pretty sure its open all year round except maintenance closures in the dead of winter.
P For the last 15 years or so they close it every summer between South Mills NC and the locks at Deep Creek VA because we don't get enough rainfall to support the water they loose when opening it so mostly all summer it's closed.
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