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Old 01-28-2016, 04:53 PM   #21
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The Dismal is pretty dismal this time of year with the trees bare, and with the weather this month would guess there is more debris in it (Not that the A&C is totally devoid of same). At least the bathroom remodel at the NC Welcome Center is done now.

Having done parts of it in canoe and kayak and hiked/biked the trail, I was never inspired to take the big boat on it with twin screws and 5' draft. That and the fact that we drive along it about 8 times a year on immediately adjacent Hwy 17, a lot of it seems more like a culvert along the highway, now even more so with the lack of foliage. I'll be back by there via asphalt slough the week of 2/8, to and fro NYC.
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Old 01-28-2016, 05:08 PM   #22
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I do admit that travelling the Dismal in anything but smaller boats is a challenge...but I do like the stops better and if travelling in the off season....with gales every other day or so...travelling in the tunnel like environment of the dismal has its plusses.
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Old 01-28-2016, 05:26 PM   #23
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We've never gone the Dismal route although we hope to one day, even if we have to do it in a RIB. Our reason for not going to date is that we've never been in that area with a boat that had less than a 5' draft.
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Old 01-28-2016, 06:03 PM   #24
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We have done it twice, once each way and while we didn't find it quite what it's cracked up to be, it was nice and peaceful and we'll probably take it the next time as well.
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Old 01-28-2016, 06:50 PM   #25
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We have done it twice, once each way and while we didn't find it quite what it's cracked up to be, it was nice and peaceful and we'll probably take it the next time as well.
We don't necessarily by the hype some places get by different people. That way we won't be disappointed. We accept them as they are and so far in over three years of doing this we haven't once gone somewhere we didn't enjoy or didn't have positive thoughts toward. Something about arriving by water I think. Recently had one of the wildest days and best days yet in a country that I certainly didn't have such expectations for, the Dominican Republic. Damajaqua Cascades-27 waterfalls-in Puerto Plata. Climbing up and coming down 27 waterfalls leaves you exhausted. It was something even a few years ago I could far more easily see my wife doing than me. Such beauty in the falls and surrounding area. Now, I do want to see the beauty of the Dismal Route one day.

So, I accept places as they are, look for their best side, and enjoy.
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Old 01-28-2016, 06:59 PM   #26
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I cant find Slow Hand on Marine Traffic! All those upgrades and no AIS transponder. How can I stalk without the proper tools.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:17 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Enjoy!

Hope that bus heater system is working great!!!!
Bus heaters are doing a good job, although it took half a day to warm up the forward lower bart of the boat from 35 degrees.

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Originally Posted by dimer2 View Post
Have a safe and enjoyable trip OC!
Thanks!

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Have a great time. Nice looking helm!

Conall
Thanks! Like my helm alot! The all in one PC doesn't get quite dark enough for night running though.

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Originally Posted by WesK View Post
I hope you enjoy your trip but I'm curious why you would leave at 2:00 AM.
84 nautical miles from Crisfield, MD to Top Rack in Norfolk, VA at 7+/- knots. Wanted to be here by 2pm to get fuel. They close at 5pm and wanted the buffer in case of traffic, bridge closure or fighting the tidal current in the bay.

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Sneak out before paying the yard bill....

or catch the tide, or weather, or refuel and still make a specific lock opening at Deep Creek (Dismal Swamp Route) or refuel/do chores/kickback for happy hour/enjoy early dinner for another big day tomorrow threading the Dismal, or miss train traffic as they are the only lower bridges prior to the DS Route..... but I am still betting on my first thought...
No, it wasn't the slip bill. I paid for a year April to April, and used it for 1 month.

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Originally Posted by Slowpoke View Post
My friend left Virginia Beach on Monday heading to Fla. He said that there is a lot of Debris and Logs in the Waterway currently so "Heads Up". Have a great trip.
Darn, I was hoping to catch up on some sleep. Thanks for the heads up!

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Greetings,
Why 02:00 hrs? Maybe Mr. OC was too excited to sleep. I probably would be.
Went to bed at 8pm and slept maybe 3 hours. Caught up last night.

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Get started, put it on autopilot and catch a couple hour nap.


The approaches into Norfolk are never too busy, plus the bright searchlights and warning shots wake you right up if you need to do something important...
Nah, too many neat navy ships to see in Norfolk.

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And my question was "Why dismal swamp?"
Weather for one, you can drive through Dismal swamp down to Elisabeth City in all but a hurricane. Two, I've already taken several a$$ beatings in the shallow sounds of NC, avoid them as much as possible. Three, food in Coinejock is over rated plus dockage. Won't be much to see today, but the scenery is quite nice in the spring before the duckweed shows up.

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Old 01-29-2016, 07:38 AM   #28
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Have a great trip Ted. Please keep us posted with postings and pictures. For those of us on the west coast the ICW is a curiosity.
Thanks, will do.

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Greetings,
Mr. BB. Why the Dismal Swamp route? So he can stay at Lamb's Marina and dine in their new restaurant of course.
Lambs Marina
The prime rib at the restaurant is FAR superior to that which is served in Coinjock and they should have fresh, in the shell, oysters in stock at the store.
Hmmm

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Cant answer for him but I prefer it as you have many options to stop and tie up and get out and walk around. Though the Virginia Cut route you can anchor.


Plus for slower boats...it can be blowing storm force and the Dismal is like a mill pond...the worst wave action I have had in 10,000 miles was on a windy day in Currituck sound...never a bad day in the swamp route.


Coinjock after the first visit was enough.


Not great for bigger or faster boats, but has become my route over the Virginia Cut route.
Correct on all accounts. It's my choice unless closed do to low water levels.

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Coinjock is a decent stop but those who are fanatical about the restaurant there, I don't agree with. Quantity yes. Quality, nothing to get excited about.
I agree, once was enough.

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Agree, ref Coinjock... and quality/quantity. They were friendly, though, and the fuel prices were decent... so all that plus a big, honkin' slab o' decent-enough meat suited us the time we went through there.


Haven't taken the Dismal. Our air clearance is 29' due to the 'riggers... Any problems with overhanging trees on that route?


If we were to go south in Fall and then return north in Spring, and wanted to take one route down and the other route back, which is better (Virgina or Dismal) in Fall and Spring? If there's any difference... ?


Wasn't overwhelmed with marine facilities immediately near Elizabeth City when we did a drive-by (shopping for a building lot) a few years ago, although the town has always had a friendly reputation, and still does as far as I know.


Lamb's is good, huh?


-Chris
Air draft is fine, big sailboats go through Dismal swamp all the time. Spring and fall are very nice in the swamp. Better fuel prices at Top Rack in Norfolk, VA.

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Ted, the clock is running. You have 19 days to get to Fort Pierce. Don't dawdle.
I'll kick in the turbo and shift to warp drive.

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Originally Posted by No Mast View Post
I always understood that the Virginia cut was deeper. With 6 ft draft, we've always gone that way or around the outside.

WesK - i'm sure OC will chime in and tell you exactly why he left at 2am, but we we leave at odd hours frequently when making longer legs. I want to arrive in daylight and preferably a bit before slack tide. If that means leaving at 2am or 4 am...
You are correct on all accounts.

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Sailboats do it all the time...I usually do it with very little traffic so there is almost never anyone coming the other way or passing requiring moving to the side. So no, your riggers shouldn't be a problem but you DO have to pay close attention for 20+ miles. It is slow speed though, so paying attention is critical but reaction time less so.

It is shallow and if you draw more than 5-6 feet...better to go around than sweat it. I think the controlling depth is 7 feet but would have to recheck.

The distances are close.

Not sure what facilities are better one way or the other. In the spring, E-City makes a bigger deal of transients and has a nice, free watermans museum across the street from the free docks.

If you think you can...each way once in a lifetime...only personal preference will decide which is better or even routinely doable.

After 6-8 Dismal trips..almost want to do the other just for change.
Controling depth is 6' before they close the canal. Check before going. Distances are the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
The Dismal is pretty dismal this time of year with the trees bare, and with the weather this month would guess there is more debris in it (Not that the A&C is totally devoid of same). At least the bathroom remodel at the NC Welcome Center is done now.

Having done parts of it in canoe and kayak and hiked/biked the trail, I was never inspired to take the big boat on it with twin screws and 5' draft. That and the fact that we drive along it about 8 times a year on immediately adjacent Hwy 17, a lot of it seems more like a culvert along the highway, now even more so with the lack of foliage. I'll be back by there via asphalt slough the week of 2/8, to and fro NYC.
Could go either way today, but I hate getting pounded in the sounds before and after Coinjock.

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I do admit that travelling the Dismal in anything but smaller boats is a challenge...but I do like the stops better and if travelling in the off season....with gales every other day or so...travelling in the tunnel like environment of the dismal has its plusses.
Yes, my preferred route.

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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
We've never gone the Dismal route although we hope to one day, even if we have to do it in a RIB. Our reason for not going to date is that we've never been in that area with a boat that had less than a 5' draft.
You should take a day or 2 and do it in your launch.

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Originally Posted by WesK View Post
We have done it twice, once each way and while we didn't find it quite what it's cracked up to be, it was nice and peaceful and we'll probably take it the next time as well.
Quiet and peaceful works for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
We don't necessarily by the hype some places get by different people. That way we won't be disappointed. We accept them as they are and so far in over three years of doing this we haven't once gone somewhere we didn't enjoy or didn't have positive thoughts toward. Something about arriving by water I think. Recently had one of the wildest days and best days yet in a country that I certainly didn't have such expectations for, the Dominican Republic. Damajaqua Cascades-27 waterfalls-in Puerto Plata. Climbing up and coming down 27 waterfalls leaves you exhausted. It was something even a few years ago I could far more easily see my wife doing than me. Such beauty in the falls and surrounding area. Now, I do want to see the beauty of the Dismal Route one day.

So, I accept places as they are, look for their best side, and enjoy.
Do it in late May.

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Originally Posted by fryedaze View Post
I cant find Slow Hand on Marine Traffic! All those upgrades and no AIS transponder. How can I stalk without the proper tools.
It's still showing up as Miss Cotton II. Takes a while for them to see the change as they go by the MMSI number in the system.

Ted
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:24 AM   #29
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Thanks, will do.

It's still showing up as Miss Cotton II. Takes a while for them to see the change as they go by the MMSI number in the system.

Ted
I see you this morning. Slow Hand shows up. Its 0822 and you are waiting on the Dismal Lock. Safe travels.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:30 AM   #30
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Thanks, all, ref Dismal route. Appreciate the insight. Sorry for digression... now back to your regularly scheduled southbound passage.





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Old 01-29-2016, 09:43 AM   #31
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Have a great trip. BTW, you can stay the night at no charge at Top Rack if you have dinner in their restaurant.
Yes, I ate too much last night!
Lobster bisc
Crab cake apetiser
Tuna Ahi main course
Cheese cake
2 very fine barley pops

All that and dockage with 50 amp service for a little over $75. Would have spent $20 in fuel alone to run the generator if I had anchored out.


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I see you this morning. Slow Hand shows up. Its 0822 and you are waiting on the Dismal Lock. Safe travels.
Thanks, glad that's resolved.

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Old 01-29-2016, 09:52 AM   #32
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................84 nautical miles from Crisfield, MD to Top Rack in Norfolk, VA at 7+/- knots. Wanted to be here by 2pm to get fuel. They close at 5pm and wanted the buffer in case of traffic, bridge closure or fighting the tidal current in the bay.................
Makes sense. I try not to run at night but it should be easier in the open Bay than the ICW.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:02 AM   #33
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Some pics of Dismal Swamp. Deep Creek Lock and heading down the canal with the Mallards leading the way.

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Ted
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:21 AM   #34
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I always like the ducks and geese that see you coming, take off, fly about 200 feet, land, then look surprised to see you in a couple minutes.


Then do it another 20 times till they finally decide to fly over you and land behind you.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:36 AM   #35
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Greetings,
Mr. OC. Brings back memories and it IS a touch Dismal this time of year but quiet.
For those who choose to transit this ditch, the visitor's welcome center is at MM28 and is a great free dockage stop. Just across the floating foot bridge at the welcome center is Dismal Swamp State Park interpretive center with nature displays and a boardwalk through a section of the swamp. Well worth a stroll IMO. Thanks Mr. OC. Safe travels.
Mr. ps. Ducks aren't the brightest of fowl.

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Old 01-29-2016, 07:47 PM   #36
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I always like the ducks and geese that see you coming, take off, fly about 200 feet, land, then look surprised to see you in a couple minutes.


Then do it another 20 times till they finally decide to fly over you and land behind you.
Probably saw 150 ducks today. One did a near vertical takeoff after failing to see me, and flew right past me. Saw 2 bald eagles today. They were flying down the canal and then went up a little bit to fly over me. Pretty cool!

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Greetings,
Mr. OC. Brings back memories and it IS a touch Dismal this time of year but quiet.
For those who choose to transit this ditch, the visitor's welcome center is at MM28 and is a great free dockage stop. Just across the floating foot bridge at the welcome center is Dismal Swamp State Park interpretive center with nature displays and a boardwalk through a section of the swamp. Well worth a stroll IMO. Thanks Mr. OC. Safe travels.
Mr. ps. Ducks aren't the brightest of fowl.
For those interested in doing the Dismal Swamp Canal, here are some more pics :

The visitor's center is also a rest stop on the highway with bathroom facilities and picnic tables.

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They have a very nice almost new dock that can accommodate 4 or 5 boats and then people raft out from there. Think the record is 20+ boats one night. Docking is free and it's very sheltered from the wind. No water or electric is available.

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South Mill Lock full

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And empty.

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Back to the earlier discussion, front was coming through this afternoon with high wind advisories for the sound and Ocean. Glad I was in the swamp instead of getting the crap beat out of me in the sound on the way to Coinjock!

I'm in Elizabeth City tonight tied to the Jennette food distributors free dock which is just North of the draw bridge. Very stout dock that can hold 3 or 4 boats. Very protected from winds and wave action. No water or electric. Dock and dine is their request. There are 8 or 9 local restaurants to choose from. As it was cold and windy, I chose the closest, Cypress Creek Grill. Food was superb, Hatteras style clam chowder to die for and blackened chicken Alfredo plus one barley pop. Local beer was disappointing, but everything else was very good, $25.

Ted
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:52 PM   #37
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For those visiting ECity, Ted is right about being north of the drawbridge in certain weather patterns.. The town docks are great but strong winds from the East or South tend to make them pretty rocky, tying along the wall is almost not doable.
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:38 PM   #38
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Greetings,
I second Mr. OC's recommendation of Cypress Creek Grill.
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:51 PM   #39
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Greetings,
I second Mr. OC's recommendation of Cypress Creek Grill.
Now I'm worried.

Ted
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:53 PM   #40
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Doesn't seem like a big Dismal route Club...but I like the members so far!
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