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Old 05-12-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
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more route advice needed

Yes, I need more advice about my route north.
I'm in Belhaven NC (ICW135) and hope to be in Norfolk, VA in two to three days.
My dilemma is that as I look at the charts for the ICW, all I see are straight, boring canals, including the Dismal Swamp.
Can I just go east to the big sound and then go north???
or is that more work than it's worth??

Richard
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:58 PM   #2
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the short answer is no. You would have to go outside Oregon Inlet to get North from the East.

Your choices are the Virginia Cut through Great Bridge Lock or the Dismal Swamp.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
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I live in this area, and have taken the exact route you are on a few years back in my Mainship 390.

Quickest: I would go up the alligator river from Belhaven, then northeast and take ICW thru Coinjock.

Scenic: Take the alligator river and then take the ICW thru Elizabeth City, you can dock there for free. But then you have to navigate the Great Dismal Swamp Canal (which is beautiful). There are locks on both ends so you have to time it right, there is a visitor center with dockage(free) along the canal, so that is the scenic route. Will take an entire day to navigate the canal.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:56 AM   #4
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Richard, if you are going the Virginia cut route, you will hit a number of bridges with timed openings. Most are timed in sequence about 30 minutes apart. That can work fairly well. Just try not to hit them at rush hour when they have extended closure times. Also, the Gilmerton Bridge is having extensive work done. There are some restrictions on passage I think mostly in the evenings. Norfolk is always a tricky but interesting place.

Looks like you rested up in Belhaven.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:28 PM   #5
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In a faster boat I try to go out in Pamlico Sound to avoid the canals, bridges and slowing to pass trawlers and sailboats. Even in a trawler though if the wind is not strong at least you can set the auto pilot and relax on the trip. The mileage is only a little more than the canal and the Alligator River and you rejoin the ICW in the Albemarle sound.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:22 PM   #6
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In a faster boat I try to go out in Pamlico Sound to avoid the canals, bridges and slowing to pass trawlers and sailboats. Even in a trawler though if the wind is not strong at least you can set the auto pilot and relax on the trip. The mileage is only a little more than the canal and the Alligator River and you rejoin the ICW in the Albemarle sound.
That's great advice, Tucker. I did exactly that my last trip. It was a good day with much autopilot time. We made it from Morehead City to Portsmouth in 1 day. I was kind of surprised when I saw Richard turn at Maw Point back into the ICW from the Neuse. With his outside runs, I thought he would go up the sounds. However, he was pretty tired, and probably looking for a place to hold up.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #7
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Guys, I don't know what your talking about. He's already in Belhaven. The fastest is the Virginia Cut. You are only an easy two days from Norfolk or one day to Great Bridge. I made the east end of the Alligator to Portsmouth in one day a few weeks ago.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:07 PM   #8
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Guys, I don't know what your talking about. He's already in Belhaven. The fastest is the Virginia Cut. You are only an easy two days from Norfolk or one day to Great Bridge. I made the east end of the Alligator to Portsmouth in one day a few weeks ago.
And we were ALL witness to the fact that Mark is NEVER in a hurry to get there.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:49 PM   #9
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That's great advice, Tucker. I did exactly that my last trip. It was a good day with much autopilot time. We made it from Morehead City to Portsmouth in 1 day. I was kind of surprised when I saw Richard turn at Maw Point back into the ICW from the Neuse. With his outside runs, I thought he would go up the sounds. However, he was pretty tired, and probably looking for a place to hold up.
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Guys, I don't know what your talking about. He's already in Belhaven. The fastest is the Virginia Cut. You are only an easy two days from Norfolk or one day to Great Bridge. I made the east end of the Alligator to Portsmouth in one day a few weeks ago.
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Well, I think Daddyo was right. looking at the charts, it seemed I no longer had a choice. Also, someone seemed to confirm that. I did take the faster route, avoiding the Dismal route. i took the Boring route. I doubt i will ever do this again in this lifetime.
Actually now that i think of it, it reminds me of driving to Fairbanks, ALaska on the Alcan. 2000 miles of scrawny trees.

Thanks Guys. i really appreciate the advice. I will meander up the Chesapeake, as I would like to see it and i don't want to be in Cape may before Saturday.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:49 PM   #10
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Guys, I don't know what your talking about. He's already in Belhaven. The fastest is the Virginia Cut. You are only an easy two days from Norfolk or one day to Great Bridge. I made the east end of the Alligator to Portsmouth in one day a few weeks ago.
Mark, I was aware that he had passed the point. I was just agreeing with Tucker that to cut out of the ICW into the Pamlico and through Croaton Sound is my preferred route to Albemarle Sound. For me it is quicker and easier unless really bad weather. Your right. Even with the bridges to consider his fastest way is the Virginia Cut.

Looks like he is anchored in North River.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:53 PM   #11
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yes, I am.
Another question? Why do sailboats anchor with NO lights.
It's getting dark, I'm using the binocs to look for crab pot floats and lo and behold i have a sail boat dead ahead maybe a quarter of a mile.

Now, I'm hearing creepy noises and smelling burning wood.

It's going to be along night.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:07 PM   #12
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yes, I am.
Another question? Why do sailboats anchor with NO lights.
It's getting dark, I'm using the binocs to look for crab pot floats and lo and behold i have a sail boat dead ahead maybe a quarter of a mile.

Now, I'm hearing creepy noises and smelling burning wood.

It's going to be along night.
As long as you are not hearing banjos, you are probably OK.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:35 PM   #13
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Now, I'm hearing creepy noises and smelling burning wood.

It's going to be along night.
What??? You can't hear my banjo???

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Old 05-13-2013, 10:50 PM   #14
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i knew i shouldn't look at this one more time
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:47 AM   #15
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Mark, I was aware that he had passed the point. I was just agreeing with Tucker that to cut out of the ICW into the Pamlico and through Croaton Sound is my preferred route to Albemarle Sound. For me it is quicker and easier unless really bad weather. Your right. Even with the bridges to consider his fastest way is the Virginia Cut.

Looks like he is anchored in North River.
I agree 100%. The Pamlico is the way to go but as you know and some here might not, you've got to make that call just after leaving Adam's Creek. For those who do leave the magenta line you have the opportunity to visit two of the better stops (if not the best stop, Ocracoke) Manteo and Ocracoke on the entire AICW. If you've got the time take those side trips
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:51 AM   #16
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And we were ALL witness to the fact that Mark is NEVER in a hurry to get there.
What one cotton pickin minute! Are you calling my 6.8 knts a hurry?
Trust me, if the family had been with me on the return trip we would still be underway "Time Stand Still, Rush"
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:12 AM   #17
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The Dismal Swamp is the way to go.

Laid out by George Washington , it runs thry very interesting country with little nearby road traffic , or much in the way of urban sprawl.

If its a delivery go the other way and see more ICW (the I -95 marine version).

The D-S has no traffic at night , snag a tree , drop a flyweight anchor and enjoy the time .
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