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Old 09-03-2014, 08:22 AM   #41
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Ok we're at the free docks in Portsmouth. We'll take the ferry over to visit Norfolk today leaving tomorrow for the anchorage or marina up the Pagan River to Smithfield station.
Then probably the free docks in Hampton.

We took the Dismal Swamp route and enjoyed it but hit 6 dead heads between the locks. No damage I think.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:36 AM   #42
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I would recommend that you stay away from Reedville. I was there two weeks ago and it was awful. They have a large fish processing plant there and if the wind shifts in your direction the smell is intollerable. It is really to bad because there are several great places to anchor there. I went there because of publicity that the plant was much better due to scrubbers and active captian reviews didnt say much about the smell. When the sun went down and the wind shifted and you almost puke.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:41 AM   #43
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I would recommend that you stay away from Reedville. I was there two weeks ago and it was awful. They have a large fish processing plant there and if the wind shifts in your direction the smell is intollerable. It is really to bad because there are several great places to anchor there. I went there because of publicity that the plant was much better due to scrubbers and active captian reviews didnt say much about the smell. When the sun went down and the wind shifted and you almost puke.
Dave, does the menhaden fleet still work the south end of the bay?
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:39 PM   #44
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Yes, there were four large trawlers at the factory when we where there. I have passed the trawlers several times this summer.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:51 PM   #45
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Ahhhhhhh, cooking, squeezing, drying, and grinding menhaden. Nothing like it. In fact, I think I will take another capsule of Omega 3.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:33 PM   #46
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Check out the crabs and Rock fish(stripped bass).
They're in there alright . . .



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Old 09-03-2014, 05:39 PM   #47
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They aren't trawlers like us...they are purse seiners....

well at least the ones I know of....
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:08 PM   #48
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Ok we're at the free docks in Portsmouth. We'll take the ferry over to visit Norfolk today leaving tomorrow for the anchorage or marina up the Pagan River to Smithfield station.
Then probably the free docks in Hampton.
If you want crabs (to eat), get them while you are in the southern bay and on the eastern shore if possible. They get more expensive as you go north.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:21 PM   #49
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We took the Dismal Swamp route and enjoyed it but hit 6 dead heads between the locks. No damage I think.
Help me out, what do you mean by "dead heads"?

We're heading from Annapolis to Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, via ICW and OWW, and we're going to try and not hit ANYTHING. Too optimistic? We're new at this.

BTW, call Ralph or Dusty at Annapolis Landing Marina on Back Creek, Annapolis area...maybe they'll put you up in our empty slip.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:48 PM   #50
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Tidewater Yacht is also a nice place to stay in Portsmouth. Just a short walk to restaurants.

Smithfield is a really nice area. Main St. is full of good places to eat and some little shops.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:03 AM   #51
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Help me out, what do you mean by "dead heads"?

We're heading from Annapolis to Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, via ICW and OWW, and we're going to try and not hit ANYTHING. Too optimistic? We're new at this.

BTW, call Ralph or Dusty at Annapolis Landing Marina on Back Creek, Annapolis area...maybe they'll put you up in our empty slip.
Well, ICW you'll likely be able to avoid hitting anything. If you choose to take the Dismal Swamp route you're far more likely to touch somewhere along the way. However, at the slow speed you'll be going and with the nature of the bottom, it's likely to be damage free.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:09 AM   #52
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Help me out, what do you mean by "dead heads"?

We're heading from Annapolis to Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, via ICW and OWW, and we're going to try and not hit ANYTHING. Too optimistic? We're new at this.

BTW, call Ralph or Dusty at Annapolis Landing Marina on Back Creek, Annapolis area...maybe they'll put you up in our empty slip.
I have transited the Dismal Swamp 3 times in the last 2 years and never touched bottom or hit anything larger than small branches. Draft is 4 feet.

There were trees down that blocked over half of the canal width, but still easily rounded. The lockmasters and park, rest stop people are very interested in floating dangers or downed trees and asked me specifically where they were as if sending someone out pretty quick to fix.

We travel the swamp route in December and early April so we seem to be travelling with very light company...2X we were the only boat in the canal for the day. So I think we see a lot more "stuff" in the canal than many...but with my single engine and no near disasters yet...and really nothing that was any worse than the other ICW canal sections...it is by far my preferred route.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:43 AM   #53
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I have transited the Dismal Swamp 3 times in the last 2 years and never touched bottom or hit anything larger than small branches. Draft is 4 feet.

There were trees down that blocked over half of the canal width, but still easily rounded. The lockmasters and park, rest stop people are very interested in floating dangers or downed trees and asked me specifically where they were as if sending someone out pretty quick to fix.

We travel the swamp route in December and early April so we seem to be travelling with very light company...2X we were the only boat in the canal for the day. So I think we see a lot more "stuff" in the canal than many...but with my single engine and no near disasters yet...and really nothing that was any worse than the other ICW canal sections...it is by far my preferred route.
The reason I said he might well bump along the way is he did note his lack of experience. Obviously you're at the other end of the spectrum. We haven't yet been on the Dismal route.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:53 AM   #54
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There are a fair number of sunken logs...but they all showed on the sounder to be at the very bottom sticking up less than a foot.

All said I don't doubt Tim as right after a storm the place could be a mess for awhile...I just haven't experienced it or just lucky.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:15 AM   #55
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Help me out, what do you mean by "dead heads"?

.
That's a term for partially sunken logs or trees. They may have one end barely floating or the whole log barely floating.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:02 AM   #56
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we met a southbound couple who warned us about the deadheads at the Visitors Center. after hitting the first one we slowed to below 6 miles per hour.

Smithfield is a great place I highly recommend it. we stay at Smithfield station Marina and really enjoyed it. Brian let us use his truck and we made a Walmart run. the channel running into Smithfield gets a little shallow we tried it at low tide and couldn't make it had to wait about 2 hours for the tide rise.

we're currently in Hampton. we stumbled upon Bay Days and found all the marinas full so we anchored out which turned out just as well. the air and space museum here is fantastic.

tomorrow we'll head up the bay toward the York River and the town of York. we might rent a car and go to Williamsburg. looking for suggestions after that.

sorry about the lack of caps my voice to text doesn't do that.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:53 AM   #57
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Headed north on the west side..many stop in Deltaville. Lot's of marina's but not much there when you get there...but I never explored there...maybe someone can expand or you can google some info.

If you want to run double the distance..many love the Solomons Island area. Everytime I've stopped there or Pax River I was treated to some new designs of experimental aircraft out for a test flight.

But a must stop up that way is Tangier Island so don't forget to include that in the stop list.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:03 PM   #58
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Another way to Williamsburg is to continue up the James River to Jamestown. Very interesting. Whoops, just noticed you alread came back down river, so FYI for future reference.

Yorktown is fun especially if you are a history buff. I think they still have moorings there which saves a few bucks, or you can dock at the nice Riverwalk complex.

Deltaville is a boaty's haven. It also has a nice Maritime Museum in a pretty park and gardens equipped with a dinghy dock off Johnson Creek, where there are a few places to anchor. As I mentioned before, Fishing Bay is a roomy, lovely anchorage with good shoreside access at the north end, a pleasant hike into town.

A very nice alternative as mentioned before is to keep going up the Rappahannock to Urbanna, which is a bit more of a "town", and very charming. You can anchor off or get a slip.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:02 PM   #59
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Beware the rub rails on the floating docks at Yorktown Municipal docks. They are very dirty and will leave black marks on your boat and fenders. Across the river on the north side (Sarah Creek)there is a very nice marina with good restaurant, fuel, and car service to Yorktown.
Deltaville area is easy short trip off the Bay. Regatta Point is a nice marina with floating docks. It has no yard or fuel but there is fuel available at Norview Marina which is within sight of Regatta Point. Deltaville also has plenty of repair facilities as well and a large West Marine store in town.
12 miles up the Rappahanock River is Carter Creek with nice places to drop the hook or you can stay at the Tides Inn Marina resort if you are craving a little luxury. The town of Irvington is in walking distance. Quaint little town with several restaurants, a Steamboat Museum, coffee shop, and some other shops but no grocery or hardware. A little further up the Rappahanock is the town of Urbanna with plenty of transient slips (a town marina and several others). Shops and restaurants there also.
Just North of the mouth of the Rappahanock lies Fleets Bay formed by the confluence of 4 large creeks. All of which provide beautiful anchorages. The best of those is the little Bay area at the mouth of Antipoison Creek. It's a beautiful anchorage with awesome sunsets and a nice beach. But not the best for protection from NE weather.
From the Rappahanock mouth or the Fleets Bay area you have approx 23 mile trip to Tangier Island or 50 miles North to Solomon's.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:17 PM   #60
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Bill, good points. We have anchored up both Antipoison Creek and Dymer Creek, both lovely, but surrounded by private homes. Grog island, I think it is called, at the entrance to Dymer has a place to anchor just inside, and would be great for the OP's dog with a nice beach.
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