Another nice sunny day but the rain is sitting in the western part of North Carolina and moving slowly east. Our plan was to go to the Dismal Swamp Visitor Center free dock for the next 2 nights. According to the weather reports it is going to rain all day tomorrow. We decided to pass thru the canal and move on to Top Rack the marina we fueled at last year.
The day stayed sunny for most of the morning and then the clouds started to move in. We did stop at the Visitor Center to walk Candy but we got back on the canal in about 20 minutes. You enter and leave the canal by lock with a lift/or drop of about 8′. The locks only operate at 8:30, 11:00, 1:30 and 3:30. We entered at the 11:00 lock and left at the 3:30 lock.
After we left the Visitor Center we had about a 5 minute shower. It was heavy enough to obscure the boat about 1/2 mile ahead of us. It did cool off the temps a little and that was welcome.
The canal is a swamp on the west side and a highway/road runs along the east side. Some homes along the east side but probably not more than about 20 for the 21 mile length. Originally George Washington had about 15.000 acres of land and was the president of the Dismal Swamp Owners Association. The Plan was to harvest the cypress trees and use the canal to move the timber to market. Before this got underway an easier harvest area was opened along one of the readily accessible sounds in North Carolina but the canal had already been built.
Much has been written about the Dismal Swamp Depth and the Army Corp tries to maintain a minimum of 6′. We did not see anything less than 6′ but we did hit some dead heads that were essentially submerged. I did not see them until we heard the clunk and them saw it surface behind the boat. We have no low speed vibration so I am hoping there is no damage.
The rain tomorrow may help us because we are staying at Top Rack Marina. They had a slip for us with power tonight, but all the slips with power were already reserved for tomorrow night. If it rains enough the reservations may not be used.
We are going to need to watch the weather closely because from here we will start up the Chesapeake Bay. Last year we did the western side of the Chesapeake Bay and this year we will do the eastern side. I am still planning the stops but it looks like our first stop will be Cape Charles which is just North of the Atlantic Ocean Entrance to the Chesapeake Bay.