It’s Thursday morning and we are motoring through one of my favorite spots on the ICW, the Great Dismal Swamp Canal that straddles both NC and VA.
The scenery here is amazing and although I could do without the occasional bump (more like a good wack actually) on submerged logs as we motor along,. For me, it is perhaps the most beautiful part of any trip on the ICW.
Here is what greeted us as we headed out early this morning from Elizabeth City. What a great way to start the day.The river winds through bald Cypress stands for miles. We were visited by this beautiful dragon fly.Along the way we made time to stop, although briefly, at the welcome center. What nice ladies behind the desk. Southern hospitality and with a smile. Pandora looked smart at the welcome center dock. There was quite a bit of wildlife along the way. Turtles on every warm surface. Notice the rope on this log, it was pulled out of the canal. That’s the sort of thing that I bumped along the way. Better out of the water.How about a water snake? Want to go swimming? Hmm… I’ll think about that for a bit.This is my first “springtime” visit to the Dismal and there were flowers everywhere and the sweet smell of honeysuckle wafted by on the breeze.
You see all matter of craft on the ICW. How about this “live aboard”, Clam? It’s bound for the Bahamas. Need living quarters? No need to do a major refit. I’ll just bring along my camper. Much simpler. I shudder at the thought of this boat going across the Gulf Stream.
Going through the locks is always a treat. At first you are down at the bottom of the lock.And then it fills up and you are on your way. Locktender Robert is wonderful. I think that he looks a little like Elton John. He wondered why Brenda wasn’t aboard. Perhaps he was hoping or some sort of juicy story. Sorry to disappoint Robert. She just hates long deliveries. Lucky for Michael and Jim. Well, at least that’s what I hope they think.
Tonight we leave Hampton Roads and will head out into the Atlantic to make our run to Montauk Point and home to CT. I am very excited about being at our “land home” again after so many months away as it’s been since just after Christmas when we packed up to head south.
The weather forecast says that we will be heading out into some fairly rough water with perhaps 6’ seas at first, left over from the strong north winds of the last few days, but that it will improve fairly quickly. I’ll vote for “quickly”. We do expect to be able to sail after the first half day or so and be able to sail for half of the run. I hope that the front that’s coming through late Sunday with unfavorable NE winds, won’t arrive until we reach our destination.
I won’t be able to post until we are back in Cell Range on Sunday but, as always, I’ll be noting our location every 4 hours on “where’s Pandora”.
For the moment I’ll enjoy our run through the Dismal. Yes indeed, it’s clear that you can be both dismal and beautiful, bumps and all.
FLASH ALERT: I just spoke with Chris Parker, the weather router, and he advised us to stay local until Friday morning and leave at dawn. This evening the seas and wind are still up and it would be miserable to head out now. Still expecting to be in on Sunday, and we’d better be, as unfavorable winds from the NE will kick up late Sunday afternoon. Such are the trials of passage making.