Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Here's the beginning of the many quizzes you'll see in our blog this year. Some will be educational and some will be practical...... or just plain foolish.
Sooooooooooo ! ANYBODY KNOW WHAT THIS MIGHT BE???? (The answer is at the end of this post).
Meanwhile, back in Norfolk...... Some people might not realize the immensity of these aircraft carriers. Well, if you look close, the little black dot up on the corner of the deck is a fully grown adult.

Norfolk Harbour is extremely long running approx. 17 miles up the Elizabeth River. After you pass the last lift bridge you come upon this small sign and have to make a decision....... turn right and enter the Dismal Swamp Canal or go straight to run through the Virginia Cut where it is much busier. We went through the canal.

About two miles into the river you come upon the Deep Creek Lock. The Canal depth is maintained at a six foot depth by locks at each end.

At the advertised time the lockmaster opened the lock gate and we all locked through for the lift of approx. 6 feet up to the level of the canal.

20 minutes of rising we reach the level of the canal and ready ourselves for another adventure..... with a little excitement, I might add. You can see the turbulence in the lock from the incoming water.

 Upon leaving the lock we enter the Great Dismal Swamp and after about half a mile we round the corner to arrive at the first of two lift bridges. Unfortunately, the lockmaster has to close up the locks after the last boat leaves and drive up to open the bridge, so we had a bit of a wait for him.

This canal hasn't changed in over 200 years since being built. It is peaceful, beautiful and shallow. We bumped our keel on sunken logs 7 times....... but no damage done.

The banks are overgrown with vegetation.

Occasionally you meet up with an opposing boat so you just keep to the side for a safe passage....... but watch out for overhanging trees.

When we entered the lock at Deep Creek, the lockmaster told us that this was peak duckweed season. It would be like motoring over a green shag carpet.... and he was right.
Jan must have been steering here as our trail is quite straight.

WATCH 0UT FOR THOSE TREES JAN !!!! LOOK OUT.... SWOOSH.... Damn, we caught the overhead branches with our outer shroud and down came a bunch of small branches and lots of leaves. Again..... no damage done. 

I think this curious fellow was laughing at us.

Whew .... we made around that corner OK without any tree branches getting in the way. Now it's John's turn.

Ta Daaaaaaaa..... We're in North Carolina. Virginia is now in the past.

We all arrived at the Dismal Swamp Visitors Center around 3pm to spend a restful night and to get to know each other.
Here we are all rafted up at the free dock for the night.

Next morning it was off again in the mist and fog to continue our eerie trip through the swamp. 

When we arrived in Elisabeth City, Gene, from Mississippi and Ron got together and bought 5 pounds of ribs. Gene was going to teach Ron how to grill them Mississippi style........ and he was going to use his secret spices........

The smell was so good that the locals started showing up and they all got a feed of southern ribs.

Here Gene was just glowing with pride as everyone praised his effort with the ribs. 

It's a "HEAD HAMMOCK" !!!!!
On a long passage when you doze off, the head hammock prevents the whiplash effect we all get when our heads fall back. It cradles you, keeps out the noise and it's warm.
It's quick and easy to deploy and uses readily available materials.
Hey, I should patent this thing !!!
Next leg takes us down the Albemarle Sound to the Alligator River and beyond.

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