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Archive For: NC1 – Dismal Swamp Route

  • August Programs at Dismal Swamp State Park, AICW Alternate Route


    A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, the Camden TDA/Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center is located on the east shore of the Canal at Statute Mile 28 and is adjacent to the Dismal Swamp State Park where there are so many fun summer programs!

    Hello!
    Please find below the August program schedule for Dismal Swamp. We’re continuing to offer Paddles regularly and also featuring the paw-paw trees found throughout the park, as well as offering another volunteering information session. We’ll be bringing back Wagon Rides in the fall. We are now accepting pre-registrations for the Dismal Day 5K Fun Run on Saturday, October 22, and the first 100 to sign up will receive a free t-shirt. The big centennial Dismal Day event will be Saturday, October 22, from 10 am-2 pm – save the date; it’s going to be GREAT! 🙂

    Read More

     

    Summer Paddle, Sat, 08/06/2016 – 10:00am
    Join the ranger for a leisurely paddle along the historic Dismal Swamp Canal. All ages and abilities welcome. Boats, paddles, PFDs, and instruction (if needed) are provided. Limited to 8 boats; you must pre-register to reserve your spot!
    Start Location: Boat Launch

    Summer Paddle, Sun, 08/14/2016 – 10:00am
    Join the ranger for a leisurely paddle along the historic Dismal Swamp Canal. All ages and abilities welcome. Boats, paddles, PFDs, and instruction (if needed) are provided. Limited to 8 boats; you must pre-register to reserve your spot!
    Start Location: Boat Launch

    Volunteer Orientation Session, Sat, 08/20/2016 – 11:00am to 12:00pm
    Interested in helping out at the park? Learn about different volunteer opportunities at Dismal Swamp. We’ll review the program guidelines, scheduling, and more. The session will last about an hour with time for a Q&A with the ranger/volunteer coordinator at the end.
    Start Location: Auditorium

    What’s a Paw-Paw? Sun, 08/21/2016 – 2:00pm
    Come and learn about one of our most fascinating native trees. The humble paw-paw is a relatively small understory tree, but it has big significance! This talk will start indoors and move outside, so dress for the weather!
    Start Location: Auditorium

    Summer Paddle, Sat, 08/27/2016 – 2:00pm
    Join the ranger for a leisurely paddle along the historic Dismal Swamp Canal. All ages and abilities welcome. Boats, paddles, PFDs, and instruction (if needed) are provided. Limited to 8 boats; you must pre-register to reserve your spot!
    Start Location: Boat Launch

    ~Katie

    Katie Sanford, State Park Ranger
    Dismal Swamp State Park
    NC DNCR, Division of Parks and Recreation
    2294 Hwy 17 North
    South Mills, NC 27976
    Office: 252-771-6593
    www.ncparks.gov
    katie.sanford@ncparks.gov

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Camden TDA/Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • Elizabeth City, NC, Monthly Update, AICW Alternate Dismal Swamp Route


    Elizabeth City, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, located at the southern end of the Dismal Swamp Canal Route, and the friendliest-to-boaters community on the Waterway, continues its calendar of exciting events!

    elizabethblueball

    CLICK HERE FOR THE MONTHLY UPDATE

       www.DiscoverElizabethCity/blog

    Our mailing address is:
    Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
    400 S. Water St., Suite 101
    Elizabeth City, NC 27909

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

  • Reports from Dismal Swamp Canal, AICW Alternate Route


    These thoughtful and informative reports on the Dismal Swamp Canal, home of Dismal Swamp State Park – A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR – come from our good friends at AGLCA. The Camden TDA/Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center is located on the east shore of the Canal at Statute Mile 28 and is adjacent to the Dismal Swamp State Park where there are so many fun summer programs!

    We just did the DS northbound on July 27-28. It was hot, but it’s hot everywhere. The tall trees offer some shade. We passed only one boat. No competition for dock space at the visitor center. They have free ice and air conditioning. Free docks at Elizabeth City. Brown water. Some bumps.
    Keith and D’Anne Weitzman
    “Our Backyard”
    Carver 3607 MY
    Read More

    We passed through the Dismal Swamp in the other direction in early July this year. I suggest a cooler day if possible. Be ready with bug spray or a screened in helm. Take it slow. There are small logs and branches that you can sometimes see and sometimes not see that you will bump. The ones you don’t see I think are neutrally buoyant and just below the surface. Going slow will allow them to be pushed to the side without damage. They suggest 5 mph but were were a little faster especially on the north end.
    We did not stop in the swamp because of the flies but we stopped in Elizabeth City at the free slips to see the town and then at Lambs overnight to make the 11:00 lock time. After the swamp, we stayed in Norfolk at Waterside and then Portsmouth. See July 2016 entry in cmosboating.blogspot.com. There are pictures of the scenery which we found very pretty particularly in the morning at the south end before the first lock (and flies).
    Clark on Sea Moss

    We went through the Dismal Swamp in late June and were mostly alone until the north lock when two other boats caught up with us. Water levels were high and the scenery was lovely. There was some construction going on at the visitor center but the facilities were open and uncrowded.
    Ben and Nancy Duggar
    September, Camano 31

    I just went through the Dismal Swamp about six weeks ago and it was fine. If you leave Elizabeth City in time to catch the 0830 or 1100 openings at South Mills and run 5 to 6 knots, you will be at Deep Creek bridge in plenty of time for the 1330 or 1530 openings and then you can make Norfolk, Portsmouth or Hampton before dark. If you are wanting to go latter, you can stay at the lock wall at South Mills, the NC Welcome station, or the wall right before the bridge at Deep Creek bridge. Deep Creek is not a great stop, lots of traffic noise, but a very short walk to Food Lion for provisions and a Burger King(I think). There is also a good anchorage after the Deep Creek lock on the right just before you reach the Elizabeth River.
    Ken Horton

    North Carolina offers several alternative routes if you have time. The “main highway” is the ICW Route, but the barrier islands and the Albemarle offer delightful alternatives.
    I have an article on North Carolina on my website, here: https://gilwellbear.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/north-carolina/.
    Under the North Carolina tab, there are several related articles on the various alternatives. Here is a link to one that discusses the Virginia Cut and the Dismal Swamp alternative: https://gilwellbear.wordpress.com/category/cruising-practica/us-east-coast/north-carolina/albemarle-to-norfolk/.
    Hope they are useful.
    Jim
    Monk 36 Hull #132
    MMSI #367042570
    AGLCA #3767
    MTOA #3436

    We went thru the Dismal Swamp Thursday and Friday July 28th and 29th in a 39 krogen with a 4’6″ draft. The depth was a constant 7 ft. We bumped a few logs in the water. You need to keep a constant lookout. We stayed one night at the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center. Great trip.
    Mack McGahee

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Camden TDA/Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • August Events Calendar for Elizabeth City, NC, Dismal Swamp Route


    Elizabeth City, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, located at the southern end of the Dismal Swamp Canal Route, and the friendliest-to-boaters community on the Waterway, continues its calendar of exciting events!

    elizabeth-city

    “Things to See & Do in Elizabeth City during August”

    CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE AUGUST CALENDAR

    www.DiscoverElizabethCity.com    www.DiscoverElizabethCity/blog

    Our mailing address is:
    Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
    400 S. Water St., Suite 101
    Elizabeth City, NC 27909

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

  • Wanting to Crew on a Sailing Vessel North to Elizabeth City, NC


    If you need crew to handle a sailing vessel and can use Erica on the short trip from the Cape Fear River to Elizabeth City on the Dismal Swamp Route, let us hear from you! Elizabeth City is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    I am near Wilmington looking to crew on a sailing vessel heading north towards Elizabeth City. I will be working on a sailboat here until then. Please email me if interested! Manneaej@gmail.com
    Erica

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

  • Hwy 158 Bridge Now Repaired, Elizabeth City, NC, Dismal Swamp Canal Alternate Route Mile 51, 5/4/2016


    This now void Alert from Annette Baker came via our good friend, Hank Pomeranz of Carolina Yacht Care, out of Southport, NC. Highway 158 Bridge crosses the Dismal Swamp AICW Route at Statute Mile 51, in the heart of downtown Elizabeth City, and has returned to it’s reconstruction opening schedule following mechanical repairs.

    Gentlemen,
    Appreciate your help getting the following word out…
    Thanks to Annette Baker aboard S/V Magnolia who reported this late yesterday after hearing chatter on VHF. She verified it today and I followed up with a call to the bridge tender.
    Status as of 2:30PM today…The bridge is closed since yesterday due to mechanical difficulties. The bridge tender states that parts have arrived but is unsure how long to repair. Bridge tender can be reached at 252 331-4772.
    Best regards
    Hank

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Highway 158 Bridge
    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Bridge Directory Listing For Highway 158 Bridge

  • “Free Dockage” Blog by James H Newsome


    James Newsome is a regular contributor to SSECN and other publications, both online and print. He has been compiling his list of free dockage along the Waterway for several years and it is a list worth perusing! Naturally, author Newsome mentions Elizabeth City, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, and one of the best known free docks on the Waterway.

    I don’t know if you remember me mentioning the “FREE DOCKAGE” list project back during the summer, but I’ve continued to work on this and believe I have everything listed from 0 MM at least down through Jacksonville, FL and 738 MM. I have a few more listings below Jax, but I have a lot more work to do in this area.

    I’ve started a Facebook page FREE DOCKAGE where I offer the complete list. I’ve had a very good reception from folks who find the list useful and I’m currently at 643 likes. This format is working well for now because it is a no cost option for me to get this information out to a lot of folks who realize, like me, that none of the other cruising guides offer a short concise list for FREE DOCKS.

    Elizabeth City, NC is a great example of a town that really tries to promote themselves as cruiser friendly with free dock offerings. They understand that most cruisers who come to their town are essentially tourists who happen to arrive by boats instead of cars, and these cruisers always spend money when they stop. Therefore, “Free Docks” is a win-win for boaters as well as communities.

    James H. Newsome
    Contributing Writer – Southwinds Magazine
    s/v CaiLeigh Anna – Coastal Cruising With Hugh & Suze
    98 Buena Vista Avenue
    Warrenton, GA 30828

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

  • Row Boat in Dismal Swamp Canal, AICW Alternate Route


    Traveling south, the Dismal Swamp Canal route exits the Waterway westward immediately south of the I-64 fixed bridge at statute mile 7.1. The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is located on the east shore of the Canal at Statute Mile 28. Our thanks to Director Stewart for sharing this experience.

    We had the pleasure of meeting Victor Mooney, a gentleman who has attempted for the past 10 years to travel across the ocean in a mission to raise Aids awareness. He is a gentle spirit who has had some serious challenges, including running out of food, underestimating the rations needed to cross the ocean while expending so many calories, sharks and pirates……and is making the final journey to meet his family in New York.

    Row Boat. Victor Mooney.1 2015

    He came to the Swamp yesterday and stayed with us overnight. He deeply respects the waterways and those who travel. He even did not fault the pirates or the shark who put a hole in his boat……he stated they were “hungry”. He believes God has guided his path through all of this journey, even when he had to be rescued and stopped for periods of time.

    Row Boat 2015 State Park 2

    I would like to ask the boating community to keep an eye out for Victor. Show him hospitality and slow down and calm the wake if you pass by. His vessels name is “Spirit of Malabo” named after the capital of Equatorial Guinea. To read more about him, follow these links.

    www.goreechallenge.com
    http://www.dailyadvance.com/news/man-crossing-atlantic-rowboat-stops-ec-2963889
    goreechallenge@gmail.com

    Donna Stewart, Director
    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center
    2356 US Hwy 17N
    South Mills, NC 27976
    Phone ~ 252-771-8333
    www.DismalSwampWelcomeCenter.com

    Bird, Bike, Hike….take in the sights!

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • Dredging in Dismal Swamp Canal, ICW Alternate Route Statute Mile 22


    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate RouteThe onsite dredges and dredging equipment will certainly make the close quarters of the Dismal Swamp Canal even cozier, so SLOW DOWN and keep a good forward watch. The possibility of the dredging action pulling up stumps and logs is very real and could damage your running gear. The Lake Drummond feeder ditch intersects the Canal at Statute Mile 22 north of the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    VA – CHESAPEAKE – DISMAL SWAMP – DREDGING
    Southwind Construction Corporation will begin dredging operations within the Dismal Swamp Canal near marker 22 on 29 June through 29 July, 2015. Operations will take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The dredge KRISTI JOE and tender DANNY JOE will be onscene. Both vessels monitor VHF Channels 13 & 16, with a working channel 78. Floating rubber and polyethylene pipeline associated with dredging operation will traverse both northerly and southerly along the western shoreline of Dismal Swamp Canal to the adjacent Upland Disposal Area located along the Lake Drummond Feeder Ditch. Chart 12200 NM: 25/15

    6/25 And this news today from Donna Stewart at the Welcome Center:

    Larry,
    I spoke to the Operations Manager, Joel Scussell. He said he does not expect a lot of disruption and they will work 1700’ feet both north and south at the mouth of the ditch and 500’ into the Feeder Ditch. The contractor has done work in the past, with a good reputation and they expect to be cleared to 9’ in this location. I wish they had funds to dredge the whole canal. We will add this to our Wish List.
    Thanks,
    Donna

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • Winter Helicopter Rescue off NC Coast by Elizabeth City Coast Guard


    Here is a not-so-typical story of the dangers faced by our Coast Guard as they answer the needs of boaters in distress. Elizabeth City and Mariner’s Wharf are located at the southern end of the Dismal Swamp Canal.

    Coast Guard crews battle snow, ice to transport injured boater

    022115CoastGuardRescue

    U.S. Coast Guard photo by Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City prepares to land at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Friday. The crew medevaced and transported an injured crewman from a motor vessel off the North Carolina coast.

    The Daily Advance
    Friday, February 20, 2015
    PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Coast Guard crews from Air Station Elizabeth City transported an injured crewman today from a motor vessel about 170 miles east of Oregon Inlet.
    The Coast Guard 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth, Va., received a report from the 1,052-foot, German-flagged freight ship Dalian Express Thursday at about 4 p.m., stating a 62-year-old male crewmember suffered an eye injury while changing a valve in the engine room about 350 miles east of Oregon Inlet.
    To enable a medevac, the crew of Dalian Express, en route to Italy from Norfolk, changed course toward North Carolina to meet with a Coast Guard helicopter crew.
    A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and C-130 Hercules aircraft crew launched Friday from Air Station Elizabeth City, at about 5:45 a.m. The crews flew through intermittent snow and icing conditions before arriving at the Dalian Express at about 6:45 a.m.
    The helicopter crew hoisted the injured man and transported him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, arriving at about 9 a.m.
    The man, whose name was not released, was reported to be in stable condition.

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

  • Virginia Cut versus Dismal Swamp Canal


    The “debate” over which route is better has been going on for a very long time. The Dismal Swamp Canal route is almost one of those “either you love or you hate it” as shown in this article from November of 2013: http://cruisersnet.net/?p=128524. Unless you are in a big hurry, SSECN has always preferred the slow, easy pace of the Canal over the Virginia Cut. The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, is located on the east shore of the like-named Canal at Statute Mile 28. Traveling south, the Dismal Swamp Canal route exits the Waterway westward immediately south of the I-64 fixed bridge at statute mile 7.1.

    i64

    Hi Larry,
    Well it’s that time of year again and we figure a lot of SSECN readers are thinking, “Virginia Cut or Dismal Swamp?”
    Diana and I are BIG fans of the Dismal Swamp route and for those readers interested here’s a link to a PassageMaker Magazine article we wrote to back it up!

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3291490/magazine%20articles/PMM0514%20ICW%20Dismal%20Frugal%20Doyle.pdf

    And the Captains Doyle have sent us the excellent, complete section on the Dismal Swamp from their ICW CruiseGuide:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3291490/magazine%20articles/OTW%20CruiseGuide%20Dismal%20Swamp.pdf

    Stay in the deep water,
    Best,
    Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
    m/v Semi-Local
    www.OnTheWaterChartGuides.com

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • Unhappy Dismal Swamp Canal Traveler, AICW Alternate Route


    Most of the reports we receive from Dismal Swamp travelers are downright amorous! See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=138522. There are occasions, after high winds or high water, when the canal may be trashed with extra debris and duckweed, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=88326. In fact, it is sometimes closed to order for the ACOE to remove excess debris. Obviously, Captain Grimes came through at one of those congested times, and I hope you will join me in encouraging Captain Grimes to give the Great Dismal Swamp Canal another chance! It is a favorite part of the Waterway for many folks.
    A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center lies along the eastern banks of the Dismal Swamp Canal at statute mile 28.

    We traveled southbound in August, 2012, at < 6 knots with two of us on the flybridge looking for debris in the water. We hit no fewer than 5 submerged objects. Fortunately, our hull sustained no damage, but we will not venture into the Dismal Swamp Canal again. We saw numerous floating logs tied to brush along the bank with flimsy rope.
    Capt. David Grimes

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • New Video Shows Why You SHOULD “Do the Dismal”

    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate RoutePLEASE, if you have even the slightest interest in ever cruising the Dismal Swamp Canal AICW Alternate Route, follow the link below to see a truly amazing video. The talented sailors who put this together employed one of those new drones for aerial photography. And, in addition to the canal itself, there are some truly stunning aerial shots of our good friends at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center! DON’T MISS THIS ONE!!!

    http://vimeo.com/94469647

  • Dismal Swamp Route Recommended, AICW Alternate Route

    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate Route

    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center – Click for Chartview

    The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, is located on the east shore of the like-named Canal at Statute Mile 28.
    The Dismal Swamp Canal State Park Bridge, with 0 ft vertical clearance, is a small, pedestrian foot bridge that crosses the canal just south of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center. This span had malfunctioned, and could not be opened. However, this situation has been remedied and the Dismal Swamp Canal is now open to navigation.

    These good comments about the Great Dismal Swamp Canal come from our friends at America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association’s forum.

    Re: Dismal Swamp or other route:
    The Great Dismal, by all means. Passed thru that way last July in our 30′ Trawler, draft 3.4 feet. A great way to prepare for the hustle & bustle you will encounter at mile Zero and further north. Teems with wildlife and is almost empty of people & waterfront homes. It is anything BUT, Dismal.
    May you have fair winds and following seas,
    Bill & Bonnie Sweeney
    The Elissa II

    We like the Great Dismal Swamp route so much, that unless the canal is closed, we always take the canal route. The stops at Elizabeth City free town docks, South Mills, the Welcome Center and the docks south of Deep Creek Lock, all free, make this a must do. The canal transit itself it beautiful. Here are a couple of our blog posts that might give you some details.
    http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/2013/07/elizabeth-city-north-carolina-harbor-of.html
    http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-great-dismal-swamp-canal-and.html
    Chuck Baier

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • Good Words for Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, AICW Alternate Route

    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate Route

    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center - Click for Chartview

    The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, is located on the east shore of the Canal at Statute Mile 28. For the Center’s winter hours, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=128131

    I have now been retired 3 years, after 23 years as Director of the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center. I want to thank each and everyone who choose to travel the Dismal Swamp Canal. I realize the dockage is small but most the time it will meet your needs. It is the only place where you can witness nature at its best and learn of its history. Bike rides are available, clean restrooms and grounds. Try it once and I promise you will return……..”Happy Cruising”
    Penny Leary-Smith

    The Welcome Center has provided so much needed respite over the years while cruising. The staff certainly are always very informative, and encouraging no matter what time of the day we have visited. Its great to have ‘the Dismal Swamp’ available to us; such a blessful experience – its like riding down a country lane viewing nature in its natural sitting. For me its a ‘slice’ of America, kinda like Yellowstone (a piece of history that I wish everyone could experience). My husband as well as fellow cruisers we know, are praying that tax dollars don’t ever allow it to go away. We encourage everyone to try it – along with a stop by to talk with Robert Peak & say “Hello” to his pal, “U-Turn”; since he’s an extremely sweet pet, you might wish to have a doggie treat ready.
    Ginger Thompson

    Penny,
    Thank you for all you have done. This applies to all your staff as well. It has always been one of our favorite stops.
    Jim and Sandy Davis
    S/V Isa Lei

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • Divergent Thoughts on Cruising the AICW Dismal Swamp Alternate Route

    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate Route

    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center - Click for Chartview

    The recent closure of the Great Bridge Lock, which temporarily made the AICW Dismal Swamp Canal Alternate Route the only inland option, has prompted discussion of the Dismal Swamp’s cruising characteristics, good and less than good.

    I am curious as to why our members are concerned about the Great Bridge Lock being closed. There is enough water and the locks are open on the Dismal Swamp Canal and the passage is prettier than the Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal. We have traversed both many times and prefer the Dismal.
    It’s true that there are more marinas on the C and A and you may have to run a generator at Elizabeth City or at the anchorage above the E. C. bridge but the distance is the same for each passage. True the lower Pasquotank River is open to the wind but then so is Currituck Sound.
    Jim Bertch

    Jim, rarely do I disagree with you, but this time I do! It cost us a pretty penny last time we went through and we’ve been there and done that, and we now prefer the Virginia Cut. OHH and BTW it appears that the Great Bridge Lock is open again. No word on whether it is permanently fixed or what, but right now they are operating on a normal schedule!
    Hans

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • Dismal Swamp Canal AICW Alternate Route Versus the North Carolina – Virginia Cut Route Primary AICW Passage

    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate Route

    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center - Click for Chartview

    The recent closure of the Great Bridge Lock, which temporarily made the Dismal Swamp Canal AICW Alternate Route the only inland option, prompted this discussion of the Dismal Swamp versus the North Carolina – Virginia Cut (a. k. a. the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal) on the AGLCA Forum.

    Obviously each boater makes their own decisions but the Dismal is my absolute preference over the Va Cut. that said I am a shallow draft boat (3′) and have keel protected props. I have found that there are different risks for both routes depending upon your individual boat. We always thump something coming thru the Dismal but so far no damage, and also the Pungo for that matter. The Va Cut bridges are difficult for us to time, as we are a slow boat so we are often waked badly by inconsiderate captains on large yachts transiting the Va. Cut making a schedule. There is commercial traffic on the cut as well and the long narrow channel reach across the Carrituck Sound in weather can be a real bear. I also find that the approaches to the bridges on the upper end of the Virginia Cut has it’s dangers with the stumps lining that narrow channel. Often not visible until they poke out from a wake trough.
    So for us the very protected easy relaxing transit of the Dismal is the attraction and it has many more anchoring/docking options than the cut. When weather blocks the crossing of the Albemarle we often hang out at Elizabeth’s (sometimes referred to as Robert’s) Dock between the Swing bridge and the deep creek lock chamber. Deep water extremely protected free dock with easy walking to the town that has everything the cruiser could require in the adjacent shopping Center. No electric and sometimes you can get water if the tap is on. We prefer this spot to trying to jam into Elizabeth City among a backlog of boats trying to wait a weather window.
    Again the decision is of course dependent upon your situation and boat.
    cruise safe, stay warm but have fun

    We agree whole heartedly in preferring the Dismal Swamp route over the Dreadful Currituck Sound route. In our dozen cruises along the east coast we’ve visited the canal 10 times (leaving 2 for the Dreadful route). Same reasons mentioned in the above article, plus the canal and the river leading to it from Elizabeth City is beautiful and unhurried. We’ve never had an issue with our four foot draft. The new nature center is worth a visit.
    Bob McLeran/Judy Young

    Absolutely agree with the comments above. Add that a visit with Robert Peak, lockmaster at Deep Creek is one of the pleasures of the trip. For a small adventure, take the dinghy, canoe or kayak up the feeder ditch, use the marine railway to get it to lake level and enjoy the almost perfect roundness and natural beauty of Lake Drummond (just be sure to note a landmark so you can find your way back off the lake).
    If you visit the state park and walk or bicycle on the trails, take seriously the warning about Lyme disease carrying deer ticks. We didn’t and had multiple tick bites resulting in a round of antibiotics when we reached home a few days later.
    Jean Thomason

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • Dismal Swamp Welcome Center Winter Hours, AICW Alternate Route

    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate Route

    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center - Click for Chartview

    Our thanks to Sarah Weeks of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR) for this update on the Center’s hours.

    Greetings,
    The winter schedule at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center starting Dec. 1st is as follows:
    Monday – Saturday 9am- 5pm
    Closed Sundays
    Thanks,
    Sarah M. Weeks
    Assistant to the Director
    Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center
    2356 Highway 17 North
    South Mills, NC 27976
    Phone: 877.771.8333 ~ Fax: 252.771.2055
    Web: www.dismalswampwelcomecenter.com

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • Duckweed Largely Cleared at Both Locks and On Dismal Swamp Canal AICW Alternate Route

    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate RouteOur thanks to Director Stewart of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR) for this update and photos below. For earlier photos, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=124791. And we remind you of the “Event Along the Waterway” scheduled for this coming weekend http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120878

    As many of you may have heard there is Duckweed in the northern part of the Canal. I wanted you share with you although you must come through the Deep Creek lock to get here, we are clear. I have a boater who had problems after locking through on Saturday and ended up being towed here to our dock on Sunday.
    I do believe the folks on the north end are doing everything they can to try to alleviate the problem. I know Robert has relayed they have had challenges. My boaters who had come through heading south last week stated they got out of the weed at about mm14. But we did have 5 boats come through earlier today and our stranded boater talked to 5 of them. He said only one stated an issue with having to clean his strainer……..I don’t know what to say, other than I would suggest you contact the Deep Creek lock for their status. Our South Mills lockmaster says he is clear as we are and we took these photos this afternoon (after Tom Hale called) to verify we are clear as well. I called Elizabeth City yesterday to see if they had complaints outside of the South Mills lock to ECity, but Susan reported she had not received any reports of problems. I’ll try to see if one of our boaters here tonight will call me and advise me of the conditions as they head south.
    If we receive further useful information, I’ll let you know.
    Donna Stewart, Director
    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center
    2356 US Hwy 17N
    South Mills, NC 27976
    Phone ~ 252-771-8333
    www.DismalSwampWelcomeCenter.com

    10/18/2013
    We had several boats come in yesterday afternoon and were expecting four more after we left at 5pm. The boaters I spoke to said they had no issues locking at the north. Charlotte Underwood at the Elizabeth City CVB also asked her boaters about the trip from the South Mills lock to ECity and they reported no problems. This is what I’ve heard so far. Thanks for trying to keep all informed. Robert was not working at the lock yesterday, but the lockmaster on duty said he felt they were back to normal. I’ll try to check on the status when I go in this am.
    Donna

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