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Archive For: NC1 – Dismal Swamp Route

  • Waterway Cruise from Dismal Swamp Canal to Elizabeth City by Jan Irons


    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate Route
    Click to learn more about our Carolina Loop program

    Our thanks to Jan Irons for these beautiful photos and report from the Dismal Swamp Canal. During this cruise, Jan visits two of our favorite CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS, Dismal Swamp Welcome Center and Elizabeth City, NC.

    Commuter Cruiser
    “Drain The Swamp” … Geo Washington 1763

    Posted: 13 May 2018 04:00 AM PDT

    Did you know George Washington was the first “Drain the Swamp” supporter? The Great Dismal Swamp, that is … now a historic landmark. After the frenetic pace of the past 5 weeks winding our way north on the Atlantic ICW, the Dismal Swamp route felt so effortless. Just peace and quiet, serene waters and reflections.
    This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now
    Jan Irons,  Commuter Cruiser

    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

    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

  • North Carolina Potato Festival, May 18-20, Elizabeth City, NC, AICW Alternate Route


    Click to learn more about our Carolina Loop program

    350 Years of History Exhibit and a Potato Festival too – what more could you ask? Elizabeth City, A CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR and the friendliest-to-boaters community on the Waterway, is located on the Pasquotank River off the northeast corner of Albemarle Sound and at the southern end of the Dismal Swamp Canal Route.

     

    CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS!

     

    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

  • FOCUS ON – The Albemarle Loop, Albemarle Sound, NC

    The Albemarle Sound and the Albemarle Loop

    In the jargon of the cruising community, “Enjoy the journey not just the destination”. Okay, that is often the case, but don’t you love it when both the journey and destinations are equally enjoyable? Whoever said, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” never was part of a cruising or boating family.

    Albemarle Loop

    For those who don’t live in or near North Carolina, as you pass through North Carolina there is so much to be enjoyed that is not along the shores of the ICW. Like it’s sister cruising waters of the Chesapeake Bay, the many rivers and creeks along the shores of North Carolina’s sounds are dotted with waterfront communities that invite you to explore the local culture, foods, and history. The area’s heritage dates back over 300 years. The callings of the Roanoke, Perquimans, Pasquotank, Croatan, and Chowan, are inviting you into a new cruising adventure. Learn how Native Americans lived in this resource rich area; follow in the wake of the area’s first English settlers; visit where 51 women signed their real names to a document sent to King George that they planned to boycott all British goods. This was to be known as the “Edenton Tea Party”. 

    Whether you are traveling back north for the summer, or making plans for this Fall’s trip south, the rivers and communities that frame the Albemarle Sound are inviting you to explore their shores and experience their warm southern hospitality.

    A community of marine businesses and historical locations, located on and around the Albemarle Sound of North Carolina, have organized to serve boaters through The Albemarle Loop, https://www.albemarleloop.com

    This group of marine businesses and waterfront towns have joined together to educate and invite the area boaters and cruising enthusiasts to “enjoy the journey and the destinations,” to be their guests, and to let the area’s warm hospitality, culture, and history be part of your personal enjoyment.

    Passport

    And while you are doing so, you can earn points towards rewards for free nights at their participating marinas. Points earned accrue from year to year and when you reach certain levels you earn levels of what is known as “Cruising Passport Member Levels” which start at “Surveyor” and go up to “Explorer” and “Voyager”.

    Check out the program at this link and get your passport:  https://www.albemarleloop.com/cruisingmem.html.

    Check out this link to see all the discounts and other rewards available from participating businesses located at or near participating marinas: https://albemarleloop.com/coupons.html

    How’s that for welcoming hospitality??

    Participating marinas will be in italics with an asterisk, eg. *Albemarle Plantation.

    To pick up or print coupons use this link to the The Albemarle Loop website: https://albemarleloop.com/MARINA%20Coupons%202018%20v8.pdf

    Since we are currently in the late months of Spring, let’s assume most of our readers have the pointed end of their vessels to the north. You will find Albemarle Sound as you leave the Pamlico Sound, either through the Pungo River into the ICW Canal and into the Alligator River or to the west or east of Roanoke Island around Manteo, NC.

    Yacht Doc at Cypress Cove

    One of your starting points into the Albemarle Loop experience might be *Shallowbag Bay Marina on the east side of Roanoke Island in Manteo, NC. You are within easy walking distance to the most interesting town of Manteo, NC. Near by is the seasonal outdoor presentation of the “Lost Colony.” If you are inclined to stick to the ICW route, leaving Pamlico Sound into the Pamlico River, then into the Pungo River and through the ICW Canal into the Alligator River, a good place to rest before “looping” is *Alligator River Marina.

    If you are headed back towards Chesapeake, most suggest starting this journey on the south side of Albemarle Sound, visiting small towns and villages like Columbia, NC, where your host would be *Columbia Municipal Marina, or * Yacht Doc at Cypress Cove.

    Progressing on westward towards the town of Plymouth, your host marina, *Plymouth Landing Marina (City Docks), lies along the upper area of the Roanoke River.

    Edenton

    Then head over the north side of Albemarle Sound into Edenton Bay and the charming town of Edenton, NC where you are invited to stay two nights free at *Edenton Harbor Marina. At the Colonial Edenton Downtown Harbor, you can dock while you visit and enjoy this charming town. The Harbor has, within walking distance, many historical homes, restaurants and shops. Lots to do, even a “Ghost Walk” ! Information is available below outlining the rules, regulations and rates for using the docks. Contact: 252-482-2832 (phone) Email: edenton.harbor@edenton.nc.gov 

    Transient boaters are also welcome to a full service marina, Wharf Landing Marina, but it is not close to the town itself, about five miles west of the town. While in Edenton, you will find many fun places to satiate your yearnings for sea food or other southern culinary delights. But one “particular harbor”, (my Jimmy Buffett, slips in every now and then), where you will want to dine, is *The 51 House. There you can tie up and enjoy some very fine traditional American delights. The old home overlooks Albemarle Sound and is a fine example of a waterfront setting, great food and warm hospitality. It takes its inspiration from Revolutionary War period when 51 women of the local area had “tea” together and drafted, signed, and sent to England a document stating that they would be boycotting all British goods. This would later be known as the “Edenton Tea Party.”

    Albemarle Plantation

    Looking for a place to retire, or to just have that residence on some tranquil, beautiful southern waters, then next stop is *Albemarle Plantation with their full service modern marina. Take a look at some nice home locations and get off the boat to go swimming in their pool or play a round of golf. Catch some awesome sun rises and sunsets. Check out this video link to this pristine location: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt0j-8zCleA&t=18s

    Continuing eastwards, you can take a run up the Perquiman River to the town of Hertford and stay at their *Hertford Bay Marina. It’s a nice ride up this river and a quiet place to get some R&R. The marina is small, nine slips with water, shore power for both 30 and 50 amps, waste pump-out, and the first 48 hours are free. Town is historic and has an aggressive program developing the historical homes and places.

    Mariners Wharf, Elizabeth City

    On your way north, I highly recommend you experience the Dismal Swamp Canal, and its host city, “The Harbor of Hospitality,” *Elizabeth City, at their *Mariners Wharf which is right in the town proper. Or stay just across the small Hwy 158 bridge at *The Pelican Marina, which is a very easy walk over to town. Elizabeth City was founded in 1793, the same year construction started on the Dismal Swamp Canal, which was a key to safe commercial water passage between the Chesapeake Bay’s Elizabeth River in Norfolk, VA, and North Carolina coastal waters. Elizabeth City is rich in history, filled with fun and excellent places to eat or “dine”, and it is home to the Museum of the Albemarle. We could fill pages on this delightful town, check it out here: https://visitelizabethcity.com/ ENJOY.

    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center

    Then on to the Dismal Swamp Canal as you continue your cruise towards Chesapeake Bay. The *Dismal Swamp Welcome Center” is one of North Carolina’s most beautiful “rest stops” and it is next to a “SWAMP”. But not your ordinary swamp!

    As mentioned briefly above, the Dismal Swamp Canal is a national treasure, and so very worth the trip. Explore the rich history and colorful past as well as the floral beauty and wildlife. Take the ranger led tours, participate in the interpretive programs, and let the secrets of the Dismal Swamp Canal awaken you to a new experience. Here’s the link to their website: https://dismalswampwelcomecenter.com/

    Be sure to take full advantage of all the special offers available through the Albemarle Loop group of marine businesses to enhance your cruise and save you some money. Website address: https://www.albemarleloop.com

    We wish all fair winds and gentle seas.

    ***********

    Editor’s note: Several of the marinas on the Loop route are Cruisers’ Net Sponsors and this FOCUS ON article is brought to you by the following CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS:

  • News from Dismal Swamp Welcome Center, AICW NC 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

    The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center Docks and information are provided at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, an NC DOT Rest Area facility, and are located adjacent to the Dismal Swamp State Park, offering trails, exhibits and ongoing programs in Camden County, NC.

    Good morning,

    For the month of May, we are not adding any additional programs to the calendar, but please note that Sunday Wagon Rides continue through the 27th, departing at 11 am and again at 2 pm. Each ride will last about an hour, and as the weather warms up, we suggest bug spray as well. READ MORE!

    Stay tuned for June programs, coming soon. See you in the park!

    Katie Sanford

    Park Ranger, Dismal Swamp State Park

    NC Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources

    252 771 6593

    katie.sanford@ncparks.gov

     

    2294 US 17 N  |  South Mills, North Carolina 27976

    1497278830415_PastedImage

     

    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 Monthly Event Calendar, Elizabeth City, NC, AICW Alternate Route


    Click to learn more about our Carolina Loop program

    Elizabeth City, A CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR and the friendliest-to-boaters community on the Waterway, is located on the Pasquotank River off the northeast corner of Albemarle Sound and at the southern end of the Dismal Swamp Canal Route. With the canal fully open to navigation, this wonderful community continues its calendar of exciting events, making a stop at Mariners Wharf in the heart of Elizabeth City a must!

     

    CLICK HERE FOR THE MAY CALENDAR

     

    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

  • Good Review of the Dismal Swamp 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

    The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center Docks and information are provided at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, an NC DOT Rest Area facility and A CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, located adjacent to the Dismal Swamp State Park, offering trails, exhibits and ongoing programs in Camden County, NC.

    NC has one of the country’s most beautiful rest stops – and it’s next to a swamp

    The welcome center also serves as a gateway to Dismal Swamp State Park, just across the canal, a 22-mile stretch of the Intracoastal Waterway that connects the Elizabeth River in Virginia with the Pasquotank River near Elizabeth City.

    CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY by Richard Stradling of the Raleigh News and Observer

    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

  • Spring Perspective on Historic 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 Route

    The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center Docks and information are provided at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, an NC DOT Rest Area facility, and are located adjacent to the Dismal Swamp State Park, offering trails, exhibits and ongoing programs in Camden County, NC.

    Looking north from our dock.

    The historic Dismal Swamp Canal is coming back to life after ice, storms and other natural disasters….. “I feel like The Princess Bride” reported one of our lovely guests who had experienced this waterway for the first time just this week. As the dogwoods blush and the Carolina pines tower above, we are optimistic for the future of our beloved waterway. Many boaters recently report this was on their wish list and are thrilled with their first experience. The Norfolk District ACOE has plans to continue work this spring and summer to restore the canal to its normal 6’ controlling depth, but should not hinder navigation. Please visit this link for more information: https://dismalswampwelcomecenter.com/boating/
    READ MORE!

    As a northern gateway to our beautiful state and the Albemarle Region, we take our jobs seriously in making our boaters feel welcome and informed. We encourage them to explore the Albemarle Sound, including the assets featured in the Albemarle Loop and enjoy the southern hospitality, a staple of our region. These marinas, cities, towns and counties count the boating community as valued and appreciated. They are working together to enhance the experiences and stories to come, of adventures through our enchanting waterways. Whispers and cries from the lives before us blend to create diverse stories to be discovered and treasured. The Albemarle Region is celebrating a 350th anniversary in 2018, and we have much to learn from our past. http://www.350th.com/

    Donna

    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 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

  • Dismal Swamp Stomp Running Festival  Saturday, April 14, 2018, 8 a.m. AICW Alternate Route

    Dismal Swamp Stomp Running Festival 
    Saturday, April 14, 2018, 8 a.m. 

    Runners take a 13.1-mile journey alongside the Dismal Swamp Canal — complete with forested wetlands and a peaceful paved pathway through the wilderness. Also returning this year is the Children’s Half-Mile Cub Run – a half-mile out-and-back fun run for kids 12 and under. 5K run/walk – If a half marathon is more than you want to tackle, try the 5K run/walk. For details, click here.

  • Update on Winter Conditions in 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 Route

    The Dismal Swamp Canal was almost closed earlier this month due to surface ice and freezing conditions in the canal, see Dismal Swamp Frozen! Our thanks to Donna Stewart, Welcome Center Director, for this good news update. Docks and information are provided at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, an NC DOT Rest Area facility, and are located adjacent to the Dismal Swamp State Park, offering trails, exhibits and ongoing programs in Camden County, NC.Our thanks to Donna Stewart for this report and these photos.

    Larry,
    The canal here thawed out and we had two boaters lock through yesterday. One checked in yesterday afternoon and stayed with us last night and one stayed at the Douglas Road dock. The latter and his son checked in with us and had coffee this morning. They both left today to make the 11am locking. I understand there were issues, due to frozen duckweed near the lock. They both stated they had no problems from Deep Creek to me, one drawing 4’ and another drawing 5’. This photo yesterday shows we had no ice or duckweed here, but unfortunately, there are still problems at the lock today.
    CLICK FOR PHOTO

    I don’t know how cold it has to be to kill it {duckweed} all and make it die…………..We were at 3 degrees during the hard cold spell and previous snow. We had about 2-3 inches of snow last night, but it is clearing quickly.
    Donna
    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 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

  • Dismal Swamp Frozen! 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

    The Dismal Swamp Canal had been closed to navigation since Hurricanes Matthew and Irma and its recent restricted re-opening is welcome news to cruisers. Docks and information are provided at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, an NC DOT Rest Area facility, and are located adjacent to the Dismal Swamp State Park, offering trails, exhibits and ongoing programs in Camden County, NC. Our thanks to Donna Stewart for this report and these photos.

    I’ve attached an advisory just received from the USACOE regarding the ice on the Dismal Swamp Canal and the A&C Canal. I’ve attached photos taken on Saturday at 4pm, and things have not really changed here, today, except the temperatures have started to creep up. READ MORE!

    I personally do not remember seeing this much ice in the Canal. We have experienced very cold temperatures for a week, my thermometer registering 3 degrees one morning.

    Stay warm if you can.

    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!
    All e-mails sent from this computer are subject to the Public Records Law and the information contained therein is a public record.


    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

  • Report from 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 Route

    Our thanks to Joyce and Matthew Gauthier for sharing their time spent in the Dismal Swamp Canal which has recently re-opened to navigation.  The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, a part of the NC State Park System, is also open and their programs are ongoing.

    We traveled through the Dismal swamp 10/31-11/2. It was great.
    READ MORE FOR PHOTOS!

    Another great day in the Swamp. Sunrise yoga on the dock. Had parfaits with the lock master before we left this morning. Traveled with our new friends about 15 miles to the dismal swamp visitors center. Had to stop to stop two times in 15 miles to clean the duckweed out of our strainer for the engine. Crossed state lines into North Carolina. Walked the swamp trails. Looking forward to a mellow night sipping tea and enjoying the company.
    Joyce and Matthew Gauthier

    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

  • Dismal Swamp Canal to Re-Open, Oct 31, 2017, 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

    The Dismal Swamp Canal has been closed to navigation since Hurricanes Matthew and Irma. This restricted re-opening, even with duckweed, is welcome news to cruisers. The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center has remained open to highway travelers and the Dismal Swamp State Park, a part of the NC State Park System, is also open and their programs are ongoing.

    The historic Dismal Swamp Canal was closed last October, due to massive damage from Hurricane Matthew. The Canal will finally reopen on Tuesday. Unfortunately, due to a perfect storm of conditions, I have never seen the Canal this thick with Duckweed. As boaters have complained of this weed causing an issue in the past for their passage through the canal, I am attaching photographs of the current conditions at our location near the center. Conditions appear to change daily.
    READ MORE!

    This has been a challenging year for the Dismal Swamp Canal, but we look forward to better days ahead.

    Donna

    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 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

  • Dismal Swamp Canal Opening Delayed until End of October, South Mills, NC, 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

    The Dismal Swamp Canal has been closed to navigation since Hurricane Matthew and now Irma. This delay will certainly disappoint many cruisers in the annual Fall Migration. Dredge work to remove shoaling will continue and, hopefully, the Canal will reopen as stated below. The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center has remained open to highway travelers and the Dismal Swamp State Park, a part of the NC State Park System and A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is also open and their programs are ongoing. See /166410.

    News below, regarding our reopening of the historic Dismal Swamp Canal. Unfortunately, there will be a delay. READ MORE!

    We will advise you of information as it is released. Of course, we are disappointed and realize there are many needs in many areas right now and our thoughts are with them. We look forward to seeing our boaters when the canal can reopen.
    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!
    All e-mails sent from this computer are subject to the Public Records Law and the information contained therein is a public record.

    Sent: Friday, September 15, 2017 3:56 AM
    To: Solan, Kerry L CIV USARMY CENAO (US)
    Subject: Officials to delay opening Dismal Swamp Canal until end of October

    NORFOLK, Va. – Officials at the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have delayed reopening the Dismal Swamp Canal until late October.

    “Recent weather events have delayed progress, and the latest condition survey of Turners Cut showed that additional dredging was needed,” said Keith Lockwood, Norfolk District Operations Branch chief.

    In August, the Norfolk District announced the canal would re-open at the end of September.

    Officials closed the canal in October 2016 after Hurricane Matthew toppled more than 350 trees into the waterway, and sediment – washed into the canal from rain and flooding – created extensive shoaling along the 22 miles of the canal, the Deep Creek Channel and Turners Cut Channel. Since then, crews have cleared trees and dredged the canal, which, in places, was at a depth of 1 foot.

    “In the history of the canal, we’ve never had this issue, and we’re using every available resource to make the canal safe again for vessels,” said Joel Scussel, Norfolk District Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway project manager.

    Kerry L. Solan
    Public Affairs
    Norfolk District, USACE
    Desk 757-201-7258
    Cell 757-377-0040

    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

  • Dismal Swamp Canal to Re-Open by End of September, AICW Alternate Route


    Our thanks to Donna Stewart for this good news concerning the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center and State Park, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. The Canal has been closed to navigation following damage from Hurricane Matthew and the re-opening will be just in time for the annual Fall Migration of Cruisers.

    This PSA announcement just in from the USACE – Update of Canal Status
    Donna Stewart

    Dismal Swamp Canal to reopen in September

    By Kerry Solan
    Norfolk District Public Affairs READ MORE!

    NORFOLK, Va. – The Dismal Swamp Canal is scheduled to reopen to vessel traffic by the end of September, with the Lake Drummond Reservation and Feeder Ditch opening to canoes and kayaks on August 18, officials said.

    Crews continue to dredge the canal, which officials at the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed due to extensive damage from Hurricane Matthew in October.

    “In the history of the canal, we’ve never had this issue, and we’re using every available resource to make the canal safe again for vessels,” said Joel Scussel, Norfolk District Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway project manager.

    Engineers completed a survey of the Dismal Swamp Canal in March after crews had finished clearing more than 350 trees from the canal.

    That survey, along with another survey in July, revealed controlling depths less than the normal 6 feet: engineers plotted the Deep Creek Channel at 4.8 feet, Tuners Cut was less than 2.5 feet and the Feeder Ditch was shoaled in at a depth of approximately 1 foot.

    The crew of Wilmington District’s Dredge Murden completed dredging in the Deep Creek Channel on June 21. After-dredge surveys showed a controlling depth of 6 feet, which allowed officials to reopen the channel to navigation. The Dredge Murden will return at the end of August to complete clean-up adjacent to the Deep Creek Lock.

    Feeder Ditch dredging resumes today. The crane crew will dredge 1,500 cubic yards of material to reopen the Feeder Ditch to a depth of 6 feet, 25 feet wide by then end of August.

    When crews complete work at the Feeder Ditch, they will return to Turners Cut to complete work that was suspended after the quality of dredged material at Turners Cut did not meet the standards for beneficial reuse. Officials coordinated with the state of North Carolina while a new dredging method was arranged that met state water quality standards.

    Engineers are also working on a design for emergency generators for the Deep Creek and South Mills Locks, which were inoperable after the hurricane.

    Deep Creek Lock Gate rehabilitation work, which was scheduled before Hurricane Matthew struck, is complete: the gates were reinstalled on July 19 and operating the next day.

    When the post-hurricane dredging operations began in the canal, officials aimed to reopen the waterway before October, when perennial “snowbirds” use the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway to travel south, bound for the Bahamas and Florida ports of call.

    “Since the hurricane, our goal has been to reopen the canal to navigation as soon as possible,” Scussel said.

    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 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

  • Photos with Update 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 Route

    Dismal Swamp State Park is getting back into full swing as they recover from massive flooding and closure due to Hurricane Matthew. Dredging has begun and the canal is scheduled to re-open to navigation by summer’s end. The State Park is open and continuing programs as weather permits. Our thanks to Donna Stewart for this USACE update.

    One step closer to seeing boaters again! My most recent update from the USACE. READ MORE FOR NEW PHOTOS!

    7/19/2017
    I was able to obtain a few pictures today of the installation of the Deep Creek Lock River Gates. The gates are returning back to the water, where they belong! It was so HOT. But, notice the reflection of the sky in the shot of the newly installed gate on the left. I was told dredging still must be completed at the Feeder Ditch and Turner’s Cut, but this is one more step to getting us reopened. Many thanks to US Facilities and the Norfolk District USACE for helping me to get these shots today.
    Donna

    Crane at River Gate

    Gate installed Deep /creek

    The Deep Creek Dredging has been completed and surveyed with the assistance of the Wilmington District. The Deep Creek Lock gates are scheduled to be reinstalled on Wed., July 19th. Dredging at the Feeder Ditch and Turner’s Cut will continue until work is completed.
    We are anxious to see boats at our dock again this fall.
    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 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

  • Dismal Swamp Canal Slated to Re-Open by End of Summer, 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 Canal has been closed to navigation due to massive flooding and shoaling due to Hurricane Matthew. Despite the canal’s closure, the State Park has continued public programs as weather has permitted. The re-opening of the canal is good news for cruisers wanting to experience the beauty and solitude of the Great Dismal Swamp Canal. Our thanks to Donna Stewart for forwarding this notice.

    Subject: Corps announces timeline to reopen Dismal Swamp Canal

    NORFOLK, Va. — Officials at the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have announced a goal of opening the Dismal Swamp Canal to its full 6-foot depth late this summer. READ MORE!

    The canal, which was closed due to extensive damage from Hurricane Matthew in October, has ongoing debris and tree removal, and investigations of shoaling at many locations in the canal. Shoaling in the canal has reduced the depth to as little as 1 foot in areas.

    Norfolk District engineers are using recent surveys of the canal to plot the 22 miles of the canal and the 3 miles of the Feeder Ditch to Lake Drummond. The data will be used to check for additional shoals and other obstructions.

    Crews are currently dredging the canal at the Feeder Ditch using information from the canal survey. They will then perform additional dredging at Turners Cut, south of the South Mills Lock.

    The Norfolk District is also working with the Wilmington District to remove a small shoal in the Deep Creek Channel. District engineers project the canal work at the Feeder Ditch work to take the longest; work there will be complete by late-June.

    After canal repairs are completed, District engineers will evaluate whether to open the canal at a restricted depth until the 6-foot depth is achieved.

    At Lake Drummond Reservation and the Feeder Ditch, crews have repaired damaged buildings. Additional work at Lake Drummond Reservation included repairs on the floating docks, roadway washout and the boat tram, which will be scheduled this winter.

    Work on the Deep Creek Locks gates, which was scheduled before the storm, is progressing. Work on replacing the water control valves and deteriorated steel is ongoing and will be completed within the next week. Final work and painting will then be done and the gates will be placed back into the lock in June.

    Kerry L. Solan
    Public Affairs
    Norfolk District, USACE
    Desk 757-201-7258

    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 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

  • Boatswains among birds — the secret salts of Elizabeth City, NC Pasquotank River


    Click to learn more about our Carolina Loop program

    What a fine tribute to the men and women who serve in the US Coast Guard out of Elizabeth City, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. Long noted as the friendliest-to-boaters community on the Waterway, Elizabeth City is located on the Pasquotank River off the northeast corner of Albemarle Sound and at the southern end of the Dismal Swamp Canal Route.

    Boatswains among birds — the secret salts of Elizabeth City
    READ MORE!

    Feature Release
    March 24, 2017
    U.S. Coast Guard 5th District Mid-Atlantic
    Contact: 5th District Public Affairs
    Office: (757) 398-6272
    After Hours: (757) 434-7712

    Seaman Nina Bowen and Chief Bert, the Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, mascot, pose for a portrait in front of the station Feb. 14, 2017. Bowen is one of Bert’s primary caretakers at the station. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn)

    Petty Officer 2nd Class Calvin Hernandez, a boatswain’s mate and coxswain at Station Elizabeth City in North Carolina, rides aboard a 29-foot Response Boat-Small near the station, Feb. 14, 2016. Calvin and other boat crew members at the station routinely work with aviators from Air Station Elizabeth City. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn)

    Perhaps the best kept boat station secret in the Mid-Atlantic region lies nestled within the largest Coast Guard facility in the country, at Base Elizabeth City in Eastern North Carolina.

    A view of Building 53 at Base Elizabeth City, North Carolina, March 10, 2017 – the location of Station Elizabeth City. Building 53 is shared by crew members from both the boat and air stations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn)

    Station Elizabeth City is easy to pass without realizing it’s there, located in an unassuming off-white building that looks like part of the neighboring air station complex. The boathouse on the nearby Pasquotank River is almost a hundred yards away. A view of Building 53 at Base Elizabeth City, North Carolina, March 10, 2017 – the location of Station Elizabeth City. Building 53 is shared by crew members from both the boat and air stations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn)

    The crew at the boat station is accustomed to the surrounding flurry of aviation activity — the base is also home to Air Station Elizabeth City and the Aviation Technical Training Center (ATTC), where all enlisted Coast Guard aviation personnel are trained in their chosen professions. Consequently, the vast majority of people coming and going from the base each day are connected to Coast Guard aviation in some way.

    “Being stationed here is fun,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Calvin Hernandez, a boatswain’s mate and coxswain at the station. “Throughout the Coast Guard, boat and helicopter crews must work together to complete missions. A lot of the time though, crews talk to one another over the radio during training or on a case, but never actually meet in person. Here, we see aviation people every day.”

    Hernandez acknowledged there’s an age-old rivalry between air and boat crews, but explained how he thinks it makes the service stronger.

    “Our boat crews have about a 30 minute head start when we’re notified of a case since helicopter crews typically take about that long to launch,” he said. “We always strive to safely arrive on scene before the helicopter. We’re on the same team with the goal of saving lives, but working to get there first helps us all keep focused on the mission.”

    Hernandez admitted there are times when it’s frustrating to respond on the water.

    “Sometimes for search and rescue cases, we have to trailer our boats by vehicle an hour or more away, launch from a remote location, then spend 45 minutes traveling on the water before arriving on scene,” he said. “A helicopter crew taking off from here can be to the same place in 15 minutes once they launch. Sometimes after a case, we’ll get back to the station after long hours on the water and find that the aircrew we were working with bought us a meal and beat us back to the station with it. It’s always nice to come back to find food waiting and to feel appreciated.”

    Of course, anytime they want to be appreciated, crew members at Station Elizabeth City can always turn to their station dog, Chief Bert, for his unconditional affection.“

    The crew adopted Bert, a German Shepherd and former explosive detection dog who worked for six years with the Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team in Galveston, Texas. He’s arguably the most popular guy on base.

    “Bert makes me feel like I’m home when I’m here,” said Bowen. “I look forward to coming here and seeing him. I think he brings a light-heartedness to the station and even the entire base that people are drawn to.”

    Bowen said that after Bert, what she likes most about Station Elizabeth City is the opportunity to see all the Coast Guard jobs conducted around her.

    “I’m lucky here,” she said. “In addition to the variety of jobs I get to explore at my station, I’m also exposed to the aviation jobs being performed right outside our door. We provide a lot of support for helicopter training flights for the air station and the training center. It’s neat I get to be around all that stuff and be a part of it.”

    “The boat station crew allows us here at the rescue swimmer training school to offer our graduating aviation survival technicians a pre-graduation flight where they complete a free fall into the Pasquotank River,” said Chief Petty Officer Claude Morrissey, an instructor at ATTC. The boat crew provides a platform to pick up our swimmers from the water, and is there to respond in case any emergency should arise.”

    Even while they assist with helicopter training missions, Station Elizabeth City crews are responsible for responding to emergencies in an area of responsibility that spans 1,700 square miles, includes 10 rivers and three sounds as well as the Intracoastal Waterway and Dismal Swamp Canal.

    “We operate inshore and in areas that are very difficult to navigate due to shallow waters and multiple hazards to navigation,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Talys, executive petty officer at Station Elizabeth City. “Unlike most Coast Guard Stations which normally have a search and rescue season in the summer months, we have a transit season, which equates to periods of heavy vessel traffic moving up and down the
    Intracoastal Waterway in the months preceding summer and winter. Our job is to ensure these boaters are safe and in compliance with federal laws and regulations.”

    “Since we have such a large area of responsibility and none of it is open ocean, we operate in a wide range of environments,” said Hernandez. “There are swampy areas, areas where people like to wakeboard and areas popular for fishing. I think all the different nooks and crannies we have to be familiar with is what keeps it interesting here.”

    Hernandez said they do their best to cross train in each other’s jobs at the station. “Lots of people here can do almost any job required at the station,” he said. “We have seamen and machinery technicians that want to become coxswains, and we have boatswain’s mates who work with our engineers if they need help with a project.”

    When they aren’t actively working, Coast Guardsmen on the base engage in sports, often competing with teams from different units. The station crew says they enjoy heated ultimate frisbee showdowns with the rescue swimmer shop, and basketball games against the MH-60 Jayhawk team from the air station. That recreational competition keeps the healthy rivalry alive and thriving in a service of the same status.

    A student at the Aviation Technical Training Center (ATTC) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, plunges from an Air Station Elizabeth City MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter into the Pasquotank River, Feb. 14, 2017. Four aviation survival technician (AST) A school students at ATTC graduated and became ASTs Feb. 17, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn)

    “This station is very unique to the Coast Guard,” said Talys. “Being co-located with Air Station Elizabeth City gives us direct insight into all the hard work and training the flight crews conduct every day.”

    Seaman Nina Bowen shows some love to Chief Bert, Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina’s mascot, near the boathouse at the station Feb. 17, 2017. Chief Bert is a retired explosive detection dog who worked for six years with the Maritime Safety and Security Team in Gavelston, Texas. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn)

    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

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