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Archive For: NC1 – Dismal Swamp Route

  • 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

  • Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Migration Celebration – Thursday – Saturday, April 26 – 28, 2018 

    Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Migration Celebration – Thursday – Saturday, April 26 – 28, 2018 
    Chesapeake has been a sanctuary for birds and bird watchers since the 17th century. Home to more than 200 species, the birding is superb all year round, but Springtime is particularly popular. Serious birdwatchers will delight in catching a glimpse of the Swainson’s Warbler and teh Wayne’s Warbler, two of the most secretive and least observed of all the North American birds. Birders can also catch a peek of the White-throated Sparrow, the graceful Great Egret and even the regal Bald Eagle, to name a few. So grab your binoculars and make a plan to come on out to the Great Dismal Swamp Migration Celebration. For details, Click here.
     
    Chesapeake Visitor Center  1224 Progressive Drive  Chesapeake, VA 23320

  • 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.

  • April 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 just re-opened 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 APRIL 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

  • LNM: Update: Dismal Swamp Canal Re-Opened, AICW Alternate Route


    This Local Notice from our good friend, Matt the Bridge Tender, is a follow-up to an earlier notice from the USACE on March 11 with additional depth and lock information. All good news!

    VA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – DISMAL SWAMP CANAL – RESTRICTED REOPENING

    The locks at Deep Creek, Virginia and South Mills, North Carolina will return to their normal operating schedule to accommodate vessels desiring to use the Dismal Swamp Canal (Route 2) of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. READ MORE!

    The locks will be operated at 8:30 AM, 11:00 AM, I:30 PM and 3:30 PM seven days per week. The drawbridges adjacent to these locations will operate as normal and in conjunction with the lock openings. Vessels may moor overnight in the canal. There will be only be one operator at Deep Creek and one at South Mills, so the bridge will not be manned when the lock is being operated, and vice versa. Locks and bridges monitor channel 13. The latest surveys of AIWW-Deep Creek, AIWW-Dismal Swamp Canal, and AIWW-Tumers Cut are available at: http://www.nao.usace.anny.mil/HvdroSurveys/. Boaters should review these surveys and the following conditions:

    a) AIWW-Dismal Swamp Canal currently has a controlling depth of 6 feet at centerline and 50 feet wide except at The Big Entry Ditch (MM #13) and the Feeder Ditch (MM #22) where the width narrows to approximately 25 feet wide. These shoaled areas have been marked with green and red stakes to show the channel. Due to the narrow channel, only one vessel can pass in these area at a time.

    b) AIWW-Turners Cut Channel just south of the South Mills Lock currently has a controlling depth of 5.9 feet at centerline and 80 feet wide. A remaining shoal south of Joyce Creek has been marked with green and red stakes to show the channel where the canal narrows to approximately 40 feet wide. Due to the narrow channel, only one vessel can pass in this area of the Turners Cut at a time.

    c) Norfolk District Corps of Engineers crane barge will working at the Big Entry Ditch and Turners Cut this spring. Dredging is scheduled this summer in the Dismal Swamp Canal at the Feeder Ditch.

    Those planning to use this route should refer to the Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners, contact the lock operator, or call the Norfolk District office at 757-201-7642. Chart 12253 LNM: 10/18

    CLICK HERE FOR AREA SPONSORS AND SPONSORING MARINAS
  • April Programs at Dismal Swamp State Park, 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,
    Below are the programs for April at Dismal Swamp State Park. Hope to see you there.
     
    READ MORE!
    Wagon Ride to S Martha Washington
    Sat, 04/07/2018 – 11:00am
    Pack some blankets and pillows for a 2-3 hour ride aboard the open-air Dismal Swamp Express to the large weirs on S Martha Washington. Look for wildlife along the way and learn about hydrologic restoration in the park. Call the park office to sign up.
    *You MUST pre-register to reserve your seat!*
     
    Spring Paddle
    Sat, 04/14/2018 – 10:00am
    Join the ranger for a leisurely guided paddle along the historic Dismal Swamp Canal. Look for turtles, otters, and birds while enjoying the warm spring weather. Everything you need–boat, paddle, and PFD, plus instruction if needed–will be provided. Bring your boat or use ours. Single/double kayaks and canoes are available. Call the office to reserve your spot.
    *Limited to 8 boats–you MUST pre-register!*
     
    Statewide Star Party in the Swamp
    Fri, 04/20/2018 – 7:30pm to 9:30pm
    Join us at the Dismal Swamp State Park for a Statewide Star Party event! The Swamp offers one of the darker places in the area to observe the stars. Pre-registration is required for this program–call the park office at 252-771-6593 to sign up.
    Rain date Saturday, 21 April 2018, same place, same time. Event will be held indoors if the rain date is also rained out!
     
    Trail Sisters Hike
    Sat, 04/21/2018 – 11:00am
    Attention, ladies! New to hiking or looking for other women to share hiking experiences with you? Come out for a women’s hike as part of a statewide initiative and the 10K Women Trail Project.
      
    Wagon Rides
    Every Sunday, depart at 11 am and again at 2 pm
    Take a ride aboard the open-air Dismal Swamp Express and enjoy the scenery along Canal Road along with the spring weather! With stops at the liquor still and lighter boat replicas, you’ll learn about the Swamp’s colorful past and how it came to be a park. Wildlife sightings are also possible!
    The ride covers just over two miles and usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour. First come, first served–wagon seats 15-20 comfortably. In case of a large crowd, a second run may be made if staffing allows.
     
    Katie Sanford
    Park Ranger, Dismal Swamp State Park
    NC Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources

    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

  • Giving You More Green This Spring, 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 just re-opened 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 MORE GREEN THIS SPRING

     

    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 News, Dismal Swamp Canal Re-Opened, AICW Alternate Route


    The Dismal Swamp Canal was closed to navigation on Mar 5 due to a downed tree, see Nav Alert, immediately north of the Welcome Center. 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. Our thanks to Dona Stewart for this good news.

    Joel Scussel, Operations Manager for the Dismal Swamp Canal (USACE) shared this notice regarding the Canal’s reopening this morning after clearing fallen trees from recent high winds.  <strong>READ MORE!</strong>

     They have issued an advisory regarding our current status and plans for the near future.
    Please share with anyone you feel has interest in this information.

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

    Restiricted Opening DSC-Mar 2018

     

    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

  • 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


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    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

  • Update for the Dismal Swamp Canal, 1/19/2017, 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

    Dismal Swamp State Park is getting back into full swing as they recover from massive flooding and closure due to Hurricane Matthew. The canal is still closed to navigation, but the State Park is continuing programs as weather permits. Our thanks to Donna Stewart for these updates and photos.

    Photos and Update for the Dismal Swamp Canal Read More

    The ACOE continues to debris the Canal. These photos were taken today, about one mile from the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center (Right across from the Camden Eco-Park). They are getting closer to us! Another Corps District will assist in February with a complete survey of the entire Canal, moving forward a year ahead of the normal five year schedule. A survey at the mouth of the Feeder Ditch was done before the end of the year and determined severe shoaling at this location. The Deep Creek Lock River Gate removal and renovation project was budgeted and began about a week ago, and I hope to have pictures soon. The Corps is continuing to pursue funding to assist with their efforts to reopen the Canal.
    Camden/Pasquotank Emergency Management Coordinator, Christy Saunders has also coordinated a Flood Meeting at the end of the month with stake holders, to discuss this historic storm and its damages, regarding our local communities.
    We hope to give you more positive news in the future. There is action.
    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!

    ACOE Barge and Crane working one mile from Welcome Center 1/19/17

    Barge at Work 1/19/17

    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

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