Well the Dismal Swamp wasn’t all that bad – a ditch really – kind of pretty if I didn’t think too much about what might be in the water. We met all sorts of boaters as we traveled from Portsmouth through the bridges and locks. We got delayed by 45 minutes at one railroad bridge. It’s a bit of trick to keep all the sailboats still as we wait for the bridge to open and there is always some big motorboat who pushes to the front of the line without thought to the trick it is for all of us not to bump. Luckily there wasn’t any current to speak of and we got to watch a hug scarp metal operation while we waited. They are taking large ship apart piece by piece and loading the scrap onto a huge container ship.
About 10 miles into our day was the first lock – we had to wait an hour so rafted with other boats giving us a chance to meet some really great people. 4 Maine boats, one from Camden called Whim – they owned Peter Otts in Camden for 35 years. (they are living a little larger than we are on their beautiful dark blue Saber 42 ! ) They passed us today and we hope to see them farther down the line.
At around 3PM yesterday we arrived a the Welcome Center in the Dismal Swamp – interesting – the swamp runs parallel to Rt 17 – and it’s actually a car welcome center to North Carolina on the VA NC boarder. The state put in a dock and we are allowed to tie up, get water and use the facilities – the bathroom was heated …nice! So we rafted with 12 other boats , chatted it up and met up with our Vermont friends Greg and Michelle on Argonauta ( well Michelle is from Kentucky ! ) It was warm and sunny. Tiller was a big hit – we were rafted to a Canadian boat with a – we thought it would be a problem with the cat – Jocelyn the dog’s owner told us her dog was afraid of cats and she was right. It was pretty funny – Tiller was well behaved and didn’t terrorize him too much.
This morning we left the welcome center – chilly but another sunny day , again chatted it up with lots of boaters in the lock and headed onto Elizabeth City where the city allow boaters to tie up for free. The winds came up so we left the docks and went back the way we came to a semi protected anchorage.
Watching the weather and think it will be clear tomorrow to cross the Abamarle Sound – it’s a big shallow body of water and if the wind and tide are wrong it can be a nightmare crossing. We’ll have to get through the bridge here in Elizabeth City at 6:30 am so we’ll be in bed as quick as it’s dark !!!