So THAT’S why they call it the Dismal Swamp!

May 18

Spent Friday night in Belhaven, NC. Absolutely nothing to do but laundry. However I did get to take a great photo of the moonrise. Once we got in the marina and tied up there was a really neat boat called a Pilgrim next to us. Turns out, they winter in Burnt Store Marina and summer in Erie, Pa. Great boat but the owner was less than friendly.

On our way to our anchorage on Sunday we passed this WWII blimp hangar.

Satellite view. This thing is BIG!

Coasties on station in Elizabeth City, NC, just before entering the Dismal Swamp.

Neat lil’ town.

Following 2 other Loopers to our anchorage just north of and behind Goat Island.

Water was a bit too shallow to enter from the southern end.

Our anchorage. Saltaire rafted up to us and Tuscarora and Trinity anchored just in front of us.

This is the Dismal Swamp. In 1763 George Washington proposed draining the swamp, harvesting the timber and then farming the land. He and other businessmen purchased 40,000 acres and began digging the ditch from the swamp to Lake Drummond. Venture did not pan out as Washington had hoped. Tried to sell his stake, but could not. This 20ish mile ditch was dug using slave labor. Can’t imagine.

Tied up to the wall waiting for the lock to lift us the 8 feet to enter the swamp.

Twenty miles of this. And shallow water. While in Southport we attended a briefing by a retired US Navy meteorologist regarding the route from Southport to Norfolk. When the subject of the Dismal Swamp came up he told us we would probably “bump” something underwater maybe once. We should do it he said. But I have a 4’6″ draft I told him. No worries he sez. Bet he’ll get a nice commission from Murphy Propellers in Norfolk. Yup, getting my props reconditioned, AGAIN! We “bumped” maybe 6 times after leaving the visitor center. Couple times we could feel the props hitting submerged objects. All at 6 MPH.

Tied up at the Dismal Swamp Visitor Center.

Shot from our rear view camera. Water was a dark brown tannin color.

See the bridge sticking out on the left?

Uhhh, better stay off this bridge.

Entering Norfolk, Va. on the Elizabeth River.

Heading in to our marina and slip. Since we are going to be here two weeks they tucked us away in the back of the marina and had us back in the slip. Thanks to my trusty back up camera, as usual, backing in is a breeze.

General Dynamics has a large shipyard here. Check out these Navy ships

Great bow shot of a ship in dry dock. Notice the areas of these ships where there is a shroud cover. Lot of secret refitting going on. The shrouds keep out prying eyes and the eyes of satellites.

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