Dismal Swamp to Pasquotank River

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6am Photos of the Portsmouth Ferry Basin, Cutter Loose and Island Spirit

Long day…but fun day….Portsmouth VA to Goat Island NC, 43 miles

  • 0600 Wake to buy coffee from the Portsmouth Coffee shop 2 steps off our dock!
  • 0730 Depart Portsmouth, South Ferry Basin (way too soon for the bridge 8 miles away)
  • 0930 Gilmerton Lift Bridge
  • 1100 Enter Deep Creek Lock to be lifted 7′ up to the Dismal Swamp
  • 1130 Enter the swamp, run 22 miles for the other lock
  • 1530 Enter South Mills lock, drop down 7′ to Pasquotank River
  • 1800 Drop anchor behind Goat Island at mile marker 43
  • 1900 Make and serve hot pasta with beef, salad and wine
  • 2000 Process 205 digital photos taken today, select the best 12
  • 2030 Write this blog post

This is the 3rd time we have traveled the Dismal Swamp and I am still taken by the beauty of the canal. The overhanging trees, the lily pads, frogs, egrets, and tannic acid stained water, all make for a very unique experience. None of the 205 digital photos I shot today show the true beauty, you really need to transit this canal and take a look for yourself.

 These are the best photos, to share the experience….

Our First Bridge, Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge in the UP position
The chaos at the Gilmeton Lift Bridge, 16 sailboats and 6 power yachts
Race for the bridge opening and the race south is on!
After the Gilmerton Bridge, you are presented a choice to divert to the Dismal Swamp
Or keep on straight for the Virginia Cut. Both run south to the ICW
We chose the SWAMP, where you have to enter Deep Creek Lock
and be lifted up 7 feet into the Dismal Swamp
The lock holds 10-15 yachts, we are all rafted up and the lock door is closed
Within 10 minutes we are all lifted up the 7 feet and the door opens to the Dismal Swamp
Radeen tending the bow line as we rise up
Lines need to be pulled in to keep the boat under control as the 1,200,000 gallons enter the lock!
There we are, lifted up to the top of the dismal swamp
The view into the swamp as the lock doors
The reflections in the Dismal Swamp are beautiful
Lucky for us, we were the lead boat or 12
More reflections and beautiful photos in the swamp
Look at that…..a view aft over the stern with the USA flag
The sign in the lock showing the mileage
1,217 miles to Key West……that is where we are going!
South Mills Lock, 22 miles from the Deep Creek lock
Time to lock DOWN out of the swamp and into the river
Lock doors opening and you are at river level
Welcome to the Pasquotank River, another gem!
Overhanging trees, and winding river bends, require total attention

Finally, we reach GOAT ISLAND and we drop anchor at 1800m hrs
What a great adventure

Onboard, all systems are running well. The motor is great, the fuel burn seems normal, and the speed is good. It has been very rewarding to tear down the motor systems, rebuild them and then take off for a 1,200 mile drive and have it all working better than ever. Tomorrow, we will move into Elizabeth City and take a break as we enjoy that town and the public library. Life onboard is a dream, it is easy, peaceful and adventurous. Thank you for following along….

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