Portsmouth to Dismal Swamp

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Radeen in the Deep Creek Lock
Lifting up to the level of the Great Dismal Swamp

One of the most diverse section of the Waterway ranges from naval aircraft carriers in drydock to the Deep Creek Lock to the solitude and peaceful beauty of the Great Dismal Swamp. This diversity is what sailors experience as they traverse this 27 miles of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Portsmouth VA to South Mills Lock NC.

Our stay in Portsmouth was wonderful as always. It was especially nice as an Island Packet Yachts minivous developed with IP38 It’s About Time (Sally and Conrad) and IP350 Kismet (Laurie and Jim) and visiting IP380 Tides Inn (Sue and Mark) joined us all in the South Ferry Basin. We enjoyed happy hour on Island Island Spirit and then strolled up High Street a few blocks to the Commodore Dinner Theater to see, the new movie “Trouble With the Curve.” Then we returned to IP38, after the movie, and sampled the Nassau Royale Rum to make sure it was still OK to consume…it was. There is something special about gathering on friends’ boats, sharing some stories and learning about the cruising life. Everyone has so much to share and we value and treasure these Island Packet gatherings.

Island Packet Yachts Minivous in the South Ferry Basin

Departing at 0745 we began our run for the Great Dismal Swamp after a quick fuel and service stop at Ocean Marine just south of the basin. From there, we made the 0930 Gilmerton Bridge opening and were easily anchored off the Deep Creek Lock in time for the 1045 opening and 1100 lock. This lock is run by ROBERT, the most upbeat and positive person you will meet on the the waterway. He kindly guides you into the lock, takes your lines and helps you secure your boat to the lock wall  to be lifted 6-8 feet. Once lifted, you are ready for the 22 miles of the Great Dismal Swamp.

The sign directing you to the Dismal Swamp Route…read that…

This is our fourth run on the Dismal Swamp, and we love it. We prefer this route over the Virginia Cut, because of the beauty and the reflections the canal presents. I shot 175 photos today and I never seem to capture the true beauty. This really is a boating run you have to make yourself in order to take in this wonderful canal and swamp.

We had planned to run out the lock and another 12 miles to Goat Island, but this time, we docked inside the South Mills lock and will rest here in a charming old town for the night.

Here are a few of the best photos from today ( I shot 175 photos and 6 videos today!)

Fleet Gathering on IP38 It’s About Time
Radeen, Mark, Sue, Sally, Laurie, Conrad and Jim
Island Spirit flying the IP Flag over High Street, Portsmouth VA

Radeen tending the bow line as we rise up and the lock fills

Distance sign in the Deep Creek Lock. We have sailed north to Eastport (Acadia, Maine)
We have run south to Key West, FL…..WOW…it is long way by boat

Radeen and Robert, the greatest Lock Tender in the World, a very positive person

Welcome to the Dismal Swamp’s beauty…it is endless

Here is a photo without the boat. This photo could be flipped upside down

Self portrait over the bow reflecting in the water
Great Dismal Swamp
It is FALL, the water is litered with leaves and pine needles

There you have it….our fourth passage through the Great Dismal Swamp. Tomorrow we will make Elizabeth City, NC, the City of Hospitality. We always look forward to stopping there.

Please note:
If you click on the photos in the blog, they enlarge to a full screen size at 1024 x 768. I make my blog images this size so they can be used for screen backgrounds. I hope you enjoy the photography; I have taken 350+ photos since leaving 5 days ago!

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