Hampton to Dismal Swamp & Elizabeth City, Va 10/26/2010 to 10/28/2010

Set sail at 8:30 am on the 26th for the Great Dismal Swamp. Weather was breezy with rain. The previous night had lots or rain and gusty conditions.  The mut mixer was canceled due to weather Spinny was really disappointed. Sailing out of the river the banks are lined with war ships an cargo ships of all types. Repair facilities for ships are everywhere. There is also plenty of cruising traffic  in all the ports and on the river. Cruisers are headed south to the Bahamas, Florida and the windward islands.  All are very friendly and helpful with travel tips. The sailing community is truly a community unto itself. Sailing out we heard calls to get out of the way of the incoming destroyers and aircraft carriers or be subject to deadly force. We reached the first lock on the swamp canal at 1:30 pm. The locks only open four times per day. Just south of the lock we stopped for some provisions and to let Spinny off the boat. Heading south for the Swamp visitor center to spend the evening we found the canal to be shallow with lots of bumps from sunken longs. Most times the canal was 6 to 10 feet deep in the center of the channel. We never really had any great concerns about depth but the canal was up due to recent rains. I would nor recommend any boat having a draft over 6 feet using the swamp canal. Having said that the canal was beautiful and relaxing. No bugs while we were on the boat either. As we exited the canal after exiting the last lock we entered the river. The vegetation changed and the cyprus forests dominated the landscape. We went from 40 ft wide canals to 500 yard wide river and much deeper water. The landscape is extraordinary and worth seeing. The swamp is anything but dismal. We all enjoyed the trip and found it very relaxing. But now on to Elizabeth City. Elizabeth city offers free docking for 48 hours. No water or electric but a very comfortable city wall dock close to everything. We went to the Laundromat and the hardware store. Did our wash and picked up bolts for the prop shaft. Tornados are all around tonight and some high wind expected. 10/28/10 we set sail for Cape Hatteras weather permitting.