Elizabeth City, NC to Deltaville, VA
|CLICK ON THE
PICTURES TO ENLARGE
|THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP
Check out the link for information about the Dismal Swamp
This will be our route when we leave May 12.
MAY 12 Day 322
We all were up at 4:30 AM to hopefully get underway by 5:45, however, we were fogged in. We waited
until the last minute at 6:15, and once the sun came up, the fog lifted so we could see enough to leave.
We called the bridge, and it opened for us right away. Larry and Margie on Wanderin' L & M heard us
leaving, and left the dock to join our parade to the Dismal Swamp.
We made it to the lock in just 2 hours and just in time to lock through. We bumped something under the
water after we exited the lock, but nothing major. In 4 miles we passed the Visitors' Center and
thought we would tie up there for an overnight free since no one was tied up there, but we didn't want
to waste such a good day to move along. As the pictures above show, the canal was very narrow and in
places we could reach out and touch the trees. We saw a large deer cross in front of us, lots of turtles,
one snake sunning on a dead tree limb by the water, and many butterflies. The canal was lined with
honeysuckle trees for most of the way. The air was sweet and so was the sounds of the birds in this
peaceful swamp, and a swamp it was!
The picture to the left shows the LONG 22 mile canal of the Great
Dismal Swamp. Picture to the right is the backwash from our prop.
|Pictures just after we left Elizabeth City as the fog was lifting.
|The lock master at the
last lock plays the conch.
He was very helpful and
the best lock master we
have ever had. He
absolutely loves his job!
|As we came to the end of the Dismal Swamp, we could see Route 17 more
clearly as the trees disappeared. When we left the lock, the canal opened
up to the Elizabeth River where we saw all the ships and commercial
vessels. Wandern' L & M is in the picture with the bridge lifting.
We arrived at Tidewater Yacht Marina and tied up. At least there is a huge wave wall to protect from
swells and waves - much better than we had the past few nights. There is a little gentle rock from
current, but nothing like what we had with 2 foot waves pounding day and night. We will head for dinner
at the restaurant here and decide tomorrow whether to stay another night or move on. We plan to be in
Smithfield, VA about 30 miles from here by water, but only 10 as the crow flies. The Nordic Tug
Rendezvous starts Sunday, and we planned to be there Saturday. With a few days to spare, we will
find a place to go, yet watch the weather. We were lucky to get here in time by playing "Watch the
We were able to sleep a later today and what a relief not to have to get up at 4:30 AM! We got
underway around 10:30 because we wanted to time our entry into the Pagan River with a higher tide.
The channel was shallow and there was one spot further into the river that we would have to watch out
for. We passed many Navy battle ships and aircraft carriers, as well as freighters. and of course, we
had those sport fish boats that whizzed by leaving that 4 foot wake.
We entered the James River and once we passed under the James River Bridge, we made a left turn into
the channel of the Pagan River. We wound around and around the salt marsh and after several miles, we
came to Smith Station. It looked like a small marina, but once we docked, it turned out to be quite nice.
There's a 35 room hotel, new and quaint, several shops, and a restaurant. We are docked alongside a
long floating dock with Highlander in front of us. This marina is off the track of the Chesapeake Bay
ICW route, but we planned to be here for the Chesapeake Nordic Tug rendezvous which is from May
This is a good place to stop to rest up from the 3+ weeks of heavy travel with winds, rain, current, and
waves. Every once in a while you have to stop and relax and take that mini "vacation" from the looping
travel. My bike is on the dock ready to ride tomorrow, and Jim is picking up our car rental. We plan to
explore the town tomorrow which is walking distance from the marina and also take a trip to Williamsburg.
< Freighters and a Navy battle ship
in Norfolk as we headed north.
Every buoy coming into the channel in
We all started the day with the free continental breakfast here at the restaurant. They will make you
scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, and then there's cereal, yogurt, OJ, pastries, fruit, coffee,
and tea. It's one of the best breakfasts we have see at a hotel. Although we are at a long side dock,
our "room" number is 25!
Today Jim spent most of the day washing the boat. The 3 of us walked the 1/2 mile up hill to Main
Street, Smithfield, which turned out to be a quaint little town with beautiful Victorian and Colonial
houses and cottages as well as cute shops. We stopped in the Smithfield Ham Shop, but the smallest
ham was $29, so we decided to buy a can of Virginia Peanuts instead. Since we have our rental car, we
drove 17 miles to the nearest Applebee's for dinner. There is some rain and thunderstorms in the
forecast, so we will see about where we will sightsee the next 2 days before the Nordic Tugs arrive. I
thought I'd do some bike riding, but everything is all up hill and the roads a pretty busy.
The Old Court House. Notice the "stocks" to the right. Charlie and Ben Franklin Cottage with gorgeous flowers
Victorian Bed and Breakfast Victorian house Brick walkway with flowers Colonial home
The Smithfield Inn. The marina is to the