We left Hampton on a damp, foggy morning and made our way through the busy stretch of water off Norfolk.  You have to really pay attention here with all the Naval activity along with many tugs and barges.  What a difference once we passed the Gilmerton bridge and turned into the Dismal Swamp.  It’s beautiful and peaceful.

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Foggy morning near Norfolk

Dismal Swamp
Peaceful beauty on the Dismal Swamp

I have to make a big note on our chart that you can make the 11am lock after the 10:30 opening of the bridge.  We thought it was too far and were puttering along when we heard that the 2 boats in front of us were going into the lock.  We picked up speed and made it too!

Most of the boats peeled off and tied up at the dock just past Deep Creek lock.  We decided to head for the North Carolina Visitor’s Center.  There was no one in front of us so it was nice to be able to maintain our own speed.  We thumped a few submerged logs–disconcerting but no problems.

Tieing up at the NC visitor’s center made us finally feel like we were cruising.  Everyone from the boats were hanging out and swapping stories.  We met lots of nice people who we’re now hanging out with in Elizabeth City.

Oliver - another boat dog!
Bailey’s new friend Oliver

Dismal Swamp
Waiting for the opening of the South Mills Lock — this is the bridge behind us

Dismal Swamp
Bailey does his crazy running around routine while Skip keeps the boat idling. I wish we could get him to stop doing this!

Dismal Swamp
The water level drops about 10 ft in the lock

Dismal Swamp
Pooped out after all of his crazy antics

Dismal Swamp
Swirly pond scum

Dismal Swamp
Mast shadow on the duck weed

Elizabeth City
Skip made this sign for our stern so boats behind us on the waterway can call us by name on the radio (instead of blue sailboat…)

Elizabeth City
Moondance at the free dock in Elizabeth City

Elizabeth City
Bailey has an extra large potty mat right next to the boat!

We slept in today and it’s nice just chillin. I went to the grocery store with a few other ladies. It’s such a nice friendly town. You can call the Farm Fresh store and they’ll send someone over to pick you up! We had lunch yesterday at Grouper’s, right on the water. The fried shrimp and oysters were delicious. Last night we went with 2 other couples to the Cypress River Grill for dinner. The shrimp and grits were Charleston-worthy!

Tomorrow, we’ll cross the Albemarle Sound and head down the Alligator River. We hope to anchor out a few nights before arriving at the River Dunes marina off the Neuse river.

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