After some careful considerations, we decided to take the Dismal Swamp Canal as opposed to the Albermarle-Chesapeake Canal. Factors included; the amount of commercial traffic, powerboat wakes, number of bridges, and our difficulties pronouncing Albermarle. We were happy with our choice. We were able to tie up to a free empty dock. The bridge and lock operators are very friendly (even if they were annoyed we came in fast to the wall of the lock). We did get hung up at one bridge before the South Mills lock, because the bridge operator wasn't there when we radioed him. He had to hop in his truck at the lock and drive up the road to open the bridge. We had to turn around at the bridge and inadvertently backed the wind generator into a pine tree leaving a broken branch and a mess of pine needles, sap, and spiders on the back of the boat. No damage done though.
Allyson got this image while we were stuck waiting for a highway bridge to open. Turns out we didn't need to wait and they would have opened for us on demand.
Our first glimpse of the Dismal Swamp Canal
Motoring down the canal was easy enough. Just stay in the middle, set the depth sounder for a 7ft alarm, and keep a look out for logs sticking out of the water We didn't bump into any, but had a few close calls.
Long days of motoring requires beer
Our personal dock on the canal
After exiting the canal we motored down the Pasquotank River to Elizabeth City for yet another free slip. It sure looks dismal.