Dismal Swamp Canal, North Carolina to Virginia

The South Mills Lock raises you 8 feet to where the aptly named, Dismal Swamp begins, a long, narrow and tree-lined canal.

We haven’t yet mastered or even come close to understanding the protocol for locks.  We either have too many or too few fenders on the wrong side or the right side.  Do we need  to wear life jackets?  The other boaters have them.

Keep the line taut around the piling. Loosen that line; another fender bit the dust. At the end of this trip we should be pros but it would be nice if it would happen sooner.

The Dismal Swamp National wildlife refuge is the largest intact remnant of a vast habitat that once covered more than one million acres of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. During the Civil War confederate soldiers kept the Locks open by preventing the Union from blowing them up. It is now the oldest operating artificial waterway in the country.

On to Norfolk!!!



2 thoughts on “ Dismal Swamp Canal, North Carolina to Virginia

  1. Last summer (in a very small boat) we did the lock to and from Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. We had to wear life jackets. And even though we had fenders, we had to hang onto ropes against the wall to avoid damage. We did it in the early evening and then again in the dark later that evening. It was scary.


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