Monday, May 2, 2011

Dismal Swamp Canal Visitors’ Center – At the bulkhead

8 ft to go
The wind finally did die off last night and we had a peaceful evening and calm morning for shoving off. The boats in the flotilla headed off at different times, representing their relative speed they could maintain since the lock into the canal only opened at specific times. In our case we wanted to make the 11:00 lock opening so we left at 8:30. Some of the smaller boats had to leave at 7:30 to arrive in time. Once in the lock, you tie up to the side and watch the water level rise with the opening of the other end of the lock. In this case, the water rose 8 ft.

Counting us, there were four boats at the bulkhead at the visitors’ center. It doubles as a rest stop for the adjacent highway. There is no fee for staying overnight at the bulkhead. There’s water available but no electricity. However, the area is beautiful and calm, nothing more to ask.

Good food, good conversation
With four boats gathered we decided to have a potluck dinner which is part of the fun in traveling in a group. So we had drinks, dinner and related boating stories through the evening. It was helped by the fact that there were no bugs! They say that the water in the canal doesn’t support mosquitoes since the water is always moving – has a current – and the mosquitoes don’t get a chance to hatch. For whatever reason, I’ll take the end results – no bugs. On Tuesday it’s on to Hampton, VA and work required on our genset.