Sunday, May 4, 2014

At a free dock south of Hampton

The approach to the south lock
 We headed for the Dismal Swamp Lock at 8:30 intending to make the 11:00 opening but it was not to be. We found the lock to be full! The lockmaster was good enough to add another opening for the two boats that couldn't fit in the first opening. That's the first time that's ever happened to us in four years. I think there are definitely more boaters out than the last four years. When we passed the visitors' center at 12:30, it was already two deep and then on the way north we were passed by six boats headed south! That visitors' center is going to be one busy place.

Imagine having to walk through this swamp?
With the delay in getting through the lock (we didn't pass through until 12:15 for a lock that was scheduled for 11:00! So we had to hustle north to make the 3:30 lock opening at the other end which we barely made. Along the way we had the usual knocks against the keel, 9 in all that we counted. None were too dramatic but you noticed them all. We thought the canal in general was about a foot deeper than normal but we still had the hits.

We docked for the night at this free dock, we were by ourselves
The Dismal Swamp itself was magnificent as usual. It's a beautiful ride but photos do not do it justice. As noted, we didn't stop this time at the visitor's center but just continued on. There are free docks just before rejoining the ICW. They are well kept and new but can be noisy due to the nearby interstate.

Ann did her usual magic, salmon ala Ann
We even had a sunset!
On Monday we're headed for Hampton for 3 to 4 days, depending upon the weather which is predicted to turn colder until Thursday. So with that we plan on moving again when the weather warms up on Thursday.