Another day dawns; another adventure begins.
Today we headed off for the Dismal Swamp Canal via the very picturesque Pasquotank River. A beaver, numerous terrapin, Canadian geese and a slithering water snake (too slow with the camera), all spotted to the beat of musical birdsong.
Then we entered a lock and rose 8 feet to exit into the Dismal Swamp Canal. The name bears no semblance to the canal. With eyes peeled for dead heads (sunken logs just under the surface), we crept along at 5 mph.
The waters are pristine although an amazing colour caused by the tannins from trees. The viscosity appears to be like melted chocolate, not black tea. There is a thickness and richness to the water making it impossible to see below the surface. Duckweed is bountiful and makes the most amazing patterns as it swirls along the canal.
At times the distinction between water and sky is seamlessly melded together. The trees have a neon lushness about them. Colours seem enhanced. Blossoms abound low and high.
It is truly a beautiful canal and we have only sailed 4 miles with 18 miles to go. It is dead straight, a uniform 6-7 feet deep and about 40 feet wide with tree tunnels. It was built by slave labour and took 12 years to build. It is the oldest, continuously used canal in the states. We have docked for the night at the Dismal Swamp Visitor Centre with four other boats. The tie up is so small four of the boats have rafted together.
Mark and I walked to the Dismal Swamp State Park, across a small pedestrian bridge spanning the canal. There we watched a short film on the history of the canal and swamp, and walked through the museum. We finished our trip with a stroll on the boardwalk over the swamp. I checked for snakes and bears (can’t be too careful!)
Such is Life!