Time to move again. We puttered up the Pasquotank River. The northern end of the Pasquotank is absolutely beautiful, and our morning ride through was very peaceful. After a few miles we entered the lock at South Mills along with 5 trawlers. The water level change was 8 feet and it took some time to raise us up. Then out and chugging down the Dismal Swamp Canal. This canal is a key element of Route 2 of the ICW. We weren't sure our draft could handle it, as the Army Corps of Engineers only dredges to 6 feet, but we never went aground or plowed a furrow and only bumped a couple of times.
The history of the canal is pretty interesting; begun in the late 1700s and finished in the early 1800s, it is the oldest operating manmade waterway in the country. By the end of the day, we had transited the canal and were at Deep Creek, VA, hoping we'd be able to tie up or anchor and await the bridge and lock openings the next morning. Linda and John on Easy, one of the boats that left South Mills lock with us had most of the bulkhead occupied, so they invited us to raft up to them. We did, and cannot thank them enough for helping us out.
Next day, we managed to separate ourselves without incident, move into and through Deep Creek lock (but not until Robert, the lock operator, serenaded us on a conch shell) and finish the ICW. So, this voyage, which started for us in February in Delray Beach, FL at mile marker 1050, ended in Norfolk, VA at mile marker 0. But, no time to think about that. We soon passed the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and slowed to watch a crane lift an FA-18 jet onto a new aircraft carrier. Patti took the wheel so that John could run back and forth and photograph every gray vessel for the next ten miles. We'll post SOME of them here.
We finally rounded Norfolk Naval Base and the blue-green waters of the Atlantic Ocean replaced the brownish waters of the ICW. It was like a breath of fresh air. We were in the Chesapeake Bay! Winds were weak, but we insisted on getting some canvas up, and motorsailed to our first Chesapeake anchorage in the Poquoson River. Anchor down; we're home!
Deep Creek, VA: +36° 44' 25.74", -76° 20' 42.00"
Poquoson River, VA: +37° 9' 33.30", -76° 24' 20.22"