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  #1  
Old 08-09-2006
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Tidewater to Oriental

I am on my first long cruise. I have been sailing now for 5 years but mainly raceing and local cruising in the Hampton Rhodes area of eastern VA. I leave on Labor Day weekend to sail from Willoughby Harbor to Oriental. Appearantly I am trying to test how many crazy motorboaters I can run into on my first long cruise. First I ask for opinions and then for advice. I have two different routes planned, one through the Dismal Swamp and the other throught the ICW and the lochs. Keep in mind I am on a Hunter 22 with a 9.9 outboard, known by my friends as the blender. Are there any recomendations on which route I should take? Also, are there any tips on navigating the Lochs around the Great Bridge area of Chesapeake?
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Old 08-09-2006
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Navigating the locks is a very enjoyable non-event. If you are heading south, go to the left side of the lock, and the polite & helpful attendants will take your lines, pass them around bollards, and hand them back to you. Hold the lines while the boat goes up-down 2'-3'. When the gates open, slip your lines and leave.
As far as your "blender 9.9", I have a Yamaha 9.9 4-stroke that has done 3 round trips to FL and is still going strong with 1800 hrs.

Marc
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Old 08-09-2006
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Segui...What you should do is a loop...perhaps down the VA Cut and lock through the Albermarle and into the Alligator River and down past Bellhaven to Oriental.
Coming back you could head down the Neuse River into the Pamlico sound with stops in Ocracoke and Manteo...then head for the Dismal Swamp route back. You have the perfect sized boat for th Dismal Swamp and the Pamlico...just be sure to get weather reports before you head out and during the day as things can get nasty if you get surprised in open water.
Have fun!
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Old 08-09-2006
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Thanks for the help! I can't wait for a salty labor day.
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Old 08-12-2006
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The Swamp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Segui
Thanks for the help! I can't wait for a salty labor day.
Oh what a trip your going to have I am sick with envy, take pictures lots of pictures the swamp coming or going is worth the trip and as a poster said you have the boat for it. When you get to Oriental go to the Bean and have a latte or what ever your fav is and sit on the porch and and and ....darn I wish I was going what a nice trip.

Have fun and send us a report on your trip. I'll be looking forward to it

Kay
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Old 08-13-2006
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Hey everyone..having looked at the charts before the Dismal swamp route looked iffy for a 5 foot+ draw. Can someone tell the condition of it and the depth needed to successfully navigate it? I know I am behind the curve here, but this seems like a good thread to ask the question...thanks
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Old 08-13-2006
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I checked Skipper Bob at http://skipperbob.home.att.net/ and he has no updates about the Dismal. Last I read in his up dates that the canal had been dredged and was good through until this fall. Skipper Bob gets regular updates from cruisers and if you visit his sight you can e-mail him and he will get you the latest information. I've been through the Dismal Swamp and it is one of the prettiest waterways anywhere.
As far as Sequi is concerned, the Dismal root is the preferable route as there are far fewer powerboats and those that do use it are restricted to minimal speeds. You also get to visit Elizabeth City home to the rosebuddies and one of the friendliest towns anywhere. Keep an eye on the weather at all times as you plan to travel during hurricane season.
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Old 08-13-2006
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Here's a partial post from someone who transited in May...

"SV Jule III (5.7' draft full keel sailboat) traveled the Dismal Swamp on 2 May 06. We were traveling about 5.5 knots and did not encounter any obstacles or groundings from South Mills through Deep Creek. There were no other boats in the canal that day so there was no one else to stir up the bottom. Also, we had no problems last fall when we were heading South. This time there were many boats in the canal. Our buddy boat (a 6.2' draft full keel sailboat) reported that they did hid a couple of submerged objects but did cause problem or distress.
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Old 08-13-2006
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Dismal Swamp Route

Quote:
Originally Posted by Segui
I am on my first long cruise. I have been sailing now for 5 years but mainly raceing and local cruising in the Hampton Rhodes area of eastern VA. I leave on Labor Day weekend to sail from Willoughby Harbor to Oriental. Appearantly I am trying to test how many crazy motorboaters I can run into on my first long cruise. First I ask for opinions and then for advice. I have two different routes planned, one through the Dismal Swamp and the other throught the ICW and the lochs. Keep in mind I am on a Hunter 22 with a 9.9 outboard, known by my friends as the blender. Are there any recomendations on which route I should take? Also, are there any tips on navigating the Lochs around the Great Bridge area of Chesapeake?
Hello
I have done both routes, and the swamp is by far the more intresting of the two routes. In the swamp you will see a bit of everthing from loggers to flying squirrells. The swamp is just that a vast swamp with all the swamp life, it will keep you wondering what next where the outside route is a bit like the miles before and after it. In the waterway and particularly in the swamp you may find your boat developing a brown mustache, the best way to prevent this is to put Crisco (fat in the can) on the bow of your boat before you leave and clean it off when you reach your destination. Don't let the locks scare you the lock keeper will instruct you in what to do and they add to the fun.
Have a good trip.
David
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Old 08-14-2006
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Oriental or Bust

Dear Segui,
I agree with Camaraderie.. the loop and through Albermarle and into the Alligator River. Sounds like it will be an 'amazing' trip no matter what though....Take care and may the wind be with you..

A sol,

Wakarimashta
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