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Old 08-16-2007
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Dismal Swamp Depth

We are planning a trip down the ICW this fall, but I'm concerned about the Dismal Swamp depth. I understand the funding was cut back in 06. Has anyone been through there this year? I draft about 4'6", so I'm probably better off than some boats, but I've heard there are logs underwater etc.
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Old 08-16-2007
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Chenni...I have not been through with my 6 ft. draft bu we get boats in here t the dock all the time that have come thorugh the swamp. You do have to keep an eye out for deadheads and other floating debris but your draft should not present any problem as long as you stay to the center of the channel.
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Old 08-16-2007
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It depends a lot on if there's been a drought. Opening the locks tends to drain the swamp. At some point they well close it down. I lived near there back in the mid-70's when it got closed for awhile. It is one long, straight, boring, water way. Weather permitting, running the outside would be faster and more rewarding.
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Old 08-16-2007
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There were quite a few boats heading through a month ago when I was at Elizabeth City, as well as some who had gone through. Don't forget, you have 5 locks on that route, as opposed to just 1 on the Virginia Cut.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
There were quite a few boats heading through a month ago when I was at Elizabeth City, as well as some who had gone through. Don't forget, you have 5 locks on that route, as opposed to just 1 on the Virginia Cut.
yea...and that too....
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There are only 2 locks on the Dismal, one at each end. I disagree with USCRET about the swamp being boring. I thought it quite beautiful, but acknowledge that it may not be for everyone.
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Thanks Guys. Since we've not been down that direction before, we'd like to go through it at least once. It's a mixed bag on comments from people about which direction to go. Since we'll never be that way again as we are taking our new boat to the west coast eventually, I think we'll brave the dead heads and shallow channel.
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One warning I've heard is to not follow a deep draft power boat with a big prop. They will suck up the deadheads off the bottom in their wake and if you are following close behind you get to play tag with it.
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I went through the ditch about a month ago. No problems with draft, but I was running a fairly shallow draft (2.5') stinkpot. It is exactly what it sounds like, a long, straight, narrow ditch. The locks are cool though, we dropped about eight foot on each side (the canal is higher than the water on both ends). Don't know if they are still bad, but the yellow flies were horrible when we went through. Wear longsleeves, pants, and lots o bug spray before you get through the locks.
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thanks for the advice on the flies. We live in Oregon, and we really don't have a clue about bugs out here. I'm sure we are in for rude awakening in that dept.
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