Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Dismal Swamp Welcome Center
36 30.01 N76 20.50 W

Well, we had a great 48 hours anchored at our secret spot on the river.   Indeed, we never saw nor heard another person the whole time.   The weather has been insanely hot, but out there we had a good remedy -- a bucket of cold river water poured over your head every 30 minutes makes life quite bearable.

In the early morning and evening when the sun was low, the temperatures quickly became comfortable. Both Libby and I enjoyed exploration trips in the dinghy.   Libby invented a new way of travel that she says is her new favorite.  She rows the dinghy a half mile away, then allows it to drift back in the current, taking an hour or two to return.  I tried it,  great fun.   Doing that makes you even more aware of the sounds of the swamp.  I heard and identified a pheasant, some Canada geese.  I also heard footsteps and branches breaking in the woods -- it may have been a bear.

I was amazed to learn that there are tides on that river.  I thought that it was too far to any ocean inlet to have any detectable tide.  Not true.  The water level doesn't change noticably but the current in the tiver changes from about +1/4 knot to =1/4 knot every six hours.  That's definitely the signature of tides.  I guess it is easy to underestimate the effects of sieche waves which occur everywhere to some extent.

Today, we moved along here to the welcome center.   Surprise, there were 6 other sailboats who went through the lock with us.  We tied up here around 3 oclock.  By 3:30 all the people from all the boats were sitting here in the air conditioned lounge of the welcome center seeking refuge from the heat.

Bad news: The weather looks uncooperative.  I think we should have left New Bern a week earlier.  Anyhow, it won't be until maybe Saturday that we can go offshore.   We have no desire to motor up the Chesapeake and down the Delaware in this heat wave.   Therefore, we'll kill a day or two here on the canal.


  1. Dick, the ocean temp up north will cool things down for you. Up here in NE the ocean is still in the low to mid 50s. So there's hope once you get out of the Bay.

    Carpe Diem

  2. I guess sieche wave is what we inner banks people call a wind tide. On the Pamlico sound we get the majority of tidal fluctuation from the wind. The lunar tide is almost overrun by the wind. Shallow pond with a lot of surface area I guess. Hope things cool off for you soon.


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