Dismal Swamp to North Carolina!

Damn, we’ve come a long way in 10 days!

Honestly we loved the Chesapeake Bay. We found amazing anchorages (Solomons, Jackson Creek, Chisman Creek), had some gorgeous sunsets and hope to spend more time cruising in “sailors paradise” again in the future.





For now though – let’s keep on…pressing on!

As we got into Norfolk to start the ICW, we were quickly awakened from our sleepy daze by chatter on the VHF radio. It went something like this: “Warship 89, Warship 89, this is Warship 72, Warship 72, over”….”Warship 72, this is Warship 89. Switch to bridge-to-bridge channel 13, over.”…”Copy that. Switching to channel 13, Warship 72 out”.

…all this while we see the boat (apparently named Warship 72) crossing our bow at 20 knots.

"Warship 72, this is Sailing Vessel Tara, over"

“Warship 72, this is Sailing Vessel Tara, over”

Exciting stuff!

As we got into Norfolk, we realized that the US Navy is, shall we say…well armed. There were ships upon ships upon ships lined up in the harbour (everything from aircraft carriers to “warships” to hospital/red cross boats). It was quite a sight to see.

The whole area was pretty industrial and pretty cool despite the heavy military presence.

Inspiration for George Lucas?

Inspiration for George Lucas?

When we cleared Norfolk, we entered the Dismal Swamp, which actually wasn’t dismal at all. It was a nice break from the busy harbour, and reminded us of the Erie Canal that we’d transited so many moons ago.

The swamp apparently has tannins in the water which make it a very dark brown. It was like motoring through really strong cup of tea!

Hard to get a photo of the tannins haha

Hard to get a photo of the tannins haha

Next thing we knew, we were in North Carolina! We were spat out in a really nice little town called Elizabeth City. We were stoked to be there because my folks had made arrangements to drop by on their way home from SC! They pulled up just as we docked and we had happy hour on the boat, then went for a nice dinner (plus a couple bottles of wine) to celebrate! Couldn’t have been any better. Love yous!


The next day = SUN! WARM! NO WAY! IS THIS POSSIBLE?! FIRST TIME in 6 weeks where we didn’t look like we were preparing to hike up Mt. Everest?! Ah yes (warning: the next photo is rated at least PG-13. Look away while you still have a chance), let’s just say we soaked it up while we could.


We are starting to like the south :)

Unfortunately, we couldn’t enjoy it for too long, because a cold front has been blowing in and has brought beaucoup de rain. We’re sitting down below tonight (in Belhaven) letting our foulies dry below the bimini in the cockpit.


All in all, we are REALLY happy with our progress over the past 10 days, and it feels AMAZING to finally be in the Carolinas. We may even make it to Charleston for Thanksgiving as planned (knock on wood)

Sigh :)  Time to open a bottle of vino and make dinner.

  • Drew Rickard

    Awesome that you hooked up with Ma and Pa in NC!! Hey for the undie shot you should have turned around, then we could have borrowed the old Seinfeld line when Kramer was an underwear model: “His buttocks are sublime”!!! Safe travels kids!!

  • Jeff

    You have a Magma! Was that acquisition based on BT’s pioneering work in the field of seaborne barbecuing… or simply an instance of great minds thinking alike? Best purchase we ever made :)