Saturday, August 16, 2014

Southern Branch - 2

Paddling more took me to the entrance of Deep Creek, the northern entrance to the Dismal Swamp Canal, which is next to the I-64 bridge. Any reference to the canal brings back a memory from years ago. We were sailing to Spain, and were going down the ICW for an offshore departure from Morehead City. Never having done the Dismal Swamp before, we jumped at the chance to do a detour. When we got to the Deep Creek lock, the lock tender was mowing his lawn during his lunch break, and said for us to just hang out under he was done. I asked Jean to go to the bow and take a loop of line on a dolphin by the lock, and we’d have lunch also. Then there was the shriek from the bow. As she was looping the line around the piling, she discovered that she was disturbing a snake also having his noon siesta.

An immature osprey standing watch on a day marker.

A tree left stranded by erosion.
Now see if this doesn’t sound like most trips. I had a headwind all the way up stream, which was accepted with the anticipation of a nice tailwind on the return. As soon as I took the picture of the Dismal Swamp entrance sign, where I was to start my return trip, the wind went dead flat, denying me a helpful lift for the paddle back to Great Bridge. On the other hand, another frequent occurrence is the wind turning, resulting in a headwind going both ways. All together, this gave me a 10-mile outing, nice for a day paddle. It’s doubly nice to find a relatively quiet waterway in the midst of a major metropolitan area.

Osprey on its nest.

A line of advancing fiddler crabs.

The entrance to the Dismal Swamp Canal.

No comments:

Post a Comment