ICW- Arrive at SM 30

Great Bridge Lock OCt 2010

Our one and only ICW lock

6 hours, 30 miles. Statute Mile 30 is our destination today- although it did look a lot like a creek just off the channel with tall grasses and 3.5 ft of water!
Today was interesting- well not that the others haven’t been, but with 12 bridges to pass and one lock, this was a day of calculation, focus and wondering where the heck we’d spend the night.
The ICW has two branches: one is the Dismal Swamp route and it branches off just south of Portsmouth and the main route continues as the Virginia Cut, which is the way we chose.
Most of the bridges are encountered on day 1 and they are as varied as imaginable: fixed, lift, swing, open on request, always open and open on a schedule- except some don’t open at all during rush hours.
As narrow as the Virginia Cut is, it is generally wider than the Dismal Swamp and only contains one lock versus 2 in the Swamp. One was enough for me. It was an easy ” oh did the water rise up at all?” one, but assistance from the Lagoon Cat in front of us was immensely appreciated.
Many Sails prefer the Swamp cut because the Powers use the Virginia Cut and if they pass at full speed you get tossed about. We didn’t find it to be a problem and taking the Cut allowed us to leave the ICW for a couple days and visit Roanoke Island.

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