Dismal Swamp to Norfolk, Maryland

Remember when the bridge opened and the bridge master said coffee at 8 AM, I really thought he was joking. Well, It was nearing 7:45 am the following morning when a dock on the boat startled us. I was still in my bathrobe, so Bryce headed up the steps to check it out. A tall man stood there sipping on a cup of coffee. He explained that he was the lock master “I have coffee on and bagels will you be coming over? Bryce was happy to accept his offer. I peaked my head out of the hole and said I need 10 minutes.

This is the seawall we tied up to at Deep Creek Lock. Very nice at a park and free.


So we made over to the lock master house. What an amazing time we had. Robert has to be one of the most sociable people we have met. Not only did he officer the best yogurt with fresh fruit but the coffee, muffins also were delicious. The history of the Dismal Swap was told to us. We learned about peat fires too and how important the swamp is to control the fires. The water level in the swamp is controlled by dams and locks. The canal we came up is only a small part of the Dismal Swamp.


This is Roberts station house for the lock. It was very clean and I loved all his conk shells that he has collected. He even showed us how to make music with them.



We headed into the lock, No one else came along for the 12:30 opening.


Robert it was our pleasure to meet you. Thanks for the history & great breakfast.


The lock lowered us 7 feet. Bye Dismal Swamp. If you get the opportunity to visit this area, it is worth it.


So on with our journey from this point. We needed fuel, water and a pump-out. Robert suggested Top Rack Marina. They are known for being atleast ten cents cheaper on fuel. Well, the Top Rack Marina was only 3/4 of a mile back along the ICW, so we headed to it. What a great sunny day. When we came to the area to turn in the direction of Top Rack Marina we noticed this sign. There are two different ways to go south here. The dismal swamp or the ICW. We came from the other end.


Well, once we docked up at Top Rack marina, we were greeted by a young man who helped us tie up to the docks. It was very windy so his help was much appreciated. We told the young man what all we need. He also said the docks were free for the night if we ate dinner up at the restaurant. Sounded like a good deal; but we were not sure if we wanted to due to the fact we haven’t traveled very far. But the winds started blowing, so we stayed the night. A few hours passed by and I heard a boat come in. So I poked my head out and saw a mirror image of Beauty. Another Catlaina 400 pulled next to us. Dan & Martha Bliss and the name of their vessel was Brunelle.


We told them that we had a reservation at 6 for dinner and asked them if they would like to join us. They accepted the offer to join us. What a great time we had. It is always great to met such nice new friends.


The following morning Bryce called Interstate Battery about the one battery that shorted a cell. We had just replaced these batteries in Mobile Alabama. Come to find out It was covered under warranty. Bryce just had to disconnect it and put in on the dock and they would send out a guy to verify that it was indeed a cell gone bad. Bryce broke the news to me that we might have to spend another night at the Top Rack marina. Depends on the time when interstate arrives to check out the battery. I felt bad for Bryce that is one heavy battery at 115 lbs to lift.


Martha and Dan sailed away to head back up to their marina. It is only 150 miles north in the Chesapeake Bay. LOL So we waited and waited. I watched as the crew of the marina took their daily boats in and out of the water. This marina puts your boat in when you call and them. It is pretty neat to watch. ��


I was just coming back up the pantry when I saw a shiny red boat next to us. Bryce was talking to the owner his name is AL and his boat name: Hollowpoint. He was now going to wait for his guests to arrive; then spend the day on the water. Can you see all those boats beyond him? The Top Rack crew put all those in within 20 minutes or so. This was going to be a busy weekend. Just up the river, 7 miles or so in Norfolk is the Harbor-Fest. We are hoping to make it there, because we are told they have the best fireworks. I love fireworks✨


A few hours later nearly 4 P.M., the Interstate Truck arrived. Talk about service, they came directly to our boat!!


Sure enough, the young man (Chad) inspected the battery and agreed with Bryce that the cell was dead. The best part is it was covered under warranty. Thank you Interstate. It was great that we also got dock side service.


Well, we stayed the second night and went out for dinner; so the dock was free. I think it would have been cheaper to pay for the dockage. But it was excellent food. LOL Here we are sitting in the slip for the rest of the evening. The new battery needed to get charged up before we left and anchored out. We are looking forward to getting back on the river again.


Thank you for reading our blog. Remember if you have any questions or anything you would like to share please reach out to us.

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