Whisper Sailing

Bill and Judy's adventures continue..........

25 February 2018 | Exumas, Bahamas
21 November 2017 | George Town, Exuma
24 April 2017 | Bahamas
03 April 2017 | Thompson Bay
31 March 2017 | Great Exuma
28 February 2017 | Palm Cay Marina
17 February 2017 | Palm Cay Marina, Nassau, Bahamas
27 January 2017 | Little Farmers Cay, Exemas
14 January 2017 | Exuma Bahamas
26 December 2016 | Spanish Wells, Bahamas
19 December 2016 | Devils Cay, Berry Islands
19 December 2016 | Addison NASA Bridge
19 December 2016 | Cave Cay to Spence Rock
04 December 2016 | Abacos Bahamas
12 November 2016 | Jacksonville Beach FL
05 May 2016 | Darien, GA
23 April 2016 | Gulf Stream
22 April 2016 | Northern Abaco
10 April 2016 | Abaco
31 March 2016 | Exuma, Eleuthra, Abaco

The Dismal Swamp Lives up to its Name

04 November 2015 | Great Dismal Swamp
We choose to transit the Great Dismal Swamp route because it sounded so cool and we met the minimum depth requirements (less than 6' draft). The alternative was the Virginia Cut route, which just didn't sound as challenging and romantic. The Swamp canal was surveyed by George Washington, so it has been around for a long long time. Who could resist?

We left Norfolk Little Creek Marina early in the morning as we had to get through a railroad lift bridge on the Elizabeth River by 11am as construction had it closed for most of the rest of the day. We passed the Navy shipyards and the Norfolk shipping terminals full of container ships on the way, fighting a current and hoping we'd make the bridge. To our dismay, when we sited the bridge it was in the down position at 10:40 am. The bridge operator explained it was down for a train passing and he would have it lifted and us through before the 11am cut off. We watched the six car train approach oh so slowly. We did get through as promised and on to the entrance of the Swamp.... in a pouring rain.

The rain continued all the way to the Deep Creek lock, where we tied off to a dolphin (not a fish, but a bunch of vertical logs tied together as a 'post') and made a hot lunch while waiting for the lock to open. Once inside, we were greeted by the lockmaster, Robert, who promptly told us our experience locking the Erie was totally inappropriate for his lock. He clearly explained our procedure, and then entertained us with stories of the canal and the region. When I asked about the deep brown color of the water, he explained that the water was the purest water in the country despite the color (which comes from peat bogs in the swamp that act as a giant filter). And the rain stopped as we dropped the twelve feet to the canal!!

An interesting side note: we passed through the lock with one other boat, a small, single-hander whom we had met way back in a Chesapeake anchorage at Worton Creek. The sailing world is so small!!

Our good luck and weather held throughout the day as we made our way down the straight as an arrow canal, narrow and heavily wooded on the starboard side. The port side had a highway part of the way and the Canal park the rest of the way. We saw no other boats and few houses along the way.

We arrived at the Dismal Swamp Visitor Center, midway through, at dusk to find four boats tied to the small dock. We rafted off the largest, an Endeavor 42 from New York. We enjoyed a quiet dark dark night in the Swamp. Although we heard stories of bear and other animals we saw none.

The next morning was misty, cloudy and eventually rainy as we traveled the second half of the Swamp. The lock at the end took us twelve feet up into a windy river which eventually took us to Elizabeth City, where we tied up at the city dock for the night.
Vessel Name: Whisper
Vessel Make/Model: Tartan 34-2
Hailing Port: Milwaukee WI
Crew: Bill and Judy
Whisper's Photos - Main
Every shade of blue-green-purple greets our eyes on a continuing basis
15 Photos
Created 24 April 2017
Our first island anchorages were in the Berries. Sugar sand beaches, clear blue water, conch and starfish, everyday a new wonderful experience.
10 Photos
Created 16 April 2016
We are spending over a week in Bimini waiting for weather to cross to the Berry Islands (a 75 mile crossing that will require two good days). So we walk, drive, and dinghy our way around North Bimini to learn about the land and the people.
20 Photos
Created 6 February 2016
There were many projects we did to upgrade Whisper to a more efficient, comfortable, safe and enjoyable boat.
7 Photos
Created 10 January 2016
The many contrasting scenes on the Intercoastal Waterway
36 Photos
Created 25 December 2015
Our favorite anchorage on the eastern shore. The cove featured St Martin Point house and grounds, a 19th century home with accommodations for eighteen people, currently available as vacation rental. Dan, the caretaker invited us to explore the house and grounds.
14 Photos
Created 28 October 2015
6 Photos
Created 27 October 2015
Workboat Festival
8 Photos
Created 26 October 2015
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
7 Photos
Created 25 October 2015
Boat show
6 Photos
Created 11 October 2015
Highlights of our stay in the Big Apple
14 Photos
Created 2 October 2015
Fixed bridges, lift bridges, railroad bridges, road bridges, bridges to nowhere.
8 Photos
Created 13 September 2015
"I stayed too long at the fair"
12 Photos
Created 11 September 2015
5 Photos
Created 1 September 2015
I walked from the yacht club to the downtown area to purchase a nautical chart at the general store. Charming homes from the mid-1800s with fenced in yards and patios. Main square at City Hall has umbrella tables and chairs to enjoy the fresh air. Lots of interesting shops and restaurants, wished we could stay longer.
7 Photos
Created 27 August 2015
Transiting the 243 miles of the Trent Severn Waterway system
5 Photos
Created 25 August 2015
Into the Georgian Bay
7 Photos
Created 6 August 2015
We took Whisper on a loop through the French River Small Craft Route with Russ and Lisa onboard. Uproar can't do the route because of depth...and maybe width!
8 Photos
Created 3 August 2015
We spent the past week attempting to show Sue all of our favorite places... we got in quite a few!!!
7 Photos
Created 23 July 2015
First anchorage in Canada
4 Photos
Created 14 July 2015
Scenes from one of our favorite places on Lake Michigan
5 Photos
Created 10 July 2015
Preparation for our extended cruise from Milwaukee, WI to the Bahamas and ????
3 Photos
Created 17 June 2015