ICW 0 to 51

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The Intracoastal Waterway begins (mile zero) at Hospital Point just south of Norfolk, Virginia up the Elizabeth River .
In tribute to the long maritime heritage, the Nautilus Centre adorns the newly developed waterfront.
About six miles into the ICW you have to decide whether to take the Virginia Cut or Dismal Swamp route.  For us, the allure of the Dismal Swamp and the stopover at Elizabeth City made it an easy decision.
To maintain the water level within the Dismal Swamp, there is a lock at each end.  The locks operate on a rigid schedule, so you often wait for service.
If you have been there a while, most people anchor (Called dropping a hook.)  These people on Zeelust were so relaxed about it all, they fell asleep and nearly missed the locking altogether.
The Dismal Swamp is more like a canal with beautiful scenery mile after mile.  It got its moniker because of the number of slaves who died of fever during construction. It's far from 'dismal.'
With such a narrow passage, passing is out of the question - so everyone adjusts to the 'conga line.'
Here everybody is doing about 5.5 knots which instantly drops to 2.5 each time the depth alarm squawks a six foot warning.
After exiting the second lock, it's a short run to the Pasquotank River were the channel opens wider.  This is the place where frustrated powerboats make their move (Much yelling and one finger salutes have been noted here!)
The Pasquotank meanders all over the place and is notorious for partially sunken logs and floating grass beds around each corner.
Within no time, you're safely tied up at Elizabeth City's free docks. Everyone is out telling stories of mysterious bumps and clunks they encountered through the "Swamp."