Monday, May 31, 2010

canals along the way

Bruce and I plan to transit a series of canals or, in some cases, ditches on this next trip. Some of those ditches are pretty narrow so I wanted to make sure that we would have a good chance of getting through them. On the walkabout I went through what I think, from looking at google earth, the narrowest ditch. That is Dump Creek (photo above, google earth view below) that goes from Jones Bay to the Bay River. Sure, we could easily get from one to the other by going down the ICW. But we thought this might be fun and interesting.
Dump Creek is both narrow and shallow. From my trip through would get it is at most 18 feet wide, maybe 15 in some places. And shallow too but there was enough depth to leave my rudder and cb partially down.

For comparison sake, below is the ICW near Hobucken. All of these images were taken from google earth at an eye altitude of rough 570 meters so these are pretty accurate side-by-side comparisons.

It looks like Dipping Vat Creek, below, connecting Bonner Bay to the Neuse River, is slightly wider than Dump Creek. We should be able to handle that. That fact that the ditches are man-made and virtually straight makes things a little simpler. From one entrance you can typically look straight down the canal to the other end. It is pretty easy to see if the path is clear and wide enough to transit.

And below is Old Canal south of Cedar Island, one of two canals we'll take to get from the Neuse River to Core Sound. This looks like it is two or three times wider than Dump Creek and should be easy to negotiate.
I know these ditches don't look very attractive from the sat photos, but at water level they are very interesting with different sorts of wildlife, plants, etc. On the last trip I saw a couple of snakes. We saw otter on the skeeterbeater and I've talked with people who have seen black bears.
It will just add to the adventure.

Thorofare Canal, the second canal behind Cedar Island (and the one that opens on to Core Sound) looks very good. Bruce and I saw this canal when driving from Harkers Island to the Cedar Island Ferry after our '07 trip. I remember at the time we both thought it would be fun go through the canal, either under sail or under power, and be surrounded by miles of marsh land.

And here is an evening photo from the last trip (just because I like the glow of the setting sun).


No comments: