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This water is more black than my french press. I am known to concoct a strong brew, but the Dismal has brewed a comparatively thick swamp. Outlaw country provides todays soundtrack. The leaves, flowers, branches, twigs, stumps, and low flying birds are perfectly mirrored in the stagnant swamp. If Louise’s ripples were not validating travel through water, I would be pretty certain we were moving through air. The dragon flies, are the size of humming birds, and are also reflected off the surface giving each fly a stunt double. Iridescent acrobats rule this land.

In the late 1700’s, this 22 mile canal (The Dismal Swamp) was hand dug by slaves over the course of 12 years. Here we are cruising through it in a single day at 5 knots. I’d never thought I’d say this, but I feel like we should slow down. It feels rude to plow through. I would hate to miss anything. There is so much to look at. So many living things. This swamp amazes me. If I am more fascinated by a swamp than by the tropics, does that make me a redneck?

The trees are forming a canopy overhead. If only I were Tarzan. Unfortunately the thick foliage doesn’t let any breeze pass through. Instead it creates a maze for tall masts. Obstacles avoided by boats are typically underneath the water, not up above as well. But in this case, large floating logs make this maze more interesting. Things to dodge in every direction. This is a fun game. The canal is very narrow. In some areas, I am unsure If I could even flip a bitch. Lets just hope theres no reason for that. No traffic here. It’s been 4 hours and we haven’t seen a single boat. Where is everyone?

It’s still early. Today is predicted to be 98 degrees. Wind blowing at a whopping zero knots. I am not looking forward to the heat of the afternoon. We all know it’s my worst enemy. But we did do one thing right – 4 bags of ice are stowed inside for cold drinks and ice baths. Ice will keep us sane and patient while traveling through the swamp when it transitions from heaven to hell. Before the bugs congregate, the air thickens, and the humidity plague us, every minute will be enjoyed. We pass through two locks today, which is kind of exciting… we have not been through a lock since Lake Okeechobee. We associate locks with friends. Because thats where 25 year old women make friends. Right?


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12 thoughts on “Dismal swamp ladies.

  1. The first picture of Katie looks like it should accompany a guy dressed in black with a pitch fork. American Gothic on a Sailboat!

  2. Ladies, the writing and photography are truly inspiring. You guys are doing a fantastic job and may be creating your future as you experience the present. Keep it coming.


  3. I live a mile from several of these photos in the ‘Deep Creek’ section of Chesapeake, VA. Glad to see others appreciating the Dismal Swamp. Your photos of the canal and cypress knees are very picturesque!

  4. thanks for the pic,the water looks like it has gas and oil in it. my sails are up for you girls, thanks.

    On Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 6:05 PM, KATIE & JESSIE wrote:

    > katieandjessieonaboat posted: ” This water is more black than my > french press. I am known to concoct a strong brew, but the Dismal has > brewed a comparatively thick swamp. Outlaw country provides todays > soundtrack. The leaves, flowers, branches, twigs, stumps, and low flying > birds ar”

  5. Hi Ladies. Really enjoy following your adventure. You are an inspiration. Thought your use of the phrase “Flip A Bitch” was interesting. Seems everyone knows what that means but have always been curious as to its origins. Who was the first one to decide this was another way to say “make a u-turn”?? Things that make you go Hmmmmm.
    Fair winds and safe travels.

  6. Ladies, I enjoyed your description of your trip though our Historic Dismal Swamp Canal. We are delighted you enjoyed it. Maybe you can overnight at our free docks with us next time. Safe Journey to you both and come on back and see us soon.

    Sarah M. Weeks
    Assistant Director
    Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  7. This blog and especially the photos are mind blowing. If you don’t assemble this into some sort of book it would be a shame. Each photo is stunning for so many reasons. Katie and Jessie is one of the most precious web sites I have ever seen. How generous of you to share this with the world and how much richer we are when we see it. Thank you so much. Really can’t find adequate words. I continue to be amazed by you two young ladies. Fair winds…

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