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?