|Friends doin' the Dismal|
The only drawback is that the Dismal takes longer to run, and isn't really feasible for boats drawing over six feet.
The Virginia Cut brings you to Virginia City and the Great Bridge Lock, a marvel to see in and of itself, plus lots of fascinating tugboat and commercial traffic.
I usually do one route on the trip down, and the other on the return, just to enjoy the best of both worlds. The one other proviso is if the exit from the route will permit me to sail on the Albermarle. There is enough distance between them to make a difference in how you trim your sails.