In March of 2017, with Cygnus out of the water for the Winter, I had an opportunity to help with the delivery of a newly-purchased 40′ Albin trawler from Chattanooga, TN to Stuart, FL.
Chattanooga? Yes, there is a way to get to the ocean from there.
The Tennessee River goes West to the Tennessee/Tombigbee waterway, a man-made channel that runs South to meet up with the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers, ultimately joining with the Alabama and Mobile Rivers and continuing down to Mobile Bay. From Mobile Bay, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway can be followed as far as Dog Island, off Carrabelle, Florida.
From this point, vessels must follow one of the only two open-ocean segments the Great Loop; crossing Florida’s “Big Bend,” before reaching the protection of the the Gulf Intracoastal again just North of Tarpon Springs.
The Intracoastal can then be followed South to Ft. Myers, at which point it crosses peninsular Florida via the Okeechobee Waterway along the Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River out to the Atlantic at Stuart, from where I flew home while the boat I had been helping deliver continued North along the Atlantic Intracoastal in the company of other “snowbird” vessels.
- Day 1 – Chattanooga to Raccoon Creek
- Day 2 – Raccoon Creek to Guntersville
- Day 3 – Guntersville to Wheeler Dam
- Day 4 – Wheeler Dam to Tenn/Tom Waterway
- Day 5 – TennTom to Fulton
- Day 6 – Fulton to Waverly
- Day 7 – Waverly to Sumpter
- Day 8 – Sumpter to Demopolis
- Day 9 – Demopolis to Okatuppa
- Day 10 – Okatuppa to Tensaw River
- Day 11 – Tensaw River to Mobile Bay
- Day 12 – Mobile Bay to Orange Beach
- Day 13 – Orange Beach to Fort Walton
- Day 14 – Ft Walton to Panama City
- Day 15 – Panama City to Dog Island
- Day 16 – Dog Island to Suwannee
- Day 17 – Suwannee to Tarpon Springs
- Day 18 – Tarpon Springs to Sarasota
- Day 19 – Sarasota to Cayo Costa
- Day 20 – Cayo Costa to Ft Myers
- Days 21 and 22 – In Port
- Day 23 – Ft Myers to Franklin Lock
- Day 24 – Franklin Lock to Clewiston
- Day 25 – Clewiston to Stuart
5 thoughts on “Tennesee To Florida”
Wanted to go on a trip immediately after reading this article! Such an inspiration. I wish that this pandemic was over and I could take my family on a trip. Well maybe this summer we would do that.
Can you do this trip on a sailboat ?
Much of the trip is in a deep canal, below the wind. So not under wind power…you will still need a motor, especially to navigate the many locks.
I live in Chattanooga and was curious if it was possible to go to the Gulf from Harrison Bay where we live. Thanks so much for the input! This is a goal for sure.
Sure! That’s almost exactly what we did. We left from Lakeshore Marina, just a little ways down river from you.