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‘Excellent’ waterways make for ‘great’ voyage into America’s Upper South

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By Lucy Chabot Reed

The four-member crew of M/Y Sensation, a 112 Westport, took the vessel from Fort Lauderdale to Nashville, Tennessee, in early June to prepare for a fall of football games at the owner’s favorite, University of Tennessee. Rooting on the Vols as part of the Vol Navy, Sensation will be rafted up right next to the college’s football stadium.

To get there, though, the crew took a pretty cool trip through the Gulf of Mexico, through Mobile, Alabama, up the Tombigbee River through Mississippi to the Tennessee River and into Tennessee, passing through 19 locks along the way.

“It was a great trip,” said Mate Drew Pellerito, who shared these photos from the trip. “Thanks to good weather and excellent timing at the locks, it only took us 11 days to get from Fort Lauderdale to Chattanooga, and then an extra two days to our final destination, Knoxville.

“The United States has excellent and brilliantly engineered river systems, which provide a beautiful voyage,” Pellerito said.

Crew make-up on the yacht is unique. First, it carries two full-time chef/stews who rotate duties to keep things fresh. Candice Pardy and Katy Johnson rotate as chef/stew and deck/stew every other week.

“We are a very teamwork-oriented boat,” Pellerito said.

And for long passages such as this one, the owner brings on two extra, licensed captains, in addition to Capt. Kelly Swainson, who has now made this trip north three times and south twice with the owners.

“The river is always busy with barges and smaller fishing vessels, making four eyes on the bridge necessary to be sure of our safety and that we don’t wake the locals on their flats boat.”

The two delivery captains on this trip were Capt. Larry Morgan and Capt. Scott Truesdale.

“Our favorite part of the trip is the scenery and small off-the-beaten-path marinas that are always eager to show their southern hospitality.

For more information about some of the waterways on this trip, click here.

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About Lucy Chabot Reed

Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher and founding editor of The Triton.

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