sawingonknots, I've been out skiing on Watts Bar a few times - it's actually really beautiful out there. I'm currently located in Knoxville and was just out on Melton Hill Lake last weekend. It seems like most of the lakes here in Knoxville are just fat rivers, although I might just be spoiled from sailing in Percy Priest.
The way you describe Mobile Bay kind of racks my nerves! I'm looking forward to some wide-open spaces, not a hidden obstacle course! I'm fine with reading charts, though, and I would imagine a fair amount of the bigger problems will have markers. And I'll be a bit overcautious, as I've been out of it for awhile, so I'm hoping I won't have to deal with any huge fiascos. Thanks for the heads up, though!
Marc, I like your brevity. Yeah, I've heard the mosquitoes are miserable, but I've got a bunch of army mosquito netting, so maybe I can rig up some kind of contraption?
PB, the main objective at this point is to make sure she's seaworthy in the next couple of weeks before I head down there, clean her up once I get down there and get settled in, and to get to know the channels in the area. Ideally within a month of living there, I'll be finding work in the area and taking her out at least every few days in the immediate area.
However, the family started in Nashville, got her on the Tombigbee, and motored her down there with the initial intent of using weekends and holidays to sail her around FL up towards Baltimore Harbor (we're big Orioles fans and have family in that area). I really like the Chesapeake area, and wouldn't mind taking a few small legs of the trip off pretty soon. However, I haven't done *any* planning for weather or anchorage at all, so I'll have to look into that more closely before I can do anything.