Hey folks! For a while now I have been dreaming of a crazy long river adventure, but my knowledge on the ins and outs of sailing is still very basic, so I was hoping folks here would be able to enlighten me with their knowledge on such things. While I'm not unfamiliar with some offshore cruising and had some boating experience on a river in Brazil, I haven't yet made the full transition into the boating lifestyle. ...yet! The epic adventure idea would be to acquire (rent/charter/buy - prefereably buy) a vessel in the general Florida area, then sail it along the coast, through the Gulf of Mexico, and into the Mississippi delta. Then sail up the Mississippi all the way to where the Ohio river meets it. From there, take the waterway into the Kentucky Dam reservoir. That's where I start to wonder how things work and the foremost question in my mind is: How does one go up a dam lock? There are at least 3 locks along the route to Old Hickory lake in the Nashville, Tennessee area, the final destination in this crazy trip. Do you... just contact the lock operator on radio and say you want to go up? Do you just arrive at a certain time of the day and traffic goes thru? I have absolutely no idea how it works! Also what kind of boat would be good for such adventure? (it should be comfortable to liveaboard for several weeks, and should have good autonomy and fuel efficiency) Don't worry I'm not going to read something on the internet and go buy a boat and disrrupt the waterways with my noobness. I'm just curious for now! Thanks!