In the summer of 2002, Evelyn was departing her command assignment in Hawaii for a position at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. During the 2 year tour in Hawaii, XANDER IV waited patiently on hard stands in Deltaville, Virginia. While sailing in Hawaii would have been wonderful, the cost and time to move the vessel from the Chesapeake Bay to Oahu were unreasonable given the short nature of our stay in Hawaii. We resolved ourselves to make it up to XANDER IV upon our return to the mainland. In July 2002, Dave and Alex left Hawaii ahead of Evelyn and we two men undertook a complete refit of the vessel in preparation for a 1 August departure for Tampa. That spring, we carefully studied the pilot charts, tropical storm predictions and probabilities, the Intracoastal Waterway Guides, and other sources to plan an 30 day migration from one bay to another. Through furious effort, we finished the refit and paid the yard bill on 1 August and headed out south.
We arrived at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in late afternoon on 28 August. During the trip, we had faced docking at night in 25 knot winds, tiptoeing through some of the thinnest water we’d ever seen, and spending evenings in amazing marinas and picture book anchorages. Looking back, the whole trip kind of blurs together. We are editing the log of the trip for publication here on the site, so check back often. Meanwhile, enjoy these select pictures from the trip.