A winter without snow!

The sv Red Sky with her crew of Dan, Sharon, & Skipper will be leaving Kent Island for warmer waters this winter. Follow us.

19 April 2017
17 April 2017
15 April 2017 | Coinjock Marina, Coinjock, NC
15 April 2017 | Dowry Creek Marina
13 April 2017 | River Dunes Marina, near Oriental, NC.
10 April 2017
04 April 2017 | St James Marina
31 March 2017 | Georgetown, SC Harborwalk Marina
25 March 2017 | St. Johns Yacht Harbor, on the Stono River South of Charleston.
24 March 2017 | Port Royal Landing Marina
22 March 2017 | Isle of Hope Marina, Savannah, GA
20 March 2017 | Jekyll harbor Marina, Jekyll Island, GA
19 March 2017 | Palm Cove Marina, Jacksonville, FL
18 March 2017 | St. Augustine Municipal Marina.
12 March 2017 | Titusville Municipal Marina
09 March 2017 | Telmar Bay Marina
08 March 2017 | Fort Pierce City Marina
04 March 2017 | Old Port Cove Marina, North Palm Beach
02 March 2017
14 February 2017

Aeolus laughs

19 April 2017
The weatherman, with all his modern tools, predicts, and Aeolus laughs. Yesterday we left Tidewater heading for Deltaville. Predicted winds - 10 - 15 out of the west. Actual winds - 25 - 30 NNW with gust somewhat higher. We made it to The Hampton River.
Today - winds predicted 10 - 15 (sound familiar!) out of the East. Seas 2-3 feet. Actual winds 20+ NE 3 3 foot + seas. We are on the York river.

Anniversary!

17 April 2017
Six months ago we took in our dock lines and headed south out of Prospect Bay. We left the Kent Island Yacht Club and out onto the Chesapeake Bay. What a time we have had! Tonight we plan to celebrate at a favorite place here in Portsmouth, VA. - Stills (thanks again Katie Chapman).

We woke up yesterday to find that the winds were not all that bad so we pushed on. We did have 20kts crossing Currituck Sound, but I think that just moved us faster. We pulled into Tidewater Yacht Marina at about 4:00 pm. Today is laundry, install a new water pump, and celebrate! We should be home by the end of the week.

Coinjock, NC

15 April 2017 | Coinjock Marina, Coinjock, NC
The weatherman is not our friend! He has predicted bad weather that has kept us in marinas - and the problem weather never happened. He has predicted days of perfect weather only to slam us with windstorms that questioned our ability to keep afloat. Looking ahead at the weather for the next few days we realized that there is a great possibility tomorrow and Monday would have high (25kts. +) winds and gusts much higher. That was when we had planned to cross Albermarle Sound - a body of water so large & shallow that the predicted winds could be dangerous. So, do we stay in Dowry Creek for two plus days or push on? We decided to head to the Alligator River and spend the night there - but, as we approached the marina we realized that it was quite early in the day and the weather really looked good to cross the Albermarle, so we pushed on. Crossing the sound was pretty effortless except the wind did begin to pick up in the last third or so. We saw 20kts. but nothing more and pulled in at about 5:30. We are planning two nights here just in case the winds do come. By the way, the restaurant here is famous for its 32oz prime rib - I had the 16oz and it was terrific.

Lately, I have been writing about our experiences - I want to talk about comfort today. Our 32 foot Beneteau had a pad in the aft cabin. It was okay for a few days and then you began to wake up with strange aches. Red Sky has a real mattress - and it is every bit as comfortable as our bed at home. The two most expensive comfort items have been the complete cockpit enclosure and the new autopilot. The enclosure has kept us in t-shirts & shorts when we have passed others huddled in winter coats and trying to avoid the rain. And the new autopilot is designed for sailboats 20,000lbs and up. The old one was designed for boats up to 16,500 lbs. Red Sky is 16,500 lbs dry - no water, fuel, provisions, or crew and the old autopilot could not begin to keep up. This one is smooth and easily maintains a course in any weather or sea state we are apt to be out in.

Pungo River

15 April 2017 | Dowry Creek Marina
We spent last night at the Dowry Creek Marina off the Pungo River. Yep Pungo is the name - wonder where that came from.

Traveling the Neuse River yesterday morning was no fun. Strong swells off the Atlantic and a quartering 15kt breeze made for a very bumpy ride. Fortunately, our autopilot, Sir Francis Drake, was up to the task. He kept us on track for the better part of an hour and a half until we pulled into the Goose Creek Canal. The rest of the trip was smooth.

When we started this adventure we had some doubts - about our competence, comfort, planning, and just facing the unknown. We had spent up tp two weeks at a time on both Red Sky and Soulmates (our 32' Beneteau) but that was camping out vs. living for months on end. We quickly found that we had the basic skills - we could safely drive the boat, leave a dock and dock the boat - even when the wind and/or current made it interesting. Were we perfect - no! But we are much better now. The same goes for line handling. As for comfort - Red Sky has a great mattress and a comfortable main cabin. We learned to cook with gas (something new to the first mate) and even did some baking! The planning - well we did get better, thanks much to Bruce & Jill on DreamBoat. The one fly in the ointment was the weatherman - not really accurate for our needs. We ended up staying in place because of bad weather predictions and moving through less than wonderful weather that was just not supposed to be there.
I think we both can say that facing the unknown and working through it has made us stronger as a couple and in ourselves.

More reflections

13 April 2017 | River Dunes Marina, near Oriental, NC.
We are in River Dunes Marina, near Oriental, NC. We spent two nights in Beaufort (pronounced bowfort!), at the City Docks Marina - right in the middle of a very quaint downtown. Great restaurants & shopping - and a great double-decker bus tour on a 1997 London bus with wrong side driving!
We slipped the dock lines at eight am and headed up, and through a very narrow channel called Adams Creek to the Neuse River. Passing Oriental, NC to the south we headed in here. It is a lovely marina with great facilities, arriving at about 1:00 pm. Got the boat washed down, the laundry done, and all hands took showers. Today we drove the loaner car to Oriental for lunch and a bit of grocery shopping. Not really much to this town that we can see.

It is hard to believe that in a few days we will have been living on Red Sky for six months. We approached this adventure wit some wonder and a bit of trepidation. Would we be bored traveling down this narrow waterway? No! There were too many neat towns ant then there were the dolphins most of the way (even in the Chesapeake) as well as all the different birds from cormorants to majestic pelicans. We passed quite a few inlets that gave us a glimpse of the Atlantic and we wondered if we were up to going out there. Well, we did! We left Ft. Lauderdale and headed into the ocean turning south and later that day west. While anchored in the Key we were woken by what sounded like a freight Train. The wind was howling at 30+ kts. and our anchor was dragging. The wind did not let up all day and fairly pushed us further west. It caught us broadside as we turned north into the gulf. We gained some respect for the soundness of Red Sky and our skills as sailors. And then we got to spend two glorious months in beautiful Marathon.

Reflections

10 April 2017
We have thoroughly enjoyed this adventure thus far and are looking forward to the last 400 miles or so to go. We are in our seventies and have decided to look at what we both want and need for the remainder of our lives. Red Sky is officially for sale. Shortly afeter we return our townhouse will be for sale. My mom & dad had bought a place on Florida's East Coast and Sharon's parents had introduced us to the west coast. We truly enjoy the Gulf Coast and will be looking to move to the Tampa, St. Pete, Sarasota as soon as practical. Ham Radio, Fishing, Mah Jongg, and chartering are what we are looking forward to - along with the culture of of that section of Florida.
Vessel Name: Red Sky
Vessel Make/Model: Hunter 376
Hailing Port: Chester, Maryland
Crew: Dan & Sharon Ehrenfeld
About: We are about to embark on our most ambitious sailing adventure. In three weeks, weather permitting we will move onto Red Sky and head south for the winter. We plan to spend December through February in the Florida Keys.
Red Sky's Photos - Main
2 Photos
Created 2 March 2017
10 Photos
Created 12 February 2017
11 Photos
Created 26 November 2016
1 Photo
Created 21 November 2016
6 Photos
Created 8 November 2016
6 Photos
Created 2 November 2016
Dan, Sharon, & of course Skipper
2 Photos
Created 6 September 2016