S.V Red Sky

"Red Sky at Night Sailors delight. Red Sky in the Morn Sailors be warned !"

17 January 2016 | Manly Sydney Australia
27 October 2012 | Vuda Point Marina
23 October 2012 | Vuda Point Marina
03 October 2012 | Fiji Western Division
29 September 2012 | Fiji Western Division
23 September 2012 | Port Denarau Marina
11 September 2012 | 18 7.42'S:178 25.32'E, Suva
10 September 2012 | 19 13.78'S:179 14.37'W, Enroute Day 2 - Destination Suva
09 September 2012 | 19 5.48'S:176 40.52'W, Enroute Day 1
06 September 2012 | Neiafu Harbour - Vava`u Tonga
21 August 2012 | Anchorages
20 August 2012 | Islands
07 August 2012 | 18 39.11'S:173 59.18'W, Vavau
06 August 2012 | 18 48.55'S:172 0.54'W, Capricorn Sea Mount
05 August 2012
05 August 2012 | Niue - Cook Islands
03 August 2012 | 19 3.21'S:169 55.45'W, Nuie
02 August 2012 | 19 17.19'S:167 54.09'W, Palmerston - Vavau Tonga - Day 3
01 August 2012 | 18 30.32'S:165 33.68'W, Palmerston - Vavau Tonga - Day 2
31 July 2012 | 18 8.10'S:163 51.78'W, Palmerston - Vavau Tonga - Day 1

Three truly incredible years in one post !

17 January 2016 | Manly Sydney Australia
John Hembrow
For those of you visiting our blog for the first time and our friends who have been following it here is a brief summary of what has been happening since our last post which was back in 2012.

In December 2014 Red Sky was lost and her crew rescued . Below is a link to the story about that sad event.

Red Sky Rescue

We had sold her early in the year after what was a pretty rough couple of seasons for her.

In December 2012 we were in Fiji aboard Red Sky when Cyclone Evan - a cat 4 storm with winds of 235 klms per hour hit our location in Vuda Point Marina.

It was a scary experience and not one we hope to ever repeat.

Below is a video we recorded early in the storm , at this time the wind was about 70 kts , at the height of the storm it reached well over 100kts.

Cyclone Evan

Apart from the emotional scars we were ok but Red Sky suffered a fair bit of cosmetic damaged and as a result she spent 6 weeks on the hard while we repaired her.

With the repairs completed we enjoyed the next few months cruising Fiji and this was one of the most memorable times ,,, we love Fiji.

You can see posts and pics from this time on our Facebook page Adventures in Fiji

Facebook Adventures in Fiji

We decided to tempt fate again and spend another cyclone season in Fiji but this time in the event of a cyclone we would haul red Sky out and put her in one of the Cyclone Pits at Vuda Marina .

The majority of boats that were properly prepared and located in these pits during Evan suffered no damage so we we pretty confident that we would be ok ,,,

We flew back to Australia for Christmas and although
there were no cyclones in 2013 Red Sky was struck by lightening while we were in Australia and it happened on the same day that Evan hit in 2012.

She suffered a direct hit to the mast and the damage was extensive ,, The hull had been compromised and of course all the electronics were fried !

The insurer once again came to the party , the same one who had paid out on the cyclone damage to the tune of $90,000 just one year before .

This time the damage / repair bill was over $200,000 . We decided to take a cash settlement and sell Red Sky "as is where is" . The thought of being stuck on the hard and making the repairs during the hot and humid summer in Fiji was not that appealing !

Red Sky was sold in 2014 and temporary repairs effected by the new owner who then sailed her to Australia to complete the work needed.

Having spent almost 8 months doing the repairs Red Sky set off on her maiden voyage with the new owner and his family aboard .

They departed the Gold Coast and were on route to Sydney when in very poor and challenging conditions Red Sky hit a submerged object , was taking on water and was subsequently abandoned.

The owner and his family were rescued by a passing tanker and happily they were all ok .

Red Sky Rescue

It was to be the third year in a row that the month of December proved to be unkind to Red Sky.

Sadly this time it was the end for her , she eventually washed up on the beach and the damage that resulted deemed her to be unrepairable. Red Sky had sailed her last passage.

We spent the 2014 season in Fiji on a friend's yacht and returned to Australia in late October .

The search had been on for a new boat since January 2014 and it was to be a Catamaran this time.

In February I inspected a 48.8 Ocean Cat "Songlines" and really liked her but she was well out of our price range. In October I received a call from a yacht broker friend informing me that "Songlines" was still on the market and invited us to make an offer. In November we settled on the price and we were now the proud new owners of "Songlines"

We spent November & December taking care of some maintenance that "Songlines" needed , new rigging , batteries and other stuff . In January she was ready for a shake down so we sailed her from the Gold Coast to Sydney ,, all was good and we were looking forward to our next adventure ,, Sailing to Fiji in April .

This was to prove to be an eventful voyage which at times made me thing that we might need rescuing !

To read about click this link ;
Australia to Fiji Passage

Anyway we made it to Fiji and we once again really enjoyed our time there.

In September we departed Fiji and returned to Australia with the Down Under Rally.

The Down Under Rally is our own creation and we are very pleased with the outcome of the inaugural 2015 rally

To learn more about the Down Under Rally visit ;
Down Under Rally

The current plan is to spend the SW pacific sailing season, May-October in Fiji , Vanuatu & New Caledonia enjoy the islands and promote the rally and then to return to Australia with the rally for cyclone season, November-April.

We regularly post updates and pictures about our adventures on The Down Under Rally website "newsroom" and the Down Under Rally Facebook page.
Down Under Rally Newsroom
Facebook Down Under Rally

So that's it 3 years in one post !

Hope to see you somewhere "out there"

Last sailblogs post for a while

27 October 2012 | Vuda Point Marina
Hi all ,

Now that we have decent and affordable internet again we have decided to create a facebook page dedicated to blogging our time here in Fiji as it is quicker,easier and reaches more of our friends and family . To visit the page just click the link below. Take a look and while you are there CLICK LIKE to be sure that you get all our blogs about Fiji.

Cheers Friends,

John n Leanne

Facebook Adventures In Fiji.

Haul out

23 October 2012 | Vuda Point Marina
Well we had a fantastic 10 days with Ross and Rae, enjoyed Port Denarau, Musket Cove, Suva and White Water Rafting. Plenty of good food and laughs on and off Red Sky. We headed out to Treasure Island for the afternoon and overnight stay.
Now we are hauled out at Vuda Point Marina, our home for the cyclone season. Great spot and laid back location to chill and enjoy the sunsets from Sunset Bar and Grill when not working on Red Sky.
Check out the photo gallery for time spent with Ross and Rae and Vuda Point Marina Haulout.
Lea and John xo

More from Musket

03 October 2012 | Fiji Western Division
Update - to the photo gallery , Photos that cover the entry below can be seen in the photo gallery .
Hi All,
Finally the weather changed and we got some nice sunny days. We made the most of them . We did a 3 hour hike up to the top of an island where there is an old world war 2 bunker that was used to keep look out over the islands by the US Army.
It was mostly an easy walk except for the last few hundred meters which were pretty steep . The trail was not that used so the grass was up to chest height in some places .
Leanne managed to put her hand on an ant nest at one point when she was getting half way through crawling up one of the steeper parts and quickly found herself covered in biting little red ants . She let go and slid backwards and downwards for about 2 meters . After doing the "ant dance" -- lots of shaking and swatting she rid herself of the ants -- she was left with quite a few itchy bits on her hands and arms. All good now .
The view from the top was well worth the climb however. The trip back down was fun as we slid on our backsides over the thick grass down the steeper parts.
Yesterday we went in the dinghy to the edge of the outer reef and down to a small island that is just inside the reef. We snorkeled with hundreds of fish amongst some nice coral.
The famous Cloudland surf break is also located just off the island as well as several other waves that looked pretty inviting -- We will be spending more time there soon and hopefully get to do catch a few.
It was then back to the boat for a bit to eat and the off we went again in the dinghy with a dozen or so friends in their dinghy's to a sand bar that dries out at low tide where we enjoyed a few beers before heading into the $5.00 bar ( that's $5.00 FIJI which is about $3.00 OZZIE) . Beers , wine even spirits are all just $5.00 Fiji . There are BBQ`s there where we take our our meat etc and cook it up .. It was a big night -- lots of drinks , stories and jokes were told ,,,, lots of fun.
Today we are having a lazy one as the clouds are back and we are a bit worn out from the last few days adventures.
We head back to the mainland on Sunday , on Tuesday Ross & Rae , my brother and sister-in-law , will arrive and are spending 10 days in Fiji . We are so looking forward to seeing them and spending some time exploring together -- fingers crossed the weather is nice !

Bye for now

Musket Cove Resort

29 September 2012 | Fiji Western Division
Arrived at Musket Cove Resort in the early afternoon today . Has been raining for the past week but this afternoon we were treated to blue sky and this stunning rainbow.
We will spend a week here and hopefully we will have a few sunny days to enjoy the clear waters and white sandy beaches .

Bye for now


Exploring Fiji

23 September 2012 | Port Denarau Marina
Bula! (Hello)

Even before arriving in Fiji we were a little apprehensive: We heard Navigation is a challenge, A must do Kava experience each Island before being able to enjoy each bay - apparently it is like anchoring in someones back yard, you just can't do it without permission.

12/9/2012: Our first stop "The Royal Suva Yacht Club" anchorage, smooth check in process, friendly Custom, Health and Quarantine staff, Custom's advise on Channel 16 once anchored to contact The Royal Suva Yacht Club, they then proceed to arrange a time the authorities will be boarding your boat a charge of $60 Fijian dollars from RSYC for this service is payable, worth it, efficient and painless.

13/9/2012: Next Stop Suva City, what a fantastic experience, a bustling metropolis of shops, an abundance of Indian outfits to satisfy your bling fetish, all the usual arts and crafts markets, the local Fijian bowls are a definite must buy on my shopping list just to decide from the many varieties. The cost of food is so affordable (on par with Mexico) of course you have plenty of Indian cuisine to choose from, as well as asian and local Fijian, but all the regular foods/fast foods from home are all here. Most of all we have been pleasantly surprised with the smiling faces and genuine friendliness of all who live here.
The Suva Yacht Club staff are a welcome surprise, cannot do enough for you. A basket of washing, wash/ dried and delivered on the same day, $20 Fijian Dollars (approx $11 Aud). The drinks and food are consistently good and very affordable. Modern comfortable club and dining room.

14/9/2012: Whilst in Suva we spent 1/2 day exploring "Cola-I-Suva Forest Park" about 15 min taxi ride from Royal Suva Yacht Club. It was a relaxing walk, young green foliage, waterfalls and swimming holes, plenty of places to sit and relax along the way. We walked out of the Park and across the road where we enjoyed an Indian lunch at the Raintree Restaurant afterwards with Trevor and Jo from SV Malarki.

15/9/2012: A final Suva Shopping stop this morning : After lunch we pulled up anchor and headed to a bay an hour away " Tradewinds anchorage" a few moorings supplied but after local knowledge advising the ones left were for smaller vessels we anchored. Good holding, muddy bottom. We chatted with a cruiser off Zeupher who was full of valuable local information. We went ashore with friends off "Malarki" (Trevor and Joanne) to the Novotel Resort (formerly Tradewinds Hotel) and shared a cocktail and dinner looking out at our boats anchored and the amazing lush green hillside.

16/9/2012: Malarki and Red Sky headed off to "Beqa Island" the next day, light winds, but sunny skies Yeh! It bloody rains a lot here. We entered the reef pass with no problem, good wide opening. After perusing one side of the island decided to head around to Vaga Bay, arriving late in the afternoon and rainy, we braved not going ashore to see the chief till morning.

17/9/2012 : Around 10am, we took our Kava in and presented it from the both boats as it was a huge bundle, lollipops for the kids were a big hit also. The woman and children walked us around to the Chiefs house and we were introduced to everyone along the way. The woman showed us some crafts and jewellery, Joanne pointed out some had stickers "made in china" oops.....hence we didn't buy any. Trevor from Malarki had memorised the greeting to the Chief when offering the Kava, it impressed the 71 yr old Chief and we all sat and listened as he performed a chant, being morning we presume we did not have to drink Kava. His son sat behind us and joined in the conversation and later toured us around their village and gave us permission to explore their bay. Later we headed out into our dinghies and picked up a mooring to do some snorkelling, only to hear people yelling out to us from shore and encouraging us to come and see them. We were told we could not snorkel there unless we paid $10 fijian per person, as it was a private resort. No money no snorkelling....headed around the next bay and had snorkel without any problems, nothing too impressive, but good to get wet.

18/9/2012: We had a lazy day onboard, plenty of rain to keep us indoors and I am recovering from a flu - rest, movies and reading the best policy. We purchased a Vodafone internet stick from Suva and a phone card with internet access, it works well in Suva and is intermittent in Bega Island, but better than nothing.

19/9/2012: Yesterday afternoon around 2pm we dinghied into shore to collect the chief's son Tony who we pre-arranged with earlier to escort us to the Fire Walking around the point at The Uprising Beach Resort. The locals don't miss much, we were coming into shore and someone was onshore yelling directions for the best landing, onshore a Fijian named Sero escorted us to Tony's Hut only to find they were having a Kava Ceremony with about 20 or more guests inside his newly completed hut, O Oh! we were a little worried they ushered us inside and made us sit, Bula Bula welcome from everyone shaking your hands and smiling widely. Thank goodness Tony relieved us from his guests and organised Sero to replace him as our tour guide for the afternoon, Phew! dodged the Kava yet again.

A 5 min dinghy ride around the point, and we were onshore chatting with the local fijians, who were dive instructors/ workers on the island filling us in on good dive and snorkel places. Sero was eager to show us the resort and guide us to a table to have a beer....a pleasant place to stay with 20 or so guests, one guests happily shared photo's of dive's whilst holidaying on the island and the coral and fish were amazing, can't wait to see some of that. A couple of beer's later and Sero obviously thoroughly enjoyed it as he let go a huge burp practically in Trevor's ear and not perturbed one bit just kept on smiling and swallowed the last drop, I started to uncontrollably giggle, but refrained myself as he was a gentle soul and I didn't want to offend him.
Jo & Trevor booked their shark dive for Friday morning....we opted to pass and will enjoy their photo's and stories. Around 4.30pm the ceremony began for the Fire Walking, a fire had been smouldering for 7 hours and we were told the Fijian story of how this tradition came about. Apparently only done on Beqa Island: The story goes, an eel was caught buy a fisherman and to prevent from being eaten he suggested and explained how to Fire Walk and this would provide wealth for their tribes, hence the eel was set free and the custom of Fire Walking still continues. The men sang as they uncovered the large fire wood to reveal the hot rocks smouldering underneath.....they scattered the rocks and and chanted, then proceeded to walk, stand, pose on the rocks for our entertainment, CHECK OUT THE PHOTO'S of the Fijian men and myself showing off our feet, theirs being extremely rough and tough soles compared to my lilly white ones. SV Malarki invited us to continue the fire walking theme into the evening sharing a CHILLI Dinner - great company and perfect end to the day.

20/9/2012: Next morning we chose to head to "Yanuca Island" about a 1 hour sail away - known for its beautiful beaches and famous surf spot Frigates Passage. It certainly lived up to it's picture postcard beaches and blue lagoon water. Unfortunately Murphy threw a curb ball on our arrival and our anchor windlass decided to slip and struggle when our first anchor attempt failed....John spent most of the beautiful sunny day on deck trying to fix it and then having to pull the anchor up by hand bit by bit and re-anchor. John almost reached exhaustion diving to see if anchor had taken, re-anchoring yet again, more diving and finally a holding in sand, and a quick adrenaline boost for John to get out of the water as a shark was hovering around him obviously attracted by all his thrashing and diving. A lot of cursing was projected at that anchor....sundowners and a beautiful sunset was a welcome relief.
Disappointing we missed perfect conditions knowing the weather report showed a rainy week ahead.....bugger! Oh and we managed to avoid Kava yet again, even though we did have a visitor from the village call on the boat, John explained our problem and asked if it would be ok for tomorrow, which was fine, Malarki should be joining us then and we can experience together. As I finish typing the rain is pelting down yet again, some burst of lightning and thunder, our fingers crossed the anchor holds. Thank goodness a short lived storm and we are still safely anchored at Yanuca.

21/9/2012: Rainy overcast day greeted us after a solid night sleep, calm anchorage and no dragging - happy sailors. A few jobs needed doing, wetsuits on, scourers in hand, time to scrub the waterline, not an easy task with the wetsuit keeping you buoyant and the current dragging you back, swallowing water as you go......miss my Matty he was good at helping with these jobs... John cleaning the hull with the hooker....big tick for the day.

22/9/2012: Around 7am we rendevez-vous with Malarki and are heading out the Frigate Passage pass for "Likuri Island", Robinson Crusoe Island Yacht Club, which is a small coral island near the passage into Likuri Harbour ,Viti Levu. Flat calm water, very little wind, sunny skies were with us most of the day. The weather greeting us on entry to Likuri Island around 3.30pm was heavy skies and imminent rain. We spoke to Robinson Crusoe Island on Channel 10 advising our approach and they sent an escort to guide us between the reef. It appeared to be quite a wide entrance, waves crashing on the reef either side is always a daunting site. A smooth entrance and anchored by 4pm in flat calm conditions. The resort radioed us on our approach asking if we were joining them for dinner and fire dancing at 7pm after a full day cruising to your destination a treat to have a night out and get off the boat. What a fantastic night, traditional costumed Fijian's smiling and fire twirling on the beach to greet new guests arriving from the mainland, non stop entertainment all evening, from Kava ceremony to seeing how they prepare their hungy and non stop dancing and entertaining. A smorgasbord served meat/chicken and vegetables all very tasty. Drinks, ice-cream, food and entertainment cost us $100 fijian for the night. Awoke to a heavy fog lying over the mountains and flat calm conditions, such a treat to be in calm anchorages. Heavy skies are with us for most of the week.

23/9/2012 : We arrived at Port Denarau Marina and are now berthed in a modern facility, opposite the Hilton Hotel Resort and surrounded by all the home comforts we have not had for a while....what a treat, big smiles on our faces.

Moce (Goodbye)

Neiafu Tonga - Fiji

11 September 2012 | 18 7.42'S:178 25.32'E, Suva
10.30 am : Anchored Suva awaiting Port Captain Instructions for clearance into Fiji Skies grey and drizzling rain.

A calmer passage last night, avg 5- 5.5 kts easterly breeze 14-18+ - Red Sky performed without a hitch and crew are semi rested and ready to explore Fiji.

Love to all xo
Vessel Name: Red Sky
Vessel Make/Model: Moody 54
Hailing Port: Brisbane Australia
Crew: John & Leanne Hembrow
Extra: We are "Living the Dash" What is the dash? It`s the bit between when you are born and when you die ; e.g. Here lies Fred 1950-2010. When it is all said and done that dash represents your life. LIVE THE DASH !
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/redsky/
Red Sky's Photos - Main
80 Photos
Created 24 October 2012
Musket Cove area
53 Photos
Created 3 October 2012
Exploring Fiji
84 Photos
Created 23 September 2012
Cruising Vava'u - Tonga
33 Photos
Created 20 August 2012
35 Photos
Created 5 August 2012
34 Photos
Created 5 August 2012
8 Photos
Created 28 June 2012
6 Photos
Created 28 June 2012
33 Photos
Created 28 June 2012
Road Trip around the big island
15 Photos
Created 17 June 2012
The Big Island
29 Photos
Created 17 June 2012
19 Photos
Created 9 June 2012
34 Photos
Created 26 May 2012
Last Port for the Marquesas
16 Photos
Created 13 May 2012
Islands ; 1. Tahuata ; 2. Fatu Hiva ; 3. Ua Poa. plus some fishing catches.
37 Photos
Created 8 May 2012
20 Photos
Created 19 April 2012
There are 3 separate albums , one for each of the 3 islands we visited -- click on this album to see them !
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 12 March 2012
Passage Pictures
20 Photos
Created 28 February 2012
56 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
Environmental Cause
8 Photos
Created 10 January 2012
Fun in the Sun - Picnic Island to Isla Contador
19 Photos
Created 4 January 2012
Pacific Series Beach Cricket
20 Photos
Created 25 December 2011
Maestro , Perfect Wave & Us Isla Contradora Los Perlas Islands Panama
20 Photos
Created 25 December 2011
11 Photos
Created 22 December 2011
20 Photos
Created 19 December 2011
Adios Costa Rica hello Panama!
11 Photos
Created 12 December 2011
El Salvador to Golfito continued
53 Photos
Created 4 December 2011
Pics of our Journey from El Salvador to Golfito
27 Photos
Created 4 December 2011
47 Photos
Created 7 June 2011
Playa Los Flores & Punta Mango Surfari
121 Photos
Created 28 April 2011
40 Photos
Created 24 April 2011
Crossing the Bar
34 Photos
Created 27 March 2011
26 Photos
Created 27 March 2011
30 Photos
Created 20 March 2011
Cliff Divers
58 Photos
Created 16 March 2011
Acapulco City
50 Photos
Created 16 March 2011
13 Photos
Created 16 March 2011
Awesome sunrise and dolphin show
16 Photos
Created 2 March 2011
31 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 23 February 2011
59 Photos
Created 20 February 2011
5 Photos
Created 16 February 2011
10 Photos
Created 12 February 2011
14 Photos
Created 8 February 2011
36 Photos
Created 23 January 2011
34 Photos
Created 16 January 2011
7 Photos
Created 14 January 2011
9 Photos
Created 14 January 2011
20 Photos
Created 6 January 2011
47 Photos
Created 26 December 2010
21 Photos
Created 19 December 2010
Jungle Safari
62 Photos
Created 17 December 2010
22 Photos
Created 16 December 2010
Birds,Birds & More Birds
87 Photos
Created 16 December 2010
47 Photos
Created 6 December 2010
Cabo San Lucas to La Paz
42 Photos
Created 21 November 2010
Cabo San Lucas
22 Photos
Created 12 November 2010
Leg 3 Bahia Santa Maria - Cabo San Lucas
11 Photos
Created 7 November 2010
Leg 2 Turtle Bay to Bahia Santa Maria
43 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 7 November 2010
Leg 1-San Diego - Turtle Bay
21 Photos
Created 7 November 2010
Huntington beach , Newport Harbour , Dana Point , San Diego Harbour.
28 Photos
Created 15 October 2010
Avalon,Two Harbours & Big Geiger cove
36 Photos
Created 15 October 2010
67 Photos
Created 5 July 2010
64 Photos
Created 5 July 2010
35 Photos
Created 5 July 2010
8 Day Whirlwind tour including Day at Disneyland
98 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 19 May 2010
82 Photos
Created 19 May 2010