Dear Family and Good Friends,
Welcome aboard LeuCat and thanks for coming. Our home is your home so make yourself comfortable. We hope this information sheet will answer most of your questions.
Please bring only soft-sided, collapsible luggage. A sailboat does have limited storage space: hard luggage will not stow well. Think of the living space in a large motor home and add sails, outboards, life rafts, and enough food and wine for four months. It is probably better to bring smaller bags rather than one large bag as they are easier to store. We recommend that you start packing a week before you come. Each night of that week take out half of what you have packed and then re-pack. When you are down to just a tooth brush add a bathing suit, and we will supply the toothpaste! JUST KIDDING, but please pack lightly. We have found that everyone, including ourselves, packs more than double than what you actually need or will use. Please keep that in mind when you pack and make sure it is something that you will use, not just something you think you may use. Trust me on this.
You are not going to need a lot of clothing in the tropics. We will not be going anywhere that requires coat and tie or evening dress. One California casual outfit in case we go to dinner at a nice resort should be all the nice clothes you will need. You will probably spend most of your day in a bathing suit anyway or shorts and a tee shirt.
Some of the countries we visit are rather conservative so women should include a light dress or pants outfit that covers the shoulders and knees, and men should always include one pair of long pants with a collared shirt such as a golf shirt. Consider including a light sweater or long sleeve top if you are cold natured as the evenings can occasionally be cool.
Do not forget sunglasses, your favorite sunscreen (the higher the SPF, the better), and any personal items you can not be without. Please do not bring a hair dryer. If you need one we have small ones on board that are sized to work with our electrical system.
On deck, we allow only bare feet or footwear that will not mar the fiberglass. Any deck shoe or boating sandal such as Teva is appropriate. In fact non black sole Teva type sandals are great because you can wear them when reef walking or on the beach.
Please bring a mask and snorkel. Most of our destinations have fantastic snorkeling which you should not miss. We may have a spare set of snorkeling equipment, and we usually carry spare fins, but it is always nice to have your own, particularly a well fitting mask.
Please bring any prescription medications you may require in the original prescription bottle. Most of the countries we visit have very strict drug laws. Moreover, most countries sometimes conduct random searches of boats as a matter of course. Do not even consider bringing any type of illegal contraband or drugs. Not only could you wind up in jail, we would probably wind up there with you and would lose our boat. Make sure everyone traveling with you is aware of how serious this issue is. If you are bringing a teenager, please find an opportunity to search his/her luggage before you leave and blame it on us if you get caught in the act! Please be careful about carrying packages for someone not traveling with you.
Last but not least, do not forget your passport and visa (if required). Please make this the last item you check before walking out the door and then check everyone traveling with you.
If you plan on scuba diving during your visit please be sure to bring your diving certification card. If you have your own equipment you might consider bringing your own regulator along with mask, fins, and snorkel. We will most likely be diving with local dive companies who will rent you equipment. If you have not been diving recently, please take a refresher course before coming and review your equipment. If you have not had a dive physical in several years and/or are on new medication, please check with your physician and the DAN (Divers Alert Network) website before diving.
Please be aware of your personal safety at all times: One hand for the boat, and one hand for yourself. That is, when moving around the deck always have a good handhold. Also, watch your feet as there are plenty of deck thingies designed to mangle your toes.
If you do not swim well we have several different types of personal flotation devices you can wear or hold on to. Just ask.
Never stand in the path of the boom or a line under tension.
If someone falls overboard, do not lose sight of the person in the water! Yell "man overboard" and DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE PERSON IN THE WATER, even for a moment. Do not jump into the water unless the person has lost consciousness or cannot swim. Otherwise, you will only compound the problem.
Wear sun block outside. Tropical UV radiation can burn quickly.
Do not push any buttons or throw any switches. If you are unsure of anything, please ask.
If you have any health issues or allergies, please let us know; and please remember to bring your medication and/or epi-needles, etc.
If you take the dinghy any great distance, be sure to take plenty of fuel, a handheld VHF radio with fresh batteries, and a life jacket.
Do not start the dinghy outboard with anyone in the water near the prop.
If you feel even slightly seasick, let us know immediately. Seasickness is much easier to treat early and we have several tired and true remedies that should dismiss the queasy feeling.
Always be aware of where you place things. With such a large boat, it is easy to misplace things. When you leave, we will be the proud new owners of lost objects!
Don't worry, we will go over all the safety issues once you are onboard, have unpacked and have one of Dave's famous frozen margaritas in your hand.
Please make yourself at home. Soft drinks are in either the salon or cockpit fridge and snacks are in the fridge and pantry. Please do not leave the refrigerator or freezer doors open. We make our own energy and conservation is the name of the game.
Please shower at the aft steps shower before coming below if you are dirty. Sand is a nasty, gritty, insidious thing that is impossible to get out of the boat; and sunscreen can stain any fabric. Please take your shoes off and rinse your feet at the aft steps before coming into the cockpit.
Please try to keep most of your personal items stowed in your cabin. That way things do not get lost and shared areas stay uncluttered. Hang wet items in your bathroom (called "heads on a boat) or outside.
We make our own fresh water so use as much as you need, but do not waste it. For example, do not run the water while brushing your teeth. Take "sailor showers" by getting wet, then soaping up with the water off, and then rinsing.
Remember to pump out your shower after use.
I know, I know. This is not something anybody wants to talk about, but we can not call a plumber at sea so . . .
Marine toilets flush with sea water from outside the boat then macerate the toilet contents and pump the contents overboard. Remember the toilet is below the waterline so if you discover leaking water on the bathroom floor let us know immediately. Nothing goes into the toilet except what you have eaten and toilet paper, and not much toilet paper. If you must use more than a small amount of toilet paper, no problem, but flush several times adding more paper each time you flush. You can use the fresh water shower to add water if there is not enough water in the bowl.
If you are using the manual flush toilet. Turn the knob clockwise to flush. Continue flushing 5 to 10 seconds after the bowl is empty. If there is too much water in the bowl turn the knob counterclockwise to empty without adding more water. Remember to pump the water slowly or over time you will damage the pump's seals.
If you are using the electric flush toilet, just pull the flush button and let the toilet do the rest. Ahh, the simple pleasures of modern conveniences!
Yes, the wastes do go right out into the ocean if we are not in areas that require holding tank usage. It is amazing how quickly the ocean takes care of wastes and keeps the water crystal clear. After all, where do you think all of the little sea creatures go to the bathroom, and there are soooo many of them. Before you go, please check to see if people are swimming around the boat. If so, please be considerate by letting them know what you to are about to do.
If you have any questions about the toilet please ask us before using it! If you plug the toilet, you get to work on it until it is unpluged. Ask me to tell you the story about the first time our kids went sailing with us on Grandpa's boat. Ahhh, such fond memories
Please don't be surprised if we ask you to bring one thing or another for us from the US. Since we only get back home once or twice a year, you may have to be our mule, bringing some valuable thingy-abob that we just can't find out here in paradise and yet can't seem to live without.
Finally, AND THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT - when we sail, we are at the mercy of the weather. We just don't go sailing when the weather is poor. Thus, when you plan your trip, we recommend that you also reserve a hotel at the place we are planning to rendezvous. Then, a few days before you leave, we will email you to let you know if we arrived at the rendexvous or if weather is delaying us. If we are at the rendexvous, then go ahead and cancel your hotel reservations, without penalty. If we are delayed, you will at least have a nice place to stay and enjoy yourselves while we wait for the weather to clear and sail to where you are staying.
We can't wait to see you and share with you a part of the dream that we are living.
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