LeuCat Adventures

Join us in sharing our adventures as we sail around the world. NEW!!************************************************************************* GET A COPY OF OUR TECHNO-TIPS DOCUMENTS--JUST CLICK ON THEM UNDER THE "FAVORITES" HEADING ON THE RIGHT

23 July 2016 | Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia
22 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
21 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
20 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
18 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
17 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
16 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
15 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
14 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
13 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
12 July 2016 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
11 July 2016 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
10 July 2016 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
09 July 2016 | Anse La Vedure

Year 9 Day 175 “Guest Blog….Captains Star date July 24, 2016”

24 July 2016 | Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia

A brilliant and adventurous day! It began with a trip ashore near the resort of Anise Chastanet. Local volcanic geology well exposed along a 300 yard path to the bar! Dwight (former Geologist!) could not help but to expand on all he saw! “…and here….this is the historic paleo-beach faces….on lapped by the Mesozoic ash fall from the volcanic Piton to the south….and , and…look here is an ‘Ignimbright-Ash Flow!!!’ and, and…. (Kati and Dave know there is little left of Dwight’s Auditory Capacity….but I could hear them! “ does he go on like this often??…don’t worry whispered Kati….He’s just recalling college classes he didn’t pay attention to anyway…”.
But I digress: the natural landscaping (?) is incredible! As if Gods own landscape architect potholed each palm tree individually….giving it that just –right curve toward the sea that calendar shots are made of! Incredibly beautiful! Don’t get me wrong….the Boulevards of South Oakland are a sight to behold…but this beach seen is truly incredible!
As to the grand daily adventure: Capn’ Dave surveyed the seas and noted rightfully that the tide rip around the Leu Cat was particularly pronounced today….but still….the sun was out and there were sponges and fish and soft coral and warm seas within our grasp! So Over the stern we went….full on skin suits, snorkels and fins as Dwight attempted his first efforts with an underwater camera! Must say my first notice of a current (?) was in trying mightily to get to the top of a simple waving sea fan for my first picture. I’m swimming (with great purpose) ….but hey….I didn’t know a sea fan could swim away? How is that?? Kicking furiously….but can’t gain an inch on the galloping benthic creatures! Finally shot a few foggy pictures (Good shots of Dwight’s Knee and Kati’s Flippers there….well composed!) I came up to triangulate on the Leu Cat. Gosh looks far away! Think I’ll head back soon. With head down I begin swimming….first with normal fin-assisted kicking motions…..went on for five minutes it seemed… and I checked again! What….I have made no progress???? Matter of fact…the Leu Cat is farther away!? (Pirates have boarded, and are stealing the Leu Cat???) Now paddling in earnest, full on American Crawl….and making no headway against the current? Pondered seriously heading in the other direction toward the safety of the Beach Bar 1/4 mile to the south….but with-the-current! Maybe that would be safer!? Fortunately, and with some relief I spy the form of Cap’n Leu himself….boarding our vessel in the distance, launching the dingy in a flash and racing with Yamaha-assisted speed to our rescue!
Don’t know that I fully expressed how happy I was to drag my spent self over the side of that dingy….but I surely was.
I look back on another fine day….and another grand entry to my museum of recollection!
These adventures….they make your life longer…. Don’t they!

Year 9 Day 174 Sailing South

23 July 2016 | Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia
Dave/Mostly Sunny

Just a note to say that our SailBlog web site is still down so we just keep on posting our blog directly onto our Facebook page. We are getting a lot of emails from people wondering what has happened. There is not anything we can do about it as we wait for the webpage administrator to fix the bugs in the “improvements” they installed. Grrrrr.

This morning we strolled over to the fruit and veggie stands that were setup this morning on the marina grounds. They are here each Wednesday and Saturday morning. It is like a mini farmers market. We bought a few things and then returned to Leu Cat and dropped the dinghy. We still needed some fresh yoghurt so off we went, crossing the lagoon, as we headed over to the malls on the far side. There are a couple of nice supermarkets there. Soon we were armed with our yoghurt and had added a few small baguettes as a bonus.

When we returned to Leu Cat I went and paid our marina bill and soon we had thrown off the deck lines were heading out of the lagoon and into Rodney Bay. We raised the sails with nice winds and had high hopes of a great sail for the 15 nm to the south central part of the west coast of the island. However, a large squall had just moved off in front of us so we were sucked in the lee of it. With most squalls, the lee of the squall is an area where there are light, flakey winds and that is just what we got. Grrrr. Thus, we motored sailed for a couple of hours until the squall had moved far enough to the west for the good winds to return.

The last 5 or 6 nm of our passage ended up with a great sail in 15 to 18 knot of wind and us doing between 7 and 9.5 knots. Dwight and Kati enjoyed the sail by laying on the trampolines that run between our bows watching the flying fish and turtles that we sailed past. It was a great time!

With Dwight and Kati manning the bow lines, me with the boat hook and Mary Margaret piloting Leu Cat, grabbing the mooring ball an our little anchorage in Anse Chastanet was a snap. Once we had Leu Cat squared away, Dwight dove over the boat to enjoy the clear blue water. I soon followed.

Next came rounds of ice cold margaritas as we all had big smiles on our faces. Here we were, in a beautiful anchorage with the Pitons towering in the near distance, the cliffs in front of us carpeted with dense, verdant vegetation, a nice beach at the base of the cliffs and drinks in our hands while enjoying our little piece of paradise. It just does not get better than this!

While it was late in the day, Dwight was anxious to go snorkeling to check out the colorful reef that we are sitting next to. Thus, between margaritas, he donned his diving gear and off he went. When we returned he shared with all how magnificent the reef was with huge pieces of brain coral and various types of sponges. He did not realize how big sponges can get.

While he was off diving, Mary Margaret began making her delicious Cape Malay chicken curry for dinner. This is a special recipe our some of our friends in South Africa shared with her. It is a sweet curry that is served over bananas and is wonderful!

As the darkness fell we enjoyed the mass of stars that slowly came out. I was hoping to show Dwight the Southern Cross but it was too low in the horizon and was covered by distant clouds. When Mary Margaret and I went to bed, Dwight and Kati were lying on the roof of our salon, starring up at the stars and enjoying the show. Life is good!

Year 9 Day 173 Pigeon Island

22 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
Dave/Mostly Sunny

This morning we decided to use the dinghy and motor across Rodney Bay to the Pigeon Island National Park. The island is where the British cited their fort to protect the northern end of the island and used it to keep their eye on the French shipping which used the 25 nm wide channel between St. Lucia and Martinique. Martinique, during the colonial years of the 1700s and 1800s was the kingpin of the French controlled islands in the West Indies. The islands of the West Indies were important sources of wealth for both the British and French during this period due to the valuable sugar industry that resided on the islands. Each island was covered by large sugar cane plantations.

During the period of the American Revolution, Rodney Bay was home to a large British Fleet under the direction of Admiral Rodney. There were a number of sea battles between the French and British in and around the area between St. Lucia and Martinique. Thus, the fort and lookouts of Fort Rodney were critical. A place like this really brings history to life as you envision the garrison troops actually moving and loading 2 ton cannons with cement wheels (!) Imagine a 24 pound super-heated cannon ball flying through your wooden ship held together by tar!!! Visceral!!

The dinghy ride was only a mile or so and the bay is very well protected from the swells and wind so the ride was smooth and easy. We tied up at the old dinghy dock near the little wooden restaurant that is within the park. Mary Margaret, our son, David Paul, and I had stopped here in 2006 when we had chartered the Cantana 47 OC for a couple of weeks.

The ruins of the various buildings that make up the fort are in the process of being restored. The buildings were made of stone and most of them still remain. I took some pictures and will try posting above this blog, Internet permitting.

We hiked up to the top of the peak of the island where there the gun placement was sited. The view toward Martinique and of the bay below was stupendous. The colors of the water, the beaches and the forest cover island yielded the image of paradise.

We then walked to the old, wooden restaurant and enjoyed some cold drinks and a large cookie and piece of carrot cake. With our thirst quenched and tummies happy we then walked to the little beach nearby and fell into the luscious water. It was wonderful!

By now it was time to return to Leu Cat to get ready for dinner. Dwight and Kati were taking us out to the Big Chef restaurant, which is rumored to be the best on the island. When we did arrive we had the place to ourselves and the service stumbled over themselves giving us personalize attention. The main crowd comes after 8 PM.

The drinks and food were wonderful with steaks, ribs and Mahi Mahi/Dorado ordered between us. The desserts of ice cream and chocolate cake were the perfect topping to this great meal. It is a place we would highly recommend if you get a chance to come to Rodney Bay.

Tomorrow we will cast off our lines and sail down south to explore and enjoy the colorful reefs.

Year 9 Day 172 Dwight And Kati Arrive!

21 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
Dave/Mostly Sunny

This afternoon one of my former partners, Dwight, and his wife, Kati, arrived at Leu Cat. Kati will be with us for 5 days and Dwight will be with us for 7 days. The fellow we hired to wash and polish our boat, Vision, was the one to pick them up at the airport. This is the slow season here and he is trying to find income sources anyway he can. Thus, we hired him to meet our friends at the airport and he will take them back when they leave.

Both Dwight and Kati are experienced travelers and came with just a couple of small, soft bags, which was very impressive. It was so good to see them both again and it is a treat for us to have them come to spend some time with us. They both looked really good, even though they were bushed from the long flights to get here.

We cracked open a couple of bottles of sparkling wine to celebrate their arrival. Ohhh, it went down so smooth. We all loved the wine so much, Dwight and I will return to the bottle shop tomorrow to pick up some more.

Mary Margaret had cooked up her special Leu Cat eggplant parmesan and I then grilled some steaks and with a colorful salad and homemade blue cheese dressing, we feasted for dinner. It was delicious!

After dinner we talked about what Dwight and Kati would like to do and see while here. We decided that we would be sailing south to do some diving on the colorful reefs in a couple of days. For tomorrow, we will go visit the national park out on Pigeon Island, do a little last minute shopping and then have a great dinner at Big Chef, one of the best restaurants on the island. It sounds like a great start to a great visit!

Year 9 Days 171 and 172 Rainy Days

20 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
Dave/ Periods of Rain And Sun

For the last few days I have been watching this massive tropical wave form off the coast of Africa and move our way. In the process, it sheared off its top and moved much further north than previous tropical waves. It was pretty intense and from that I knew we would be getting lots and lots of rain. It finally started passing over us and for the last two days we have had one rain squall after another releasing deluges of rain. My guess is that we have had between 6 and 8 inches so far. It will continue into tomorrow morning before it passes by. Fortunately, it should be all but over by the time our friends, Dwight and Kati, arrive in the late afternoon. It should be followed by a few days of nice weather, whew!

The boat is all spick and span now so we have been taking it easy while we wait for the rain to pass by. During a break between deluges, Mary Margaret and I hopped into the dinghy and motored over to the far side of the lagoon. She had an 1100 hair cut appointment plus we wanted to pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables from the supermarket. We also stopped and enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the Spice of India. It was a very nice Indian restaurant and we recommend it if you are in the area.

Our luck with the rain ended as we boarded the dinghy to return. The skies reopened and released another gush of water. We were soaked by the time we had returned to Leu Cat. Fortunately, it was only water and fresh water at that. Once stripped of our wet clothes and into dry ones, we were once and again warm and snug on our lovely boat.

A quick note to all of you who wished MM a Happy Birthday—thank you all so very much! We so appreciate all of your kind words and wishes. We love hearing from you. I did have a great b-day and hopefully another fun filled and adventurous year!

Year 9 Day 170 What Is It?

18 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
Dave/Mostly Sunny

Wherever we go we love to find and sample the local fruits and vegetables. There is so much diversity going from island to island and country to country. The picture that is posted with this blog is something that is a bit larger than a softball and looks to me to be some sort of overgrown root crop. Mary Margaret had bought it Saturday at one of the little fruit and vegetable stalls that were setup here in the Marina. She told me it was call an apricot. Now, I am not the smartest kernel on the cob but even I know what an apricot is. However, she insisted that is what the locals called it.

She cut into it to discover an orange firm flesh and as I popped the piece into my mouth a big smile appeared. While tasting nothing like the little apricots I am used to in the US, it was quite tasty and sweet. Its flavor was halfway between a mango and a papaya. It was a bit firmer in texture than either one of those fruits. Mary Margaret did not really enjoy it so I ended up slurping it down all by myself. Yum!

We have just about finished all of the work we plan to do on getting Leu Cat ready for our friends’ arrival. They come in three days so we have time to rest and explore a bit. I did just that by taking the dingy to the southernmost part of the lagoon. There are a number of restaurants there along with two malls. I walked around and waltzed through the two supermarkets, noting what goodies they had. I also scoped out the Ace Hardware store and ended up buying a new 2 gallon gas can for the dinghy.

One Wednesday I will return with Mary Margaret. She will be getting her hair cut at one of the salons. We will also try one of the restaurants for lunch and then do some grocery shopping.

Year 9 Day 169 The Birthday Girl

17 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
Dave/Mostly Sunny

Today is my life mate’s special day. It is her birthday. Today is all of hers and she gets to do anything she wishes. Being the special girl, she is, she chose to spend the day with me! We lounged around, played cards, read and listen to music. Not real exciting but we have learned that being together, enjoying each other’s company, is such a treat. I am so lucky to have Mary Margaret as my best friend, lover, wife, and mother of our children. It just does not get any better than that!

She also called and talked to each of our kids. That too, is a very special treat. Here we are in the Caribbean and talking to each of our kids and our grandkids while on our boat. Technology is great when it works!

As my treat to the birthday girl, I washed the dishes all day and made Mary Margaret the dinner she requested. I had offered to take her out to dinner but she enjoys our cooking more than eating out. Thus, we had a couple of cuts of the tenderloin beef we bought in Barbados, these huge potatoes and a colorful salad I threw together with her homemade blue cheese dressing. It was topped off with a chocolate frosted yellow cake with chocolate bits. Mary Margaret made the birthday cake herself as she wanted it to be perfect. Can’t say that I blame her… as it was delicious!
Vessel Name: Leu Cat
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 440
Hailing Port: Dana Point, CA
Crew: Mary Margaret and Dave Leu
About: Our goals are to spend the next 10 to 15 years cruising around the world and sharing this adventure with family and friends.
Extra: S/V Leu Cat is Lagoon 440 rigged for blue water sailing. It is 44 feet long with a 25 foot beam
Leu Cat's Photos - (Main)
Wedding and Reception photos April 18, 2015, Yosemite, CA
51 Photos
Created 30 April 2015
Here are some pics that I took while visiting w/ my parents in the Galapagos Islands
22 Photos
Created 29 March 2010
Our Photos of this very magically place
94 Photos
Created 21 September 2009
1 Photo | 7 Sub-Albums
Created 1 April 2009
A tour of St. Kitts that Mary Margaret and I did
75 Photos
Created 7 May 2008
1 Photo
Created 25 March 2008
Pictures of the sea life in the cut between Little Jost Van Dyke and Green Cay, BVI
30 Photos
Created 17 March 2008
Here are a number of pictures of St. Maarten and the places we visited
36 Photos
Created 21 January 2008
Photos of Nanny Cay
6 Photos
Created 11 January 2008
Here what the idoit charter did to Leu Cat
11 Photos
Created 9 January 2008
Join us as we explore the Spanish, American, and British Virgin Ilsands.
15 Photos
Created 20 October 2007
To help get you ready to go sailing with us, we wish to introduce you to Leu Cat so you will know what to expect when you get here! Just click on the first photo and then use the "next" button to advance through this slide show.
19 Photos
Created 19 October 2007
This is a collection of photos documenting our sail through the Windward Islands during May/June 2006 with our son, David Paul.
62 Photos
Created 14 October 2007

Who: Mary Margaret and Dave Leu
Port: Dana Point, CA