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

29 July 2016
27 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
26 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
25 July 2016 | Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia
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

The Blog Is Back!!!

29 July 2016
We have just discovered that the Sailblog site is back in operations!.. Yea !! It has mostly been down for the last week due to hackers trying to get into the site and steal user information. The administrator took down the site until more protection could be installed. It was up for a few hours a few days ago but went down again until now. Hopefully, it will stay up. We apologize to our readers for any inconvenience and thank you for the emails we received asking what had happen.

Dave and Mary Margaret Leu

S/V Leu Cat

Year 9 Day 178 Fore!

27 July 2016 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
Dave/Overcast


This morning Dwight and I headed off for the St. Lucia Golf Club to play a round of golf. It has been over 6 years since we have last played together. Dwight is a member of a golf club near his house in Hayward, California and he gets to play at least once a week. He has always been a very good player and typically shoots in the low to mid-80s. My game, on the other hand, is very hit or miss as I am lucky if I can get 3 or 4 games in a year. When my game is on, I can shot into the high 80’s, when it’s not, I will shoot over 100 and it is really ugly. However, the game is just so much fun that the score really is no longer as big of a deal as it used to be.

We had Vision run us over to the golf course and when we got there, we discovered that we basically had the course all to ourselves. It is the off season here so the number of tourists visiting the island now is very small.

As it turns out, the course was very hard with lots and lots of water along most of the holes. Its slope rating, which is how one can compare the difficult of one course to another, was 138. This is a very high rating, reflecting how challenging this course was.

We scratched, giggled, smoked our Cuban cigars, slurped down a couple of cooling drinks and swung away, having a great time on a beautiful course. My front nine was a disaster shooting a 54, but my back nine was a more respectable 48. Dwight put back to back respectable nines, shooting a final score of 90. For such a tough course, this is a very good score.

By the time we returned to Leu Cat, Mary Margaret had put together a delicious Hungarian meal with sautéed onions, green peppers, tomatoes, garlic and sausage. It is one of my favorite dishes and, once again, it was delicious!

We polished off a great day with a last night of cards with yours truly winning both hands of 3-13 that we played. Dwight suggested that I would write about this remarkable achievement to brag about it. However, my modesty prevents me from sharing with you what a tremendous accomplishment this was.

Dwight will be leaving us tomorrow and we are so fortunate to have shared this adventure with both him and Kati.

As an aside, we are closely watching the newest tropical wave that is forming off the African coast. NOAA is saying that there is a 40 % chance of it forming into a hurricane. Right now, we are on the southern most potential path of this spot of weather. It is still 5 or so days away so we will be watching it to see if it develops or turns to the NW. We are prepared to sail back to Grenada (a 1 day sail) or even Trinidad (a 2 day sail) if we have to.


Year 9 Day 177 So Long, Kati

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

This morning Dwight and Kati took us out for a wonderful breakfast buffet at the Anse Chastanet Hotel which is right in front of our boat. I ended up having a helping of lox and bagels and paired that with eggs benedict. Oooh, it was all so good.

We then returned to Leu Cat as it was time to take Kati over to Soufriere so she could return to the airport and start her journey home to Houston. She, Dwight and I hopped in the dinghy while Mary Margaret stayed on Leu Cat. I can get our new dinghy to plane with three people on the dinghy but not four. The boat needs to plane to go fast.

It was just a couple of miles of ocean travel to round the headland and to get to Soufriere. We had made arraignments with Vision to come down from Rodney Bay with his car to pick up Kati and take her to the airport that is at the south end of the island. As I approached the dock, I saw Clayus waving to us. Clayus is a local taxis driver who I had hoped to use to take us on the tour we had yesterday. However, I saved his cell number on my smart phone that was stolen the last time we were here. He was disappointed that he lost out of the tour job but did understand once I explained that I had no way to reach him. He shared with me that another boat, moored on the same mooring that we had used, was also robbed last week. The bottom line is… DO NOT moor your boat in Soufriere!!!

Vision was a bit delayed but still arrived with plenty of time for Kati to catch her plane. After hugs and kisses goodbye, Dwight and I returned to the dinghy and then Leu Cat.

We soon cast off our mooring lines and started our sail back to Rodney Bay. Dwight and I are planning to play golf tomorrow so our plan for today was to return to the marina there. The sail was great even with the typical flunky winds you get on the leeward side of an island and we made between 4 and 7.5 knots. Everything time the winds moved forward and started pinching our bows we would just adjust our course to the west about 10 to 20 degrees to move the winds to a more favorable angle. In would only take a few minutes before the wind would return to the move easterly direction and we could return to our preferred course. It was a great graphical example for Dwight to see how we sail to the wind not the rhumb line.

In less than three hours we were back at Rodney Bay Marina. Our neighbors there, Steve and Kathy, helped with our dock lines and we were thankful for their help. Docking in gusty winds is never fun by yourself, especially when you have to wedge you boat backwards in between the dock and another boat.

We celebrated our return to Rodney Bay with pizza for dinner and then an evening of playing 3-handed bridge. Mary Margaret was the big winner as Dwight and I struggled to get good hands.

Before we went to bed, Dwight had received an email that Kati flight to Miami went well and she was now on her way to Houston.

Year 9 Day 176 Exploring St. Lucia

25 July 2016 | Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia
Dwight/SUnny


Today was the day the four of us decided to explore St. Lucia. The island has some very unique attributes that were just calling us to see. We had made arraignments yesterday with Anthony, one of the local guides, to pick us up at the Anse Chastanet Hotel resort that we are moored in front of. As we drove away from the resort we discovered how remote this resort is from the rest of the world. The road into it from Soufriere was one lane and to call it a road is being generous. As we bumped our way toward Soufriere, Anthony pointed out where a car had driven off the road and plunged down the steep cliff to the rocks and ocean below.

Our first stop was a waterfall that was fed from the hot water coming from the sulphur springs further up the mountain. The waterfall was nothing to talk about but there are a couple of small concrete basins that captured the water and a group of 6 young girls were bathing in them. This was not what we had in mind when we had talked with Anthony in regards to exploring the island. Thus, we were not starting out on the right foot.

Fortunately, the rest of the day and the places we went to from there, greatly improved. Our next stop was at Tete Paul, where a naturalist was our guide. She took us on a hike to vantage points where we could take in the breathtaking views of the two Piton and the lovely agricultural valleys below. To our wonderment she pointed out a little Cocoa Tree with actual chocolate pods (?) hanging on them….much excited inquiry and we learned that indeed they do process the local chocolate and sell the products both raw and in finished chocolate products! Well….we immediately diverted Anthony from his intended route to a local lunch spot to the nearest Chocolate processing location! Walked up an elegant stairway to a true 4 Star Restaurant….where seemingly everything had a chocolate theme, a chocolate sauce, a chocolate reduction!? Simply amazing lunch stop….Mary Margaret snagged the ‘catch of the day’ which was believe it or not… a Yorkshire Pudding with a Chocolate Infused Horseradish Sauce! Imagine!?
Anyway….got to recommend that joint….appropriately named “Chocolat” if your ever in the neighborhood!
Next stop on our tour….volcanic mud baths!!! Excellent! Even if you are not into such stuff….this is late stage magma heated steam with loads of black mud and sulphur (rotten-egg) odors blowing out of these in ground fissures…..stinky….oh yeah! Had a great docent who again confirmed all of Dwight’s expounded Geo-Trivia….again left over from classes he never paid attention to…..but never mind!
Made the trip back to the Leu Cat in a Ponga boat….very classy. Great photo documentation was preserved for this exceptional day. I will fondly recall every stop with great detail!
Dwight

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

24 July 2016 | Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia
Dwight/SUnny

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.
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