LeuCat Adventures

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21 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
21 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
20 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
20 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
19 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
17 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
16 February 2017 | Between Martiniqu and St. Lucia
15 February 2017 | Port Elizabeth, Admiralty Bay, Bequia
14 February 2017 | Britannia Bay, Mustique Island
13 February 2017
13 February 2017
13 February 2017
13 February 2017
13 February 2017
13 February 2017
13 February 2017
13 February 2017
13 February 2017
13 February 2017 | Britannia Bay, Mustique Island
12 February 2017 | Britannia Bay, Mustique Island

Year 10 Day 31 The Storm

21 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
Dave/Stormy
The long-awaited storm finally arrived this afternoon. Based on the Satellite photo and the various GRIB files I have been studying, what we were hit with was the tail end of a long trough or front that ran between us here in the West Indies and extending to just north of Great Britain. The text files I have been reading indicate that the weather in the northern parts of the North Atlantic were getting a real dozy of a storm. Fortunately for us, the tail end that swiped over us was not bad. It mostly passed just to the north of us and the skies there looked really, really ugly. As the big, black clouds started to cover our sky, the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees and I was cold in just my tee shirt.

In anticipation of this storm, throughout the day a number of cruisers had come into our anchorage and most of the charter boats had left. Where they went to I do not have a clue. I sure hope they went to another anchorage and hunkered down.

As the storm approached, the seas started rolling in from the west and the winds rapidly switched from the west to the north. We only had winds up to 30 knots and they only lasted about 30 minutes. What generated our excitement was not the storm with the heavy rains or the blustery winds but a Canadian monohull that had squeezed in between us and our friends on S/V Blue Heeler. This boat had come in at the last second and dropped anchor way too close to both of us. At times he was within 20 feet of us and at other times, he shifted over to be within 20 feet of S/V Blue Heeler. I got our fenders out just in case one of us dragged.

Once the storm passed by, I was waiting for the Canadian boat to weigh anchor and shift his position to be a bit further away. The seas coming into our anchorage remained high and everyone was swaying, especially the monohulls. It was not very comfortable and the position of the boats were sliding all over the place.

The sun finally came out and I was sure the Canadians would move. Apparently, they were happy with where they were even though I am sure that Wayne and Alli were seething as much as I and Mary Margaret were regarding how dangerous the situation was with this Canadian boat. Finally, as I was getting ready to start yelling to them to move before they lost the sunlight, they came up and started to weigh anchor. Hooray! They went over to drop anchor between us and the shore which while still a bit close to us, was a much better location.

The winds for the next couple of days will be from the north as this massive storm moves out to the NE. The winds should return to blow from the E to ESE on Friday. Thus, it will not be until then that we will start our passage to Sint Maarten.

By the way, I have been informed that a few of our recent blogs have not posted the text portion. I apologize for this and well need to repost those blogs once we get Internet access. If you ever see a blog without text, please leave a blog comment so I will know of the problem. Thank you.

Year 10 Day 31 The Storm

21 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
Dave/Stormy
The long-awaited storm finally arrived this afternoon. Based on the Satellite photo and the various GRIB files I have been studying, what we were hit with was the tail end of a long trough or front that ran between us here in the West Indies and extending to just north of Great Britain. The text files I have been reading indicate that the weather in the northern parts of the North Atlantic were getting a real dozy of a storm. Fortunately for us, the tail end that swiped over us was not bad. It mostly passed just to the north of us and the skies there looked really, really ugly. As the big, black clouds started to cover our sky, the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees and I was cold in just my tee shirt.

In anticipation of this storm, throughout the day a number of cruisers had come into our anchorage and most of the charter boats had left. Where they went to I do not have a clue. I sure hope they went to another anchorage and hunkered down.

As the storm approached, the seas started rolling in from the west and the winds rapidly switched from the west to the north. We only had winds up to 30 knots and they only lasted about 30 minutes. What generated our excitement was not the storm with the heavy rains or the blustery winds but a Canadian monohull that had squeezed in between us and our friends on S/V Blue Heeler. This boat had come in at the last second and dropped anchor way too close to both of us. At times he was within 20 feet of us and at other times, he shifted over to be within 20 feet of S/V Blue Heeler. I got our fenders out just in case one of us dragged.

Once the storm passed by, I was waiting for the Canadian boat to weigh anchor and shift his position to be a bit further away. The seas coming into our anchorage remained high and everyone was swaying, especially the monohulls. It was not very comfortable and the position of the boats were sliding all over the place.

The sun finally came out and I was sure the Canadians would move. Apparently, they were happy with where they were even though I am sure that Wayne and Alli were seething as much as I and Mary Margaret were regarding how dangerous the situation was with this Canadian boat. Finally, as I was getting ready to start yelling to them to move before they lost the sunlight, they came up and started to weigh anchor. Hooray! They went over to drop anchor between us and the shore which while still a bit close to us, was a much better location.

The winds for the next couple of days will be from the north as this massive storm moves out to the NE. The winds should return to blow from the E to ESE on Friday. Thus, it will not be until then that we will start our passage to Sint Maarten.

By the way, I have been informed that a few of our recent blogs have not posted the text portion. I apologize for this and well need to repost those blogs once we get Internet access. If you ever see a blog without text, please leave a blog comment so I will know of the problem. Thank you.

Year 10 Day 30 Waiting On Weather

20 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
Dave/Sunny With SOme Rain

Year 10 Day 30 Waiting On Weather

20 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
Dave/Sunny With SOme Rain

Year 10 Days 27 and 28 Old Friends And New

19 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
Dave/Mostly Sunny

Year 10 Day 27 Cousteau Marine Reserve

17 February 2017 | Cousteau Marine Reserve
Dave/Mostly Sunny
We are sailing on through the night with great winds of 15 to 20 knots from the east. This allowed us to keep the wind about 60 degrees off our bow. We smoked along, cruising at between 8 and 10 knots. It was great!

Along with the wonderful winds and seas that mostly behaved themselves, we did manage to have some excitement. During Mary Margaret's 1800 to 2100 watch and then during my following watch, we kept hearing over the VHF about a cargo ship that had engine and radio problems and was adrift without any lights or AIS marking its position. During my 2100 to 0100 watch I finally was able to get the coordinates of this drifting cargo ship from another ship that had spotted its flare and stopped to help. With those coordinates I plotted its position on our chart plotter. Gulp, it was just 24 nm in front of us, sitting smack dab on the course we were sailing. I had three hours to make a course change so as not to be anywhere its vicinity. I wanted to put several miles between us and that drifting ship since a rescue boat was heading out from Martinique to save it. I did not want us anywhere near that trouble spot since the exact location of the ship and the rescue boat would be variable given that the ship was at the mercy of the winds and the current.

I changed our heading a few degrees to the east since I figured the winds and the current would take the stranded ship to the west. It was fun watching the various ships detour around this spot. However, by the time we got within a few miles of the stranded ship, our chart plotter looked a bit like the LA freeway system: five other large ships were passing by at the same time we were. A few of them were large passenger cruise liners, one was the Royal Clipper, the large clipper ship we had last seen in Grenada, and another ship was a 1000-foot-long cargo ship that was heading east at 19 knots. Here we were, little old Leu Cat, sailing along at the mercy of the winds and the waves dodging large ships zooming by since they all had the right of way. While we are a sailing vessel and normally would have the right of way, they were all very large and cumbersome ships that have limited maneuverability in such a close space. Thus, under the rules of the sea, they win! We jigged and jogged to get out of everyone's' way. It was exciting watching these massive ships zoom by so close in the black, black night! I still cannot figure out why they did not alter their courses to steer clear of the general vicinity.

As we were clearing the area, Mary Margaret came up to take over and start her 0100 to 0500 watch. She ended up having to deal with a few more massive ships zooming by while I caught some zzzzzs.

We arrived at our anchorage in Guadeloupe, next to the Cousteau Marine Reserve around noon today. We made about 200 nm in 28 hours, averaging about 7.2 knots. That is not bad since we ran into a couple of areas which had no wind and had to motor sail at just 4 to 5 knots for a total of 4 hours.

As we searched for our anchoring spot here in the anchorage, Mary Margaret spotted an Australian boat called Blue Heeler. Wow! We had last seen Wayne and Alli and Blue Heeler in the Chagos Archipelago, in the middle of the Indian Ocean in 2014. We had first met them in Indonesia during 2011. What a small world!

Once we were anchored, I dropped the dinghy and motored over to make sure it was the one and the same SV Blue Heeler. Yep, it was and it was a treat to see some old friends again. Since both Mary Margaret and I were exhausted from our overnight sail, we agreed to get together tomorrow and catchup. We are all looking forward to that!

Year 10 Day 26 Passage to Guadeloupe

16 February 2017 | Between Martiniqu and St. Lucia
Dave/Mostly Sunny
We weighed anchor this morning at 0800 and headed off toward the French island of Guadeloupe with high hopes of finding some great diving at the Cousteau Marine Reserve which is located around Pigeon Island, just off of Guadeloupe. The passage is about 200 nm which means that it will be an overnight sail. It will be the first overnight sail of the season and we are looking forward to it.

The skies have been clear all day and the winds have been between 15 and 20 knots from the east. That is, they are except when we are in the lee of an island. Then they get squirrely and mostly move more to the northeast. Plus they drop in velocity and, at times, have been as low as 5 knots.

When we left our anchorage at Bequia, we sailed due west for about 6 or so miles before turning toward the North in hope of avoiding St. Vincent's window shadow. However, we were not successful in doing that and ending up motor sailing for about 1.5 hours. By then we will able to pick up some winds and shut down the engine.

For the rest of the day we have been sailing with a reef in the main and making between 7 and 9 knots. As of 1830 we are between St. Lucia and Martinique and have sailed about 80 nm. Our position is 14 16.09'N: 061 33.27'W . We have averaged about 7.25 kts for the day. Our current speed is 8.9 kts, our course is 010T. The seas are between 1 and 2 meters coming from the NE. If these winds continue, we should make our anchorage near the Cousteau Marine Reserve by tomorrow morning.

Year 10 Day 25 An Easy Sail

15 February 2017 | Port Elizabeth, Admiralty Bay, Bequia
Dave/Mostly Sunny
We did not leave Mustique this morning until nearly noon. The weather report had indicated rain in the morning so we decided to wait until the weather cleared and the sun returned. Bequia, our next destination was only 13 nm away so we had the time to wait.

The waiting paid off as at noon we had casted off our mooring lines with the sun shining and had a wonderful downwind sail to Bequia. It was wonderful with the wind just behind our beam and the swells running behind us. We made the passage in just two hours and by a little after 1400 we anchored in Admiralty Bay. Once we were secure, I dropped the dinghy and ran into town to clear out for tomorrow's sail to Guadeloupe. It will be an overnight sail but the winds should be favorable, coming from the east while we sail just a point to the east of North.

Year 10 Day 24 A Bodacious Day

14 February 2017 | Britannia Bay, Mustique Island
Dave/Simply Bodacious

The sun was out all day today making the water in our anchorage so beautiful. One could say it was simple bodacious. I love that word. So much so, I actually looked it up to get the exact definition. As it turns out, it has many different meanings including: excellent, beautiful, remarkable, noteworthy and sexy or voluptuous, just to mention a few. What a great word!

The day was so bodacious, I decided to spend the morning in the hammock reading while every now and again taking in the bodacious surroundings of this area. The water was crystal clear, the beaches silvery white, the hills of the island green with the water edge supporting a number of palm trees that waved in the warm gentles breezes. It just does not get more bodacious than that.

To scratch the itch that was developing, I took the dinghy into shore to walk around some and explore a bit. I discovered that there are a few shops and beach bars here, one which I captured and have posted to this blog. I also stopped at the little fresh fruit and vegetable stand and bought Mary Margaret a few ripe, red tomatoes and a bag of nice eggplant. We both love these veggies and they were so hard to find while we were in Grenada. Mary Margaret was so happy that I had these in hand when I returned to Leu Cat.

Once back on board I had to fall into the wonderful water and cool off. It was great. When I toweled off I went and made an ice-cold Margarita and returned to my favorite spot, the hammock. As I sipped my bodacious drink I watch the young lady on the boat that is moored about 50 feet in front of ours take off her top and make a bodacious swan dive from the bow of her boat in to the water. It was a bodacious dive. My, my, my, I so love Mustique…
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 - Wedding Reception and Dinner
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Added 1 April 2009