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

28 June 2016 | Barbados Yacht CLub Mooring Field, Barbados
27 June 2016 | Barbados Yacht CLub Mooring Field, Barbados
26 June 2016 | Barbados Yacht CLub Mooring Field, Barbados
25 June 2016 | Barbados Yacht CLub Mooring Field, Barbados
24 June 2016
24 June 2016
24 June 2016
24 June 2016
24 June 2016
24 June 2016
24 June 2016
24 June 2016
24 June 2016
24 June 2016
24 June 2016 | Barbados Yacht CLub Mooring Field, Barbados
23 June 2016 | Barbados Yacht CLub Mooring Field, Barbados
23 June 2016 | Barbados Yacht CLub Mooring Field, Barbados
22 June 2016
22 June 2016
22 June 2016

Year 9 Day 150 Oh, So Close!

28 June 2016 | Barbados Yacht CLub Mooring Field, Barbados
Dave/Mostly Sunny

This morning I took the dinghy and motored across Carlisle Bay and over to the Deep Water Harbor. This is where the big cargo ships and passenger cruise ships come into to port and dock. It is also where the Harbor Master, Customs and Immigrations are located. I went there to clear out of Barbados so we could start our sail to St. Lucia this evening. The clearing out process took a couple of hours with the bulk of the time spend waiting for the various officials to show up.

By 1100 I was back on board Leu Cat with our clearance papers. Mary Margaret and I spend the rest of the day resting up for our overnight sail. When we sail overnight passages, we take turns manning the helm and watch while the other rests or sleeps. One night passages, such as this one, are the worst because it takes us a couple of nights to get into the routine of manning a 3 or 4 hour watch then going down to our suite to get some sleep while the other does the next watch. Since it takes us a few days to get into this rather different sleep pattern, we tend not to get much rest on 1 night passages.

By 1700 we started getting the boat ready to leave. It usually takes about an hour to get things all squared away. We have to lift the dinghy engine and mount it on the transom, raise and tie up the dinghy so the swells that tickle its bottom don’t cause any problems, remove and stow the shade tarp and hammock, open up the helm and warm up the electronics, stow stuff in the salon, close the various thru-hulls that will not be used, etc. etc., etc. By 1800 we were all set to drop the mooring lines and start our passage.

Unfortunately, Leu Cat decided that she liked it here too much and just did not want to leave. We could not start the starboard engine! It would not turn over. We had recently replaced all three of the starter batteries while in Grenada and it was appearing that the starboard starter battery was not turning the starter motor over. Armed with my rusty, trusty multi-meter I checked its voltage and found it to be only 12.4 volts. I switched the port starter battery to the starboard side and it started up the starboard battery. Damn, something is screwy with the one battery.

Mary Margaret, in her infinite wisdom, suggested that we just spend another night here in Barbados, which would give me tomorrow to figure out what the problem is and, if needed, buy a new battery. My mind set was to just leave and deal with the battery once we got in St Lucia. However, after kicking around her suggestion for a few seconds, I saw the wisdom of her idea. We will have much better support here with Richard Rudder (if I need him) and can easily buy a new battery here if I need one versus trying to figure out where to go and who to see in Soufriere Town in St. Lucia.

Thus, while we were “oh, so close” to leaving, we will be spending one more day here in Barbados while I try to sort things out and determine what the root of the problem is.

Year 9 Day 149 We’re So Lucky

27 June 2016 | Barbados Yacht CLub Mooring Field, Barbados
Dave/Mostly Sunny

We were thinking that this evening we would say goodbye to Barbados and sail through the night to St. Lucia. However, this morning a quick look at the weather indicated very light winds for that passage so we decided to spend one more day here in Carlisle Bay. The prediction for a Tuesday night passage is for winds in the 15 to 20 knot range and seas to 5 ft. That is just about as perfect sailing conditions that one can get. We have our fingers crossed.

We will be making a night passage since the southeastern tip of St. Lucia is only about 90 nm away. That will take us about 12 to 13 hours to sail there. Because we like to arrive at an anchorage in daylight, we will need to leave Barbados in the evening to arrive in the morning. We were thinking that we would anchor in Vieux Fort to clear into the country. It is the first port of call that we would be sailing by once we arrive in St. Lucia. However, the cruising guiding indicates that it is not a very nice place so now we are thinking we would just continue on the western side of the island and clear in at Soufriere Town. It is only about 10 nm further.

Thus, we spent the day resting, playing cards and reflecting on how lucky we are. After all, here we are, living on a beautiful boat, anchoring in front of specular, beautiful settings, meeting wonderful people, eating great foods and swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear waters….day, after day, after day. It is just hard to find things better than this!

Year 9 Day 148 The Party’s Over

26 June 2016 | Barbados Yacht CLub Mooring Field, Barbados
Dave/Mostly Sunny

The time Heather was with us was just like a party. We played cards and dominos, we explored at bit, we dove on sunken ships, we ate at nice restaurants and slurped down some mighty fine wines and even Champaign. Yep, it was party time!

However, reality is always lurking in the background, just waiting to reappear and take over. Now that Heather is safe and sound, back in San Francisco, reality reared its ugly head today. I had put off installing the new windlass chain counter sensor that Heather brought with her until she had left. Now it was time to get back to work and get the darn thing installed.

Since we have a new windlass that was just installed in January and it is a newer model than our old one, I was not familiar with taking it apart. Thus, it took me a while to figure the darn thing out, even with the help of the installation manual. After a couple of hours of removing nuts and bolts, removing numerous parts that all wanted to jump off the boat and enjoy the sparkling water, whacking the windlass body with a hammer and swearing a bit, I was finally able to remove the old sensor and install the new one.

We have had this sensor problem a number of times before and each time to fix it I just had to replace the sensor. Thus, I was a happy camper when the new sensor was installed and the windlass was remounted and put back together. I quickly ran up to the helm to start the port engine (its needs to be running to supply electricity to the windlass). With that done I returned to the windlass and grabbed the control pad. I pushed the down button and the windlass started turning…for all of five seconds. It then shut off. Damn! The control pad stated the fault error of “No Sensor”. Double Damn!!!

After throwing a mental fit, I started to troubleshoot the wiring, looking for the problem. In about 5 minutes I discovered that a neutral line had corroded at a connector upstream from the windlass and the line had broken off. If I had only inspected the line before installing the new sensor I would have saved myself a few hours of sweaty work. Oh well, what can one do?

In no time the line was repaired with a new connector and after restarting the port engine, the windlass and its chain counter sensor worked like a charm. Yea!

We have decided to postpone our departure from Barbados until Tuesday evening. The night winds are supposed to be light until then and we really do not want to motor the 100 or so miles over to St. Lucia. Tuesday night the winds are supposed to return to 15 to 20 knots so it should be good sailing then.

Year 9 Day 147 Parting Is such Sweet Sorrow

25 June 2016 | Barbados Yacht CLub Mooring Field, Barbados
Dave/Mostly Sunny

We took Heather into shore this morning so she could get a few trinkets to remember her stay with us by and then hugged and kissed her goodbye as she made her way to the airport via a taxi. Her stay with us was wonderful but just too short. We felt very lucky to have her come to Barbados and spend some time with us. Given the busy schedule she keeps, finding time to fly down to see us was just so special.

Shortly after Heather was off to the airport, Michael, our friend from the Hilton, drove up in his car. We had made arraignments for him to take us back to PriceSmart so we could get some more delicious beef and a few odds and ends before we sail over to St. Lucia. We have some friends coming to visit us there in three weeks and we wanted to stock up before we left Barbados.

Our friends are one of my former partners, Dwight and his wife Kati. I have known Dwight since 1984 when we both were brought into the State of California to revamp its hazardous waste program. I joined an environmental engineering firm 5 years later and shortly after that, convinced Dwight to join us. And as they say, “…the rest is history.”

After shopping we treated Michael to lunch. He took us to a little hole in the wall place that specialize in what Michael called souse. The souse we are used to is a jelled concoction made from boiling pig’s head and seasoned with spices and vinegar. It is a Pennsylvania Dutch treat. However, here it is boiled pig’s feet with spicy veggies. I get a kick out of eating truly local food and the Barbados souse was delicious.

After lunch Michael returned us to Independence Square, where our dinghy was waiting for us. By now the square was filling up with people and performers dressed in colorful costumes and walking on stilts. There was going to be some type of hoopla affiliated with the end of harvest festival. This is a festival that lasts about 2 months which celebrates the end of the sugar cane harvest. Sugar cane is no longer an important crop here in Barbados but the end of harvest celebration continues on…

Tomorrow we will start to look for weather windows to sail over to St. Lucia. Right now, it looks like Monday night may be a good time. We shall see…

Snuba Success

24 June 2016
There were some nice pieces of brain coral attached to the deck on one of the ships.

Snuba Success

24 June 2016
We did see a number of fish. This one was checking out this coral tree.

Snuba Success

24 June 2016
A little porthole.
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 - Virgin Islands Adventure 2007
Photos 1 to 15 of 15 | (Main)
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foundary: Half Moon Party on Trellis Bay and here local artists are making pottery using an ancient Japanese technique.
Dinner: This was our dinner, caught fresh from the sea that day.  Huge lobsters on Anageda.
flowers: More unique flora.
Heather Mary and Dave on hike: Mary, Dave and Heather hiking towards the Baths in Virgin Gorda.
flower: BVI flora.
Heather at buring ball: Amazing fireworks at the Half Moon Party in Trellis Bay!  These fire balls are actually on the water!
Sammy The Shark Welcomes Us To Trellis Bay: While waiting for Heather
Trellis Bay and BVI
Marina Cay and Pusser
Salt Pond Bay: After spending five days at Ensenada Honda we then started our process of easing back into society.  We accomplished this by sailing to one of our favorite spots: Salt Pond Bay, at St. Johns, US Virgin Islands.  This is a great spot that few people know.  You can get a mooring ball for $15 and it has two large rock reefs that have swarms of fish and sea fans.  It is a snorkler
Capt
The Protective Reef: Here is Mary swimming out to the reef.  Unfortunately, the reef is dead, distroyed from the effects of a hurricane an number of years ago.  It will take decades for it to return to its past glory.  Each day we had entertainment as a fellow took his dog and a kite onto the reef.  The dog would chase the kite as it dove and hovered just above the reef.
Checking Into Customs: We met the live-a-board on the boat next to us.  He was a fellow from Puerto Rico that has been moored here for four years.  He helped us check in with US Customs.  If you are a US Registered boat, you just need to call in and get your clearance number.  The phone number to call is 787-742-3531
Ensenada Honda: We moored in Ensenada Honda, Isla de Culebra.  It is a long beautiful natural harbor and is protected from the seas by a long reef.  You can pick up a mooring ball from free.
Week 1 Voyage: Mary and I sailed a Lagoon 440 from Tortola (British Virgin Islands) to Isla de Culebra (Spanish Virgin Islands).  We could not take Leu Cat as it was in charter so we had a sister 440.  We had light winds our entire trip, which is unusal for the Virgin Islands.  We typically had 5 to 10 knots, and many times less than that.  While a Lagoon 440 will make 4 kts in 6 kts of wind, we ended up motoring about 1/2 the time.
 
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