Come sail away...and a Kentucky couple did just that.
For many of us, sailing off into the sunset sounds like a grand adventure full of beautiful places, and relaxing days on the water. But to take that dream and make it a reality is a whole other matter.
For one Louisville couple it happened.
Pam and Logan Leet will celebrate forty years of marriage in January of 2023. They met in Lexington where he ran a wholesale furniture business, and she was selling advertising on local television stations. The couple's first dates were on Cave Run Lake.
Logan, now 68 years-old, grew up sailing, and remembers introducing Pam to it. “We’d just sail out somewhere, drop the anchor, and I think we got the infinity for getting away from people at that time, to be able to find some solitude out on the water.” Pam agrees looking back at that time. “Sailing gave us an opportunity to be alone on the water and get to know one another.” The couple continued sailing, often chartering a boat, and taking friends out to sea.
Pam who is 73-year-old now, recalls their sailing adventures to places like Greece, the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. “For 40-years whether it was vacation or chartering with friends, we’ve been to some wonderful places, and it all started at Cave Run.”
As the years passed, the Leets had their hands in many different projects. They owned a bed and breakfast, managed a winery, and did home remodeling. Logan is also a musician and played in bars throughout Central Kentucky.
All that plus raising children pushed sailing back in their life priorities until five years ago. Pam says, “We were thinking about retirement about five years ago, and what are we going to do, and we haven’t made any decisions until we went sailing again. We took eight friends to the British Virgin Islands, and we fell in love all at once all over again. It was like we can not give this up (sailing).”
They began searching for a sailboat that would be large enough to live on for a couple of years and had a good reputation for low maintenance. Logan found a used, 39-foot Beneteau monohull that included two cabins and two bathrooms, two masts, a small engine, and two other forms of generating power. “The solar array was over the cockpit and the big propeller was the wind generator. Both of these would feed power to the house batteries, so you could use anything electrical on the boat. The solar panels generate more amps, but of course only work when the suns out. The wind generator doesn’t create a lot but can work 24 hours a day (if there’s wind).”
They also had the ability to take salt water and turn it into drinking water. “We had a reverse osmosis system on the boat to turn sea water into drinking water. It was very energy efficient and would make about 6.5 gallons per hour.”
The Leets sold their home and made plans to sail to the Caribbean. And then the Covid pandemic hit the country. Logan says that restricted their travel plans. “As it turns out we never got out of the U-S. We really stayed around the coast of Florida. It was so difficult to get into even the Bahamas originally. They wouldn’t allow you even for a while.”
But that didn’t dampen their sailing adventure. Pam recalls, “I have to give kudos to the state of Florida. They’ve got some of the most incredible state parks that we have never heard of. There would be nobody there. On these little deserted islands which I said we’d drop an anchor. We could fish, we could go into these little islands. We snorkeled and never see a human being for days.” Pam says the weather dictated a lot of where and when they could sail. “We lived by weather forecasts and the weather was supposedly going to be good on Saturday, and you plan a trip and then a front would come in and we couldn’t leave.”
For about two and a half years they enjoyed some magnificent sunrises and sunsets on the water. I asked Pam to describe those moments. “Sam that’s tough. I mean that’s really tough. It’s almost indescribable in that its spectacular. It really is. In the morning it’s almost another renewal. For me it’s a very spiritual thing. It’s like you can’t believe this incredible beauty. And at night it’s the same thing. It’s like the Earth is going to bed. It’s just wonderful.”
Logan describes the view. “By being out there, there are not a lot of obstructions so you can see kinda of a 360-degree view. It just gives you a better feel for the vastness of this world we live in.” Pam remembers the silence. “Sitting on a boat and maybe you might hear some water lapping on the boat, but you don’t hear anything else. We spent many hours just staring at the sky at night.”
This past May the couple came home to Louisville and sold the sailboat. They say their sailing adventures are not over and encourage people to follow their dreams.
Pam encourages others to consider sailing. “If anyone is thinking about doing it, go on and do it, don’t wait, do it now. It will probably be the most incredible experience of a lifetime.” Logan agrees. “Whether it’s sailing, or you go out and buy an RV, or decide you’re going to camp your way across the country, whatever you want to do, you should do it.”
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