Posted on December 30, 2016
Cost to Cruise: November
I know, it’s not the Bahamas update you were hoping for. We’re struggling to find enough bandwidth to upload photos. In the meantime, please enjoy the budget-busting month from our last hurrah in the US….
So, you can choose to laugh or you can choose to cry, I guess. We’ll go with laughter. The money just flowed out the door like water this month, as we stocked up in all categories. We are under the impression that all things will be more expensive outside of the US, at least while we’re in the islands; and there are plenty of things that you simply can’t get. Our boat is teeming with pasta, toothpaste, motor oil, soy sauce, and fishing lures; the Kindles are well-stocked; we have at least one kind of chart to cover us all the way to Baja Mexico (and three types to guide us through the shifting sands of the Bahamas). Let’s take a look, shall we?
Ice Cream: $39.28
Pump Out: $15
Boat Parts: $953.99
Fuel: $177.24 diesel; $131.99 stove fuel; $11.10 dinghy gas
Bank Fees: $9
Grand Total: $5661.51
A couple of notes on the above insanity:
- We stayed in marinas a lot in Florida, but it was almost always at a mooring, so our expenses went way down there
- Instead of getting the boat south to visit family and friends in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, we rented a car; that accounts for the big number in transportation
- We hooked up our sat phone, and subscribed to a fancier, not-free version of Predict Wind, to improve our weather info in remote places; communications is going to be a bigger category for us moving forward
- We’ve heard alcohol for our stove is really hard to find in the islands, so we have enough to cover us for a couple months
- Alcohol beats out ice cream for the first time!
Our categories will be shifting in the coming months. We’ll be adding in country entrance fees, and bank fees are sure to go up, so we’re trying to include them in our costs; we think we’re done with the pump-out fees for the foreseeable future. We’ll probably pay for water at least once in the Bahamas. And there’s an entire expense that we haven’t been including, for security reasons: gifts. We can’t have the grandparents know how much we’re dropping on their birthdays, or the kids anticipating a bit payoff! But with Christmas approaching and Milou in the thick of what we call “birthday season,” it is an area where some money is being spent. We’ve been on the receiving end, as well: our restaurant expenses are down because we were taken out quite a bit in November, and the kids are scooting around on a brand-new SUP, among other things.
One more note on gifts, and spending money in general. About half of our expenses under “supplies” went to one item: a backup iPad. We use our iPad for hours every single day, and are so married to it for charting, we didn’t want to be caught unawares by the death of our best piece of electronica. We chose to shop for this precious item in a Best Buy on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Holy cow, you guys. I know it’s more or less a requirement for every sailing blog on the planet to hold forth on the horrors of American consumerism, and pat themselves on the back for living above the fray, so I don’t want to blether on too much about it—and in light of our recent spending spree in Florida, it would be pretty hypocritical of me to be smug here—but we are very happy to be spending December away from the feeding frenzy going on back home at the moment. We’ll gear up for Christmas in smaller ways, decorating the boat and baking some cookies, and we have a few gifts saved up for stocking stuffers, but it’s all going to be much more low-key. Removed from the marketing, we just don’t seem too pressed to purchase our way into the perfect holiday.