Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Reflecting On One Year Of Cruising

  One year of living on the boat was celebrated on April 20th, but we didn't leave St. Louis until May 8th of last year. It was my birthday, and what a way to celebrate a birthday!

  I'm a year older, and I think I'm a bit wiser, as far as cruising and living on a boat goes, anyway.
  Rosie and I have faced a few challenges in the last year, but we've met them, and have overcome them. We are in no worse health than we were a year ago, and the boat is no worse for wear either. In fact, the boat runs better than it did a year ago. But it hasn't been without a lot of work. Rust is a constant issue, but much better and more expensive yachts share the same problem. It's said that stainless doesn't mean stainfree. Everything on the boat works as it should (except for the generator, but that will be fixed today), even our one Bora fan started working again, right out of the blue. Keeping our little city operating at 100% is a primary goal of ours.
  We checked some numbers and found that we've spent a tad over $12,000 for fuel since we left St. Louis. We also spent $4,000 to stay at marinas. A-B Marina in Key West was over half of that though. Like they say, we wasted the rest, but we've been able to overcome some minor debt we carried with us upon leaving St. Louis, keep the boat maintained, and even save some bucks for upcoming surprises. This lifestyle has been affordable for us.
  We miss our friends and family at times, anyone would. There is a fairly long list of friends that have visited us in the course of the year, and we've been able to meet up with friends in Florida that we haven't seen in years. We expect to be able to meet up with more friends as time goes by, once we get "settled" some, and can predict our whereabouts a little easier.
  We are still both enthusiastic about our adventures. I do get overwhelmed at times about the responsibility of getting us where we need to be, and keeping the boat safe and operating properly. There are lots of decisions to be made and I make them, and I won't allow anyone to second guess anything I decide to do. Of course, we run into all sorts of other boaters who have the right idea about everything. I resist telling others what they should do, but rather just relay our story and they can decide what works for them.
  Rosie and I have both learned some things about each other that we didn't know, none of them are deal breakers, but were a little surprising. It would serve no purpose to go into them here, but even with our thirty- seven years together, we still don't know everything about each other. Not sure if we want to find out more though. Who knew Rosie was a man?

  There's been lots of rain here all week, and southern Florida has had lots of rain too. Because of the rain, our generator part we need didn't get picked up from the Westerbeke dealer in West Palm Beach until Thursday. All FedEx packages then go to Memphis for sorting, and ours did too, then got sent back to southern Florida to get flown to the Bahamas. Severe weather on Friday got our package routed to Freeport instead of Marsh Harbour. We are supposed to get it today.

Someone asked me how Marsh Harbour is: In the photo you can see the one traffic light there is. But the hardware store is one of three, and all three are stocked with just about anything a person might need. Every service you could want is here too, but there are no quaint little streets like in New Plymouth, or like we expect to see in Hope Town. Most of the thoroughfares are dusty and filled with potholes. This is a bustling city compared to the sleepy island towns that we like.

  Harbour View Marina is home to a shuttle service that takes the rich and famous out to Baker's Bay on Guana Cay. The 77 foot Lymon-Morse yacht in the photo is a charter vessel used to take some of the larger groups over to Guana. There are also two Hinckleys used as well, a 36 and a 40 footer. All vessels are kept in pristine condition. The Lyman-Morse is currently for sale for a mere 2.4 million. Who wants it? It's nine years old.

  On Sunday, Rosie and I took the dinghy out to explore. We found some pretty beaches nearby, and around on the other side of Marsh Harbour are some nice homes and resorts. Most folks around here go to Nippers, a beach bar on Guana Cay. Some folks we met at the pool asked us to join them for the weekend on the hook near Nippers, but we stayed here at Harbour View, and went again to Snappas next door for Cinco De Mayo and had a good time.
  Besides the generator part issue, we've had some other problems. Our Internet service was interrupted on our MiFi device because of a mix-up on the part of AT&T, but we got that resolved after a few phone calls.
  We've also exceeded the 40 minutes allowed on our International calling plan due to a lengthy phone call regarding payment by our medical provider to the health clinic in Marathon where I got my physical last month. Using the magicJack Internet phone service has not been the answer, if the connection is not top notch, the phone calls are of poor quality.
  These little problems are magnified when phone service, or Internet service, is poor. We get used to those luxuries when we are in the U.S.
  We should be heading to Hope Town in the morning, only seven miles away. The weather should cooperate for the next week so we can travel through the cays to the Little Harbour Cut, and then cross nearly fifty miles over to the Eleuthera Islands, first stop being Spanish Wells.
  But like I've said, Harbour View Marina is not a bad place to hang out for a while. I just said to Rosie yesterday when we were lounging around the pool that we should consider coming here for vacation some time.


  1. Wow! it been a year? I have followed your blog since you started on the river. You have had quite an interesting time of it. I do notice how you seem to work it through when things don't quite go as intended. You have diligence! Thanks for the stats on fuel and dockage. I think you are doing very good with $ on fuel and exceptional on dockage. Your adventures are most interesting to read. See if you can get your wife to say a few words every now and then. I think the female crowd would be interested in her point of view on being a live-aboard. Anyway thanks again for the time you spend on your blog.

  2. Congrats on the year and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Think it would take a special relationship to live is such close proximity to one another as you two have, not sure Lisa would put up with me like that...besides i would hate to find out she was a man!Fuel sounds suprisingly reasonable considering todays prices and what you have done, question is how much you have invested in the Buds??

    mike and lisa
    "she's a keeper"
    piasa harbor godfrey IL

  3. Ditto on the CONGRATS! Really enjoy your "nuts and bolts" approach to blogging. You guys are still "riding the wave" and enjoying it. Its not easy to live so close to your mate for long periods at times and many marriages don't make it! I think the best times in our married life of 50 years were when we were living aboard. Love to read your blog. Keep 'em coming. Dave and JoAnn

  4. Hey Mike
    My wife and I met you guys on the Mississippi a few times . I always thought it was great the way you would tie your boat up so well on the beach. Alway pissed me off when other people's boats would bounce into ours cause they weren't tied down well.
    Anyway , I was wondering about how you deal with the dampness of some mornings on the water ?
    I do a lot of beach camping down in Florida and some mornings the air is so saturated that everything is soaked.

  5. First; Rosie does not blog. Period. I include her thoughts when she has them.
    Second; We are afraid to tally our expenses in regard to beer.
    Third; It is unbelievably humidity free here in The Bahamas. While in Florida we use a small de-humidifier and we keep the stateroom closed up to keep out humid air when there is any, then we use our fan for cooling. We have not run our air conditioner since last September, but if it gets hot later this summer, we'll have to find places to plug in. We don't like it to be hot and wet, at least where the weather is concerned.
    Thanks for writing!