Cruising

Top 10: The Good and Bad of Being a Live-Aboard Newlywed

28 Apr

 

Rachel and I in Sadie

People said we were nuts when we got married then hopped on a boat together literally the day after getting married.(Setting sail the morning after our wedding from the eastern shore of Maryland) I feel like the internet is littered with stories of marriages and relationships not surviving the first year cruising, I thought we should share a positive tale for a change.  Here’s our list of the best and worst aspects of living on board when being newlywed.

1. Learning quickly to respect each other’s space – I’ve come to the decision that every newlywed should be put through a test of living together on a boat, or in a similar remote small space together.

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March 2016 Monthly Cruising Budget: Jamaica and Panama

12 Apr

satori swimming pool

For the month of March we came in under our $1400 budget! $17.82 under actually. I attribute our frugality this month to being anchored out in Guna Yala, Panama where there is nothing to spend money on. Also, a case of beer from the vegetable boat is $19, delivered! Compare that to $44 or $67 per case we paid in the Bahamas! Anyway, here are the totals:

Total spent: $1382

Health Insurance: $280

The Good, Bad and Ugly (non-essential spending): $237.41

Groceries: $108.08

Alchohol: $53.86

Boat Supplies/Cruising permits: $618.48

Cell Phone and Internet: $84.25

We didn’t buy any diesel or gasoline this month, so we will need to fill up once we return to Panama.

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How Not To Buy A Boat?

21 Mar

Satori Post refit

I was after a blue water boat, something that I could safely take offshore and across oceans. Full keel, traditional looks, cutter rigged. I wanted something with a large production run so I would not have to plow as much uncharted territory when refitting and maintaining it. But most of all, I wanted something affordable. Actually no, I wanted a deal.

I love deals, I attribute it to my mother and her love of coupons. There is nothing quite like finding that diamond in the rough, pulling it out of the bushes and bringing that baby home for months of TLC.

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The Run to Panama

16 Mar

Tayana 37 Offshore

Rachel and I schemed to make the 110 mile run from Santiago De Cuba to Port Antonio, Jamaica, over night. We made excellent time, arriving 10 miles offshore around 4 in the morning and sitting hove-to until around 7. I always get nervous about landfalls. Something about all that land being so close after having the open expanse of ocean around me for days. Even with two  sets of electronic charts and a small scale passage chart to reverify my position, I still never quite trust what everything is telling me. I need to see it with my own eyes.

We motored into Port Antonio and tied up to the marina dock around 9AM.

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Everything you need to know about sailing to Santiago De Cuba

12 Mar

Our ferry & Cayo Granma

Last post about Cuba!

I put together a list of things that we were not clear on when arriving in Cuba, mostly about money, internet, and transportation. Hopefully this will help future American boats as they venture into Santiago. This information is current as of March, 2016.

Approaching Cuba

They say you should call the Garuda Frontera when approaching Cuba. I tried this and got no response. I did however have my  AIS transmitting and this seemed to alert the port to our arrival. They had the customs people waiting when we arrived and the Cubans knew where we were when sailing along their coast.

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What it costs to cruise Cuba: February Budget | Cruising Budget

7 Mar

 

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Here’s what it cost two American 28 year olds to cruise in February:

This time we managed to spend all but $250 of our budget in by the 4th of February. I blame my metabolism and our small battery bank. (battery charging). It was fun to do our first major resupply since the trip had started. As I write this we just refilled with diesel again in Jamaica for $2.50 a gallon! Pretty awesome. The categories are divided as usual. Cuban tourist currency (CUC) is roughly equal to the dollar, we used Euros to avoid the fee to change American Dollars, which is 10%.…

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Cuba, Part II

4 Mar


IMG_0234

Having checked-in successfully, we spent the next few days exploring Santiago, getting some work on the boat done that I had been putting off till we were on the dock and enjoying the lower prices of food and drink. Coming from the Bahamas, even $1 beers are cheap! We saw the sights: Castillo Del Morro, Cayo Granma, shopped in the market, ate in a Paladar and took a taxi ride in a 1951 Chevy. It’s true what they say about Santiago, you can take it as a city of hustlers or a city full of culture and life. Once you figure out that you’re pretty much always getting hustled one way or another and you accept it, you can go on enjoying the city.

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Ahoy Cuba!

26 Feb

Satori in santiago Cuba

We left Ragged Island the morning of the 17th. Wind out of the north was expected to fill in and then build to about 23 knots by Friday. My plan was to ride the northernly across the Columbus Bank and then scoot around the eastern tip of Cuba before the wind got up to the mid-twenties. This was mostly successful as the wind finally intensified on the southern side of the shipping lanes, south of Punta Masi (the eastern tip of Cuba). It did blow near thirty the night of the 18th. I think the localized wind coming off the mountains of Cuba combined with the forecasted wind is what was responsible for the higher than expected wind.

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The Ragged Islands: Bahamas Found

17 Feb

Ragged island lobster

Since leaving George Town we’ve been heading down some lesser known Bahamian islands that run Southeast towards Cuba. I’ve been searching for these islands, where there are only a handful of cruising boats and the water still teems with fish and lobster. Well I’m happy to report the Jumento and Ragged Islands offer all of the above and more. While most of the islands only provide protection from the east, refuge can be found from all directions in some spots. There’s no water, food, gas, diesel, propane and only cell service/internet in Duncan Town on Ragged Island. I like to think that sailing down here is similar to what most of the Bahamas were like in the early days of cruising.…

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Escaping Chicken Harbor

16 Feb

Stocking Island

Satori and her crew have called George Town, Exuma their home for the last 3 weeks. The area has many names, Elizabeth Harbor, Georgetown, Stocking Island, Chicken Harbor, and by using any of them people generally know what you’re talking about. The last name, “Chicken Harbor” amuses me. It’s called this because George Town is the traditional final southern port of call for most boats that start their journey from Florida or points north. Beyond this relatively safe and well stocked area, the Bahamas get much more remote and the number of places to hide from a strong frontal passage dwindle to only a handful.…

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