Lee & Rachel

Back in Central America

18 Jun

rachel_hammock

Above all else, Panama has redefined the word “hot” for both Rachel and I. I’m not totally sure why I’m surprised though – it is Central America, its supposed to be sauna like! After a pretty decent flight (free booze on the plane), we touched down and caught a taxi to a hotel in downtown Panama City. The next morning we met our driver for the day outside the hotel. Rogelio worked for the Panama Canal Yacht Club for 20 some odd years before its sudden closure at the hands of the Port Authority. He now provides taxi and local ...

Read More

Build and Install a 40 Gallon an Hour Watermaker For Less Than $4,000

7 Jun

completed pump mount

There are so many choices when deciding on a water making system to install on a cruising sailboat. When deep in research for which reverse osmosis device was right for our boat, I saw two main schools of thought in terms of system design. First was the low output, low draw DC watermakers that output 1-5 gallons an hour. Second was the high draw high output models that utilize 110 volt electric motors or engine driven pumps.

First, a brief primer on watermakers for the uninitiated. Essentially you take seawater, clean it of critters and other suspended particles down to ...

Read More

Back To The Mainland

11 May

IMG_4163

IMG_4161We’ve been back in the good old USA for about a month now. Originally a 2 week trip back home for a family wedding turned into a 3 week trip to see friends and record some music. Now we’re here for 2 months and 3400 miles into a 8,000 mile road trip. Currently I’m writing from a table overlooking the southern California coast. Talk about scope creep.

The reasons we decided to extend our trip back to the states are threefold. First, we needed a little time away from the boat. The whole year of getting the boat ready (this ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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....

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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

7 Mar

 

106

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group