Saturday, February 21, 2015

Video: Episode #3 Sailing the Bahamas - Norman's Cay to Georgetown

Check out the next episode in our video series.  On this installment, we hang out at Norman's Cay for a few days before moving on to Staniel Cay where we chill out while waiting out the wind.  We then head down to Lee Stocking where we find a message in a bottle and our first lobster.  We then make the short sail down to Georgetown to hunker down and settle in.  So far, Georgetown also includes a shopping trip to Top-to-bottom and a little excitement when two boats in the harbor drag anchor during a squall.

Monday, February 16, 2015

What's going on in Georgetown, Bahamas?

Well, I guess there's a lot going on here with the 2015 Regatta just a couple of days away and the official boat count in the harbor is a whopping 353 boats.  But with us, not much is happening.  We removed and shipped out the Raymarine anemometer (I know, it's only been really used for only about 2 months) but as of today, it hadn't even been delivered because of the snow storm in, we wait.  And hey, its not a bad place to hunker down for a month or could be worse.  

Can you find Catchin' Rays?
Most days I get up in time for "the Net" - and anybody that's ever been here knows what that is - its the morning VHF traffic having to do with everything in the area....businesses, emergencies, buy/sell/trade, new arrivals, and people leaving.  While that's going on, I'm usually checking my YouTube channel for any comments or questions, I check my email, and my blog.  Then I start editing the next video in our adventure series. 

But most people here go to shore for one activity or another - yoga, volleyball, meet and greets, or just getting a drink at Chat-n-Chill.  But nobody's ever accused us as being too we skip most of those things.  Although I did talk Brandon into going ashore the other day to compete in the "Bocci-Ball" tournament that they were having in preparation of the real tournament that's going on during Regatta.  And although we've never played before, we wiped out the 23 other teams on our way to victory....and the prize was 2 decent bottles of wine from the cellars of some boat here in the harbor.  Even though we don't drink, much less drink wine, I wanted to win and we were very proud to bring those two bottles of wine back to the boat.  But the rest of the day is just time wastes ...sometimes we watch tv for most of the day; other times we hop in the dinghy and make a grocery run; sometimes we go to volleyball beach and just walk around - not a bad way to spend early retirement. 

But there might be a couple of things about Georgetown some of you may want to know, just in case you might be planning your own trip here:

1. There is actually American channels broadcast over the air here that you can receive if you have a decent powered antenna on your mast.  Its pumped in from Miami, Florida and you get all four major channels - ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC plus two local channels.  What's funny is that the whole time we were in Key West, there were exactly ZERO major networks broadcast over the air...and only two shitty local channels - but here in Georgetown, we get all four major channels from the United States....I just don't understand that.

2. There is a pump out boat that comes by and will empty your tanks for a fee - ours runs $20 for our 25 gallon tank.  But beware, he has a screw off his port side and will come in at your boat at an angle - and even though we had plenty of fenders out, he got us right between two of them.  He will also try and get a free beer from you during the waste removal.  He'll also take your trash bags for $2 apiece. 

3. The local Exuma Market grocery store provides free water at the dinghy dock for cruisers, and so far, its the only place we've seen that provides free water.

4.  No matter how close to shore you think you've gotten and that there's no possible way anybody could get between you and the shore, somebody will inevitably squeeze in there.  And then next to you and then on the other side of you.....its crazy to think how close they'll drop anchor around you.  So if you think you're in a good place for the next front that comes through....soon enough you'll have lots of company if you don't already.  

5.  There's multiple internet antennas around in the area - there's at least 6 internet signals to tap into with most being some sort of pay by the use kind.  The free signal comes from the Exuma Yacht Club but you pretty much have to be at the restaurant to pick it up - even when we use our wifi hotspot.  

Well, that's just about it for me for now....Jimmy Kimmel is about to come on.

Just in case you hadn't spotted us.
Photos generously supplied by s/v Bueller
check out their blog at

Monday, February 9, 2015

How Much does it cost to Cruise for 1 month? Here's the answer

The biggest question when it comes to cruising is - how much does it cost?  And now that we've been actually cruising for over a month, we know the answer to that question - at least for the first month anyway.  

So the break-down does include everything that we spent in the month of January that includes a Caribbean cell phone, entry fee into the country, electronic charts for just about the whole half of this world (we aren't sure where we're going yet), and also the maintenance costs associated with the starter and rent-a-car.  It does not include the costs associated with the initial provisioning of the boat - all the groceries and the fuel we bought in Key West before we left and to be honest, we spent well over $1000 in groceries alone, maybe close to $1500.  And we've been eating pretty well by our standards over the past month and a half, and we still have enough food to last another 1 1/2 months.  All we've been doing is buying more cereal, bread, vegetables, etc.   But I estimate that we have probably eaten about $400-600 worth of groceries so far and now that we're in the Bahamas, it will be even more to replace our supplies - but that will probably not show up until March sometime.

So, here is the list and break-down of the cost to cruise:

Janruary 2015

The first list is mostly an itemized list of the separate charges.  The second list is the totals.

Diesel $54.00
Gas $13.00
Groceries $265.00
Diesel $228.00
Gas $23.00
Weech's Dockage (2 days) $100.00
Bimini World Marina (1 day) $55.00
Nassau Habour Club $203.00
Port Starter $200.00
Rent-a-car $112.00
Zincs (4 sets) $150.00
Entertainment/ Dinning $119.00
Laundry $18.00
Electronic Charts $235.00
Guide Book (we forgot to buy Bahamas) $59.00
Scuba Stuff $140.00
Bahama Sim Card for cell phone $20.00
Cell Phone - Carribean $210.00
Pre-paid minuets $180.00
Internet Access $75.00
Containers $11.00
Medicne $13.00
Exuma Yacht Club (1 day) $93.00
Groceries $48.00
Dinning $21.00
Diesel $91.00
Diesel $378.00
Groceries $313.00
Gas $36.00
Dockage $451.00
Maintenance $462.00
Entertainment/Dinning $140.00
Laundry $18.00
Electronic Charts $235.00
Guide Books $59.00
Scuba Stuff $140.00
Communication $485.00
Containers $11.00
Medicine $13.00
Total $2,741.00

So there you have it - the cost to cruise the month of January 2015 as done by the Ray family aboard Catchin' Rays - your list may differ. 

Check out our latest sailing episode.