We started November with an overnight passage from Beaufort, SC to the St. Johns inlet in Florida, and we ended the month anchored in West Palm Beach waiting for a weather window to cross to the Bahamas.
Our expenses tend to be high when we are getting ready to go to the Bahamas. Hoping to spend five months over there this time, we spent a lot of money stocking up on groceries and other miscellaneous items that are difficult or impossible to buy on the islands. We also had an unexpected 8 day stay at Marineland Marina waiting out Tropical Storm Eta (which decided to come by twice), along with our typical stop on a ball in Vero Beach. Finally, we had to replace a few items that broke. Given all of the above, it was a pretty good month.
Here we go:
Days under way: 8
Nautical miles covered: 381.41
Nights on a dock: 8
Nights on a mooring: 10
Nights at anchor: 12
Number of states: 2 (South Carolina, Florida)
Groceries/Non-food Groceries/Alcohol: $947.30
Denatured alcohol: $17.75 (2 gallons – used West Marine coupon for savings)
Cell data, iCloud storage, and Garmin inReach subscription: $258.22 (this included paying for a BTC Sim card and pre-paying for month of internet access in the Bahamas once we arrive)
Mail: $100.00 (pre-payment for future shipments from our UPS Store mailbox)
Restaurants/Entertainment: $0.00 (damn Covid)
Annual USCG boat documentation fee: $26.00
Subscriptions: $135.79 (newspapers, streaming services, Good Old Boat and Aqua Maps renewal, etc.)
Maintenance: $320.47 (2 replacement blocks – one is the wrong size and is being returned; replacement hatch arm; replacement Bahamas courtesy flag)
Random Items: $154.07 (new skillet, CampaChem, coir, Bristol burgee, donated supplies to Bahamian preschool, batteries, marina tips)
2020 Monthly average: $2,777.37
2019 monthly average: $3,457.97
2018 monthly average (September – December): $4,465.95
Monthly average since starting to cruise: $3,330.02
5 thoughts on “November by the numbers.”
Thanks for your helpful messages. We are currently in St Augustine heading to Palm Beach to cross to the Bahamas. Where were you able to obtain testing and health certification in Palm Beach? Were they able to accommodate the other necessary steps where you landed?
Also. What do you stock up on before you go? If you have time I would appreciate some of this information.
Safe travels and have fun! Thank you. Carrie
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Hi Carrie – I have a blog post drafted with all of the details, but what we did was we rented a car from Enterprise in West Palm and drove to LabDoctor in Ft Lauderdale. $180/person, no appointment needed, and we had the results in 11 hours. There are places where you can pay less (or even free) but LabDoctor was the only place we’ve read about that doesn’t require an appointment and consistently gets the results back within 24 hours (99% of the time according to them).
After we received our results we applied for the health visa online and that only took a few hours to get approved. We printed out hard copies at the library on Clematis Street and then we were good to go.
We checked in at the Green Turtle Cay Marina (let them know you’re coming before you cross because the immigration official only comes over on the ferry if boats have arrived) and you can get the 5 day test in many different spots, including at the clinic in Green Turtle. You can also check in at West End if you’d rather not go all of the way to Great Sale on the first day (it’s 100 nm from Lake Worth, then another 60 to Green Turtle).
The whole thing was actually pretty easy. You just need a weather window you’re confident will hold up so you can take the test a day or two before you leave.
Have a safe crossing and keep in touch! Maybe we’ll share an anchorage along the way. Kimberly
Oops – forgot about your question re: stocking up. We brought around 3 months of the things we would typically eat during that time period, but in particular we made sure to bring special cheese (block mild cheddar is relatively inexpensive here, but any other kind is pretty pricey), bacon, and chocolate. Chocolate is SUPER expensive. If you drink a lot of sodas or beer, bring a lot of that too. Ginger ale can run $10/six pack depending on where you are. Kimberly
Kimberly, Thanks so much for the prompt reply. I apologize for not getting back to you sooner but as you know plans change, especially on a boat!
Our boat is currently in the city marina in New Smyrna Beach, FL. I had to leave for home to be with our youngest daughter for a while. Eric is staying on the boat for now but not sure we will be able to continue our trip. Currently figuring out where to leave the boat for a while.
The Bahamas will have to wait for now.
I hope you are having a blast.
I wish you happy holidays. Maybe we will meet up someday. Carrie
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Sorry to hear about your change of plans, but we certainly understand the way that goes. The Bahamas will still be there when you’re ready. Perhaps Eric can leave the boat on a mooring at Vero? Good luck and take care. Kimberly