We began April in the Abacos and wrapped it up in Wrightsville Beach, NC. This month’s spending was fairly high for us, with a big driver being the number of stays we had at a marina or on a mooring ball. We prefer to anchor out but with the exception of our two night stay on a mooring in St. Augustine and one night at St. James to time the current for the Cape Fear river, extremely uncooperative weather in areas with mediocre anchorages drove us to marinas. Had it not been for that, we would have come in right around $2,000 for the month.
Here we go: Continue reading “April by the numbers.”
We spent most of this month in Eleuthera before moving to the Abacos as we began our journey north back to Connecticut.
A big driver of our expenses this month (at 27% of the total) was the renewal of our cruising permit for $500.00. The Bahamian government changed the cruising permit renewal fee structure without publicizing it (or putting it in writing on the customs website). When we learned through the Facebook Bahamas groups that a renewal was going to be $500 instead of the $150 (for our boat size) like it used to be, we debated going back to the U.S. early since we were only planning on staying for five or six weeks past our renewal date.
But ultimately we decided to pay up. In weighing the pros and cons we felt it was too soon temperature-wise to start heading north, so we would have sat on a mooring in Vero while waiting for the weather to warm up. Between the mooring and ready access to a good grocery store, we would have spent more than $500 in a month without the benefit of being able to snorkel or swim in pretty water right off the boat. Not to mention the zero-to-single-digit daily Covid cases here – something that can’t be said about any spot in the U.S.
So we ponied up the money, but to say we weren’t happy about the unannounced change is putting it mildly.
With all of that said, here we go: Continue reading “March by the numbers.”
Another month in the Bahamas, where it’s easy to spend very little if you choose. We spent most of February in the Exumas before moving to Eleuthera at the end of the month. March is going to be higher because we need to renew our cruising permit so we’ll enjoy this month’s spending for now!
Here we go: Continue reading “February by the numbers.”
Ahhh, if only every month could be as frugal as when we are in the Bahamas.
In January we moved through Eleuthera and into the Exumas. It was a VERY inexpensive month, even with a quarterly life insurance payment and a few annual subscriptions paid up front. We’ll see what next month brings.
Here we go: Continue reading “January by the numbers.”
In December we went to the Bahamas – yay! We are planning (hoping) to be here until early May.
Typically our expenses are very low here because there simply isn’t much to spend money on. This month was high, however, due to expenses related to Covid testing required to come to the Bahamas and check in fees. We’re looking forward to January through April which should be a lot lower.
Regarding the year in general, the monthly average for 2020 was significantly lower than in 2019. COVID certainly accounts for part of the difference. We didn’t fly out to the west coast to visit family and friends, and we spent about $1,700 less for the year in restaurants and entertainment expenses. Non-Covid related, we also had fewer medical expenses in 2020 and we spent less on boat upgrades over the course of the year.
Frankly, our 2019 monthly average isn’t sustainable long-term (well, until my pension kicks in anyway which won’t be for awhile) so we’re glad to see that it went down for 2020.
Here we go:
Continue reading “December by the numbers.”
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: Continue reading “November by the numbers.”
In October we made our way from Oriental, NC to Beaufort, SC. We had a ten day stop in New Bern, NC where we left Pegu Club to take one more drive up north, so there were added expenses for the marina, rental car, tolls, and gas. The costs for the trip represent 1/3 of this month’s expenses, so setting that aside it was a pretty good month.
Here we go: Continue reading “October by the numbers.”
In September we finally left the marina and started working our way south, heading towards our third warm winter.
This month we had to haul out to put on more bottom paint, and we also had to travel to Connecticut for medical appointments. Those two things alone constituted 70% of our expenses this month. Knowing that we were going to be spending a lot on maintenance and travel, we made a point of trying to be conservative with everything else for the rest of the month.
Here we go:
Continue reading “September by the numbers.”
August had us tied to the dock with the exception of an escape to a well protected anchorage for Tropical Storm Isaias. We have a few larger annual expenses due each August: boat insurance, Chris Parker subscription, and mailbox rental. Those three items alone were over 1/3 of our expenses this month. Additionally, we’ve been taking advantage of the convenience of the dock to focus on small boat projects and maintenance, so a fair amount of money was spent on boat stuff.
In September we’ll toss off the dock lines and start heading south again with a one-week break when we drive to Connecticut for medical appointments. The appointments were supposed to happen in August but again, Isaias.
Here we go:
Continue reading “August by the numbers.”
July saw us wrapping up our 2019-2020 cruising season with a short few weeks of travel from the Dismal Swamp Canal, VA to Cambridge, MD. We’ll be staying in Cambridge for two months taking care of some boat projects and making a few trips to Connecticut for medical appointments.
Financially it was also a quiet month which is good given that I’m still trying to psychologically recover from the watermaker purchase!
Here we go:
Continue reading “July by the numbers.”