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20 October 2017

Computers On Board Our Sailboat | Cherished Blogfest


We lead a pretty minimalist lifestyle. Which isn't all too surprising given that we live on a 34' sailboat, named Tickety Boo, which has >>less than 300 square feet of living space<<.

If you don't live on a sailboat or RV, then the thought of living in something that small might freak you out just a little bit. Maybe because it sounds horribly claustrophobic, or perhaps because the thought of sharing such a tiny space with your partner sounds like a recipe for disaster, or even because you can't imagine where you would put all of your stuff.

Fortunately, we don't have a lot of stuff. We got rid of most of it when we moved onto our first sailboat in New Zealand (she was even tinier - just 26'). Then we got rid of even more when we came back to the States and moved into our ridiculously small 13' travel trailer.

In comparison to our first boat and our camper, living on a 34' sailboat seems almost palatial. But it's still small and we still don't have room for a lot of stuff. And the stuff we do have is downright boring. Things to keep you safe, things to maintain and operate your boat, food to eat, clothes to wear etc. You know, stuff that's practical, but not stuff that you'd necessarily cherish.

I remember last year, when I first participated in the Cherished Blogfest, looking around our boat trying to find an object that I cherished. It took a while, but I finally settled on some toy polar bears my nieces gave me years ago. 

This year, I thought, well there's no way I can participate, there's nothing else on my boat that I truly cherish. Then I had a brainwave - >>our computers<<. I can't imagine life without computers on board.

After a few minutes, I had second thoughts. The things that people were sharing during the blogfest were lovely things, things truly worthy of being cherished. Things like a daily devotional gifted by a friend who passed away, adorable guinea pigs, and Mother Earth herself.

A computer seemed so dull and insignificant in comparison. A hunk of metal, plastic and electronic bits. Blah. Totally unworthy.

Then I thought about it some more and realized that I'd always make room on our boat for our computers. And when space is as rare a commodity as it is on our boat, that's saying something.

After all, our computers allow us to connect with others through email, Facebook, forums and blogging. It's the tool I use to express my creativity through writing. It stores photographic memories of our families and our travels. It helps us with planning and record keeping. All in all, I think our computers have earned their place on board Tickety Boo as truly cherished items.

What items do you cherish in your life and why?

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Check out what other things people cherish at the Cherished Blogfest.



18 October 2017

Wordless Wednesday | Singapore Alleyway



Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - We like poking down alleyways. Sure, it might not be as pretty as the front side of the buildings, but it's often quite interesting in a weird and dodgy sort of way.

2 - Look at all of those air conditioning units. At least that's what I think they are. 

3 - It's hot in Singapore. I'd want air conditioning if I lived there. 


What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here

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16 October 2017

Morning Coffee | Random Thoughts & Oddities


Paul at Lat43 does these hysterical Morning Tea blog posts which are a brain dump of whatever pops into his head while he's writing them. I decided to steal his idea. Except, I'm drinking coffee while I write this and he drinks tea, so it isn't really stealing, is it?

So, here we go - all of the random nonsense floating through my head while I sip on my morning coffee.

  • I've been thinking a lot about lizards lately. Does that seem weird to you?
  • Every time I walk from my boat to the marina office, I encounter at least 37 lizards. Sure, I know I'm a tiny bit prone to exaggeration, but not in this case. They're really are a lot of lizards here. Go on, try it yourself. Next time you're at Indiantown Marina, walk around and see how many lizards you count. But make sure you look up from time to time or else you might walk into a boat in the parking lot and that would hurt.
  • I guess it's a bit strange to find boats in a parking lot next to cars. I'm used to it now and hadn't really thought about it in a while. You know because I've got lizards on my mind lately.
  • Lizards are cute in their own reptilian sort of way. Sure, they're not going to win any sort of cuteness contest against kittens, but they might win the Miss Congeniality award.
  • The lizards here are tiny. You could probably stuff at least five of them in your handbag and still have room for your wallet and keys.
  • Not that you'd want to stuff lizards in your handbag. Although there are people who stuff dogs in their handbags.
  • What would you rather have in your handbag - lizards or a dog?
  • I know what I'd rather have. Lots and lots of money to buy ridiculously expensive stuff for our boat. And chocolate. I'd buy a lot of chocolate too.
  • I wonder if lizards like chocolate? Personally, I'm never going to find out because I don't like sharing my chocolate.
  • You know what else has been on my mind lately? Lint. I always clean the lint out of the dryer after I'm finished with it so that the next person can chuck their clothes in and not worry about it. Some people think it's perfectly okay to leave their lint in for the next person. When I find out who's been doing that, I might stick a couple of lizards in their handbag. 
  • The Canadians are back. Busy season at Indiantown Marina is upon us. 
  • They've been doing the usual touch-ups around the marina in anticipation of the busy season. They painted the women's bathroom yellow. It was yellow before. I was hoping for a different color this year. Or polka dots. Polka dots would have been good.
  • Maybe they should have a suggestion box. You know what I'd suggest? Polka dots in the women's bathroom.
  • They also put in a new faucet on the sink. Same sink. Different faucet. At least, I think it's a different one.
  • When I went to wash my hands I got a little freaked out. I didn't remember the faucet looking like that. Everything else was the same. Yellow walls. Garbage can. Mosquitoes hovering in the corner waiting to bite you. But the faucet was different.
  • I started to worry that I had been transported to a parallel universe. Everything seems pretty much the same except for a few small details in parallel universes. And, of course, who won WW II. It's possible I've been watching too many episodes of Man in a High Castle.
  • I decided to ignore the whole parallel universe thing for a while and wash my hands. I'm sure they have hygiene standards even in parallel universes.
  • Then, as I walked back towards my boat, counting lizards along the way, I noticed the trash dumpster wasn't in the same place as before. Freaky. 
  • What's even freakier is that there used to be two trash dumpsters. Now there was just one. Maybe this parallel universe isn't too bad after all. They've managed to do a better job at recycling and not having wasteful packaging and need fewer trash dumpsters.
  • That's probably enough randomness for this morning. Have a look around you - notice anything that's not quite right? Something not quite as you remember it? Maybe you're in a parallel universe too. The good news is that they have coffee over here.


What did you think about over your morning cup of coffee, tea or other favorite beverage? What did you have for breakfast?

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13 October 2017

Cruising In The Bahamas | 2017 Season Recap, Pt 2 - Provisioning, Cooking & Eating Out

This is the second in our >>Cruising in the Bahamas 2017 Season Recap<< series. In our first installment, we talked about the route we took, the anchorages we stayed at and shared some fascinating and not-so-fascinating tidbits, like our average cost per night and what TV shows we binge watched.

In this installment, we talk about something far more interesting - food! I'm one of those people who needs regular feedings, so when my next meal is going to happen and what it's going to be is always top of mind for me.

Grab yourself a snack, sit back and read on and we'll tell you all about the provisioning we did before we left for the Bahamas, grocery shopping in the Bahamas, what we cooked on board, and eating out in the Bahamas.

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I was looking back at a blog post I did about provisioning aboard our boat in New Zealand and not that much has changed since then. I make a list of what we need and stock up, I buy a few things we don't need and will never use (hello can of three bean salad), and squirrel stuff around in the various cubby holes in our boat.

We've cruised in the Bahamas before, so we had a good idea of what to stock up on before we left and what we could buy there at relatively reasonable prices (like chicken, ground beef, hamburger buns, butter and government cheese, which is surprisingly tasty).

Everyone's provisioning list will be different, but here's an idea of the types of things we took. It's probably worth noting that we have a fridge, but we don't have a freezer.

Canned / Jarred Veggies & Fruit

Tomatoes, corn, beans (black, kidney, baked, white, chickpea, refried), potatoes, chipolte peppers, green chilies, jalapenos, sun dried tomatoes, olives, roasted red peppers, sauerkraut, peaches and pineapple.
Note: Scott is not a fan of sauerkraut. That doesn't stop me from trying to feed it to him periodically.
Meat
Canned chicken, canned ham, smoked oysters, shelf stable chorizo, kielbasa (goes great with sauerkraut!), brats, ham steak, deli meat, pork loin and Aldi's pulled pork.
Note: Overly processed meat products, like brats, last a long time in the fridge. Sure, they're not great for you, but they're tasty in their own over-processed, sodium enriched way.
Fresh Produce
Apples, cabbage, carrots, butternut squash, onions, garlic, potatoes, lemons and limes.
Note: Wrap lemons and limes in tin foil and they last a really long time. Your gin & tonics will thank you.
Beverages
Beer, wine, gin, tonic water, cola, root beer, lemonade, tea bags and milk (UHT and powdered). Oh, and a ton of coffee. You can never have enough coffee.
Note: Beer costs a fortune in the Bahamas, like $40 a case. Stock up before you leave.
Spices, Oils, Condiments & The Like
Your normal jars of spices, curry paste, stock cubes, hot sauce, sriacha sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil, cooking spray, syrup, tahini, ranch dressing mix, onion soup mix, gravy packets and taco seasoning packets.
Note: The ranch dressing mix is for the spicy pretzels that we like to have with sundowners. Also, a popular addition to cruiser get-togethers.
Grains & Legumes
Lentils, rice (basmati, brown minute rice, jasmine, long-grain, ready-to-cook Mexican and yellow rice packets), pasta (spaghetti, rotini, elbows and tortellini), barley, couscous, quinoa and dried beans (black, pinto & chickpea), udon noodles and oatmeal.
Note: I prefer to used canned beans rather than dry. They're ready to use and you don't have to use up your precious water supply to soak them.
Baking Stuff
Flour, yeast, baking powder, baking soda, chocolate chips, brownie mix, pancake mix pecans, walnuts and raisins.
Note: Yes, I use pre-made pancake mix. Don't judge.
Other Stuff
Granola bars, coconut milk, crackers, pretzels, Aldi's dark chocolate bars, instant mashed potatoes,  peanut butter, jam, dehydrated vegies, pesto and tortillas.
Note: Tortillas last forever and take up very little storage space. Love them. 



Are you confused by the picture above? Are you thinking - "Hey, that's not a grocery store!" That's true it isn't. It's the kitchen next to Vernon's grocery store in Hope Town where they bake bread, pies and make other treats. But, it does give you an idea of what grocery shopping can be like in the Bahamas. You'll usually find small mom n' pop / corner type stores (like Vernon's), but you can also find large, modern type grocery stores like you might find in the States in larger settlements.

While we brought a ton of food with us, we still needed to hit the grocery stores for things like fresh meat, milk, cheese, butter, fresh veggies (usually onions, cabbage and carrots), fresh fruit (usually apples) and the occasional ice cream sandwich bar.

We also ended up buying cans of cola a few times. We seriously underestimated how much soda pop we would be drinking. But when it's really hot outside, a cold can of pop tastes amazing. Soda pop can be really expensive in the Bahamas. We steered away from the name brand and got the cheaper, generic stuff.



We do a lot of cooking from cans and jars on board. I remember when we were getting ready to move onto our first boat in New Zealand, I did a lot of experimenting with recipes made from canned goods. I was amazed what you could make without using a single fresh ingredient (with the exception of onion and garlic).

The picture above is from one of the times I made lentil curry. Saute some onion and garlic with jarred curry paste, chuck in some dried lentils, add in cans of coconut milk, tomatoes and potatoes, pop in a stock cube and bam, you've got a vegetarian meal that you can easily make from what you have on hand when you're miles away from a grocery store.

This season in the Bahamas, I stocked up on canned meat (chicken and ham) for the first time. While we had relied on shelf-stable sausages before, we had never really cooked with canned meat before. It actually worked out better than I thought it would. I brought Walmart's Great Value canned chicken, cans of chicken salad (add curry powder, dried onion and dried garlic and you've got a delicious topping for crackers) and a couple of Dak Premium canned hams.

I used the chicken in soups and stir fry dishes and didn't notice a real difference from fresh. I used the ham in bean soup, as well as pan fried some for breakfast. The ham was really salty, so it probably worked better in soup (skip adding any salt that the recipe calls for) and not so well on it's own.

The other thing I experimented with this season was dehydrated veggies from Harmony House. I got a sampler pack from them, along with two larger jars of bell peppers and onions. I loved the bell peppers and chucked them in everything (pasta sauce, soups, curries etc.). I'd definitely buy them again. I used the onions a few times when I ran out of fresh. They worked well too. My favorite from the sampler pack was the broccoli (good in stir fry dishes). I'll probably by a larger packet of that for next season.



See that picture above? That's our grill. See what it's dangling over? That's water. Grilling is a heart-stopping operation on our boat. Will a power boater speed through the anchorage, creating a huge wake and causing your hamburgers to slide off of the grill into the water? Will the chef drop the pizza when he's flipping the crust over and end up feeding the fish instead of the crew?

Surprisingly, everything that we've cooked on the grill has ended up on our plates and in our bellies. I attribute that to Scott's superior grilling skills and ability to balance on a boat. Scott does all of the grilling on board. I think we all know that if I was in charge, then we'd lose a lot of food overboard.

We grill the usual suspects - hamburgers, brats, chicken - as well as things like pizza, twice-baked potatoes (or in this case, twice-grilled potatoes) and pita bread.

Grilled pizza is one of our favorite things to eat on board, but it does require a bit of preparation (making the dough and sauce from scratch and getting the toppings ready) and then you have to work like clockwork while you're grilling the pizza so that it all gets done in time without burning (grill one side, flip, add sauce, cheese and toppings and grill some more).



Scott and I played a game recently where we listed our top ten favorite foods. You can probably guess what was at the top of my list - yep, that's right chocolate chip cookies. I made them a few times on board, except they weren't so much cookies as bars. One of the issues with marine ovens is that they don't heat evenly, making baking challenging.

I've done all of the things people recommend - baking stone on the bottom of the oven, rotating the cookie sheet and lighting candles at Cookie Monster's shrine, but it never works. So I just plop the dough in two small pyrex dishes and make monster bars. Then, in a surprisingly display of self-control, I put the rest of the dough in the fridge for the next day.

This is what baking on board is all about - adapting to the conditions. Actually, that's what life in general is like living aboard a boat - you adapt constantly. You quickly learn who's in control and generally it's not you. (If you want to see a funny and very accurate account of how you have to adapt bread recipes on board, check out Sailing Totem's post.)

In addition to baking sweet treats like sour cream coffee cake, apple cake and baked oatmeal, I also made a lot of bread. Seriously, a lot of bread. You can buy freshly baked bread in the Bahamas and it's delicious (coconut French toast, anyone?) but at $4-5 a loaf, it adds up. Plus, we're often anchored in places far, far away from any stores. So, if you want bread on board, you have to make it yourself. Or you could go on one of those low-carb diets and not have bread. Yeah, not gonna happen on Tickety Boo.

One of my go-to books for bread recipes is The Boat Galley cookbook. Not only does it have great recipes (onion bead, yum!), but it also has helpful tips for folks new to making bread on boats and in general. My mom taught me how to make bread when I was young. It's always something I've enjoyed, but I never do a lot of unless we're out cruising.



Who doesn't love snacks? Snacks make people happy. I think if they served more snacks at the United Nations, we might actually have a chance at world peace. It's hard to find diplomatic solutions that make everyone happy when stomachs are grumbling.

Okay, here's the thing - when we provisioned for the Bahamas, we didn't stock up on a lot of sugary, salty, bad-for-you-but-delicious snack food. The theory was that if we didn't have snacks on board, then we couldn't eat them which would result in a healthier lifestyle, smaller waistlines and glossy, shiny, thick hair. (Yeah, that hair thing probably wouldn't have happened, but a girl can dream about her fine, stringy hair being transformed into thick, lustrous locks, can't she?)

Sure, we got around the lack of sugary treats due to my baking efforts, but eventually the pretzels and crackers we brought with us ran out. Those were dark days. Fortunately, we discovered these things called Stax. They're like Pringles, except they come in a plastic can which is totally wasteful. But they're coated with awesome sodium flavor particles (yum!) and they're relatively cheap at Maxwell's grocery store in Marsh Harbour (yay!). 

The only problem with Stax is that the lid on the can doesn't work. Seriously, you eat a few chips and put the lid back on the can in order to save the rest for the following day and then the lid pops off of the can all by itself flying into mid-air allowing the sodium flavor particles to waft about making any self-control you might have had disappear and forcing you to finish off the rest of the chips. Stupid lid. They really need to look into that design flaw. 

The cracker shortage was pretty traumatic too. What were we supposed to eat our government cheese with? We lived without crackers for quite a while and then managed to find some Jacob's cream crackers at the grocery stores in George Town and at Rock Sound. Order was restored in our universe. Crackers and cheese, together again.



Those of you who follow our cost of cruising posts, where we document every penny we spend and what we spend it on, will know that one of the ways that we try to keep costs down is by minimizing how often we eat out. We actually find that what we make ourselves is almost as good as what we can get in a restaurant. That's not always the case, but there have been a number of times where we've said, "Hey, we could have made this ourselves for half the price and it would have been as good." Of course, the downside is having to do your own dishes.

So, given our cheap and cheerful approach to eating out, how many times do you think we ate out while we were in the Bahamas?

While you're thinking about that, here are some fascinating and not-so-fascinating tidbits related to food. Once you've read these, scroll down to find out the answer.

[Note: RO = reverse osmosis, making fresh water from sea water. We have to buy water to cook with and drink.]

The answer is three. Did you guess right?

The first time was at the coolest laundromat ever - Miss Ida's in Black Point. She serves snack type food in the shop next to the laundromat which you can eat out on the verandah overlooking the anchorage while the wash cycle is in progress. The first time we were there, I had a chicken pattie (kind of like a curry pastie), Scott had conch fritters and we both had a can of soda pop. We liked it so much that we went back the next day for more of the same. Total cost for both visits - $13.50.

I expect for some of you, snack food at a laundromat wouldn't qualify as eating out. But, that took care of our lunch both days, so it totally counts in my book. Plus, it was a definite cultural experience hanging out with the locals and learning from Miss Ida how she makes her patties. And as a bonus, we had clean clothes along with our full bellies.

The other time we ate out was at a church fair in Rock Sound. We split a chicken dinner, Scott had some conch fritters and we each had a can of soda pop. Total cost - $13.00. Another great experience dining with the locals and enjoying some delicious food.

Going out for drinks can be expensive in the Bahamas, so we had our sundowners on board, rather than go out. We did make a couple of exceptions when we were buddy boating with our pals in the Abacos having a beer at the Jib Room (which we think is one of the prettiest spots in Marsh Harbour) and having beers outside of the liquor store in Hope Town (they have some benches out front where you can sit and watch the world go by while you're sipping on a cold Kalik).


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I'll leave you with some more fascinating and not-so-fascinating tidbits. Next up in our season recap series is about daily life living and cruising on a sailboat - the mundane (like how we did our laundry), moments when naughty words were uttered (like that time we found maggots in the v-berth), repairs on the hook (such as sewing without electricity) and the like. Should be fun. See you then


If, for some strange reason, you want to know more about what we ate in the Bahamas, check out this blog post about a week eating on board Tickety Boo.

What's your favorite meal? Do you prefer cooking or eating out? How often do you grill and who does the grilling in your household?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - we'd love for you to pop by and say hi!

11 October 2017

Wordless Wednesday | Sailboats & A Ferris Wheel, Scarborough, England


Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - Scott took this photo when he was working outside of York. He took a drive to Scarborough on one of his days off. 

2 - I'm pretty sure he took the photo because of all the sailboats.

3 - I would have taken it because of the Ferris wheel. 

4 - Ferris wheels are fun. Especially when you can see sailboats from them.

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here

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09 October 2017

Cost Of Boat Projects & Liveaboard Life | August & September 2017


We track and report every penny we spend living aboard and cruising on Tickety Boo, our Moody 346 sailboat for a couple of reasons.

1 - It helps us see where our money is going, helps us make informed choices about where to spend our money, which in turn helps us stretch our money further so that we can keep adventuring longer.

2 - We found it really useful to check out other people's cost of cruising when we were starting out, so we figure we can return favor by sharing ours.

We're currently at Indiantown Marina in Florida waiting out hurricane season and working on boat projects/upgrades to get Tickety Boo ready to head to the Western Caribbean this coming season. You can find details of how much we spent during August and September 2017 below.

You can find links to other cost updates from ourselves (on Tickety Boo, camping across the States and our previous boat in New Zealand) and others on this page, as well as on The Monkey's Fist.

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Cost of Boat Projects & Liveaboard Life  | August & September 2017

Okay, so here's the headline for our spending over the last two months - we spent a fortune! Maybe not a fortune compared to what other folks spend each month, but it was kind of shocking to add things up and realize that we spent >> $4,805 during August and September <<.

But, if I'm looking at things glass half full, then I guess it's good we spent that much because it will have mentally prepared us for what are likely to be some really high expenses over the next several months as we tackle a number of boat projects and buy a bunch of expensive stuff for the boat.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of the details of what we spent, here are a few things to note:

1 - All costs are in US dollars.

2 - Not all expenses are included - here's what we've left out:

(a) We don't report how much we spend on alcohol. I remember reading some horrible, judgy comments in a blog post a few years back about how much someone spent on booze, so I left it out when we first started tracking our cruising costs back in New Zealand. For consistency's sake, I've continued to leave it out when tracking our cruising costs.
(b) We've also left out our costs for medical insurance. We didn't think it made sense to include insurance costs as they can vary so widely depending upon your nationality, where you cruise, what level of coverage you want and can afford etc. In case you are curious, while we're back in the States, we do have insurance through the health insurance marketplace (aka ACA/Obamacare), primarily to protect our assets and cover us in case of a catastrophic medical condition.
3 - I've included any shipping and taxes we've paid in what we report. Florida has a 6% sales tax.


GROCERIES | Total = $749

This category includes everything we put in our bodies in terms of food and drink (excluding booze) that we prepare ourselves. It doesn't include things like paper towels and ziploc bags, which I know some people would classify as groceries. Sure, you could probably eat them, but they wouldn't taste very good.

I'm actually okay with what we spent in this category. It averages out to less than $400 a month, which is kind of what I like to aim for.


PERSONAL & HOUSEHOLD | Total = $20

This is the category where we include household things (like paper towels and ziploc bags) and personal hygiene items (like soap and shampoo). We also capture items for the "home" here - like bug spray.


ENTERTAINMENT | Total = $516

In terms of drinks and eating out, this includes everything we don't prepare ourselves, even if we get something to go and eat it back on the boat. We also track how much we spend on books, magazines, DVD rentals and going to the movies in this category, as well as the occasional lottery ticket.

We spent far more than we normally do in this category in September. But we have a good reason - fun. Yep, we had tons of fun when we were in Atlanta staying with friends during our Hurricane Irma evacuation. Lots of that fun involved going out to eat and having drinks out. So, although it's more than we would of liked to have spent, it was totally worth it.


COMMUNICATIONS | Total = $160

Our cell phone is actually one of our biggest non-boat related expenses. We have a $60 monthly prepaid plan with AT&T which includes 8GB of data and unlimited calls and texts. During August, we ended up having to buy extra cellular data to satiate our internet needs. Fortunately, our friends came back to Indiantown Marina because of Hurricane Irma and they've been letting us piggy-back off of their Wirie Wi-Fi extender which means we can get marina Wi-Fi on our boat now and not have to rely on ultra-expensive cellular data.


BOAT FUEL | Total = $34

As part of our Hurricane Irma prep, we got extra gas for our jerry cans. We took them with us on our evacuation to Atlanta, thinking we might need it for the car or generator given the fuel shortages. Fortunately, we were able to find gas on the road, so we'll end up using the gas in the generator for our outboard motor and generator when we're out cruising next season.


PROPANE  | Total =Nil

We have a propane/LPG cooker on our boat, which we need to replace as the stove no longer works and replacement parts aren't available. While we're at Indiantown Marina, we use an electric hotplate and a crockpot for cooking, so we haven't had to spend any money on filling our propane tanks.


MARINA COSTS | Total = $1,166

Keeping Tickety Boo in a slip is one of our biggest expenses. The monthly cost of a slip with electricity at Indiantown Marina for a 34' boat is $572.40. The guys at the marina will also come pump out our holding tank on demand - $5.30 for each visit - which we tend to do two or three times a month.


BOAT STUFF | Total = $505

This category is for all the stuff we buy for the boat, as well as repairs and maintenance costs. One of our big purchases over the past two months was a stack pack kit for a 16' boom from Sailrite. Normally, they go for $264, but we bought it during a sale and got $20 off. Sometimes, it pays to wait and keep an eye out for sales. We also bought some other miscellaneous sewing supplies for repairs to our bimini, dodger and sun shade from Sailrite.

The other big expenses in this category are related to some of our boat projects - materials to build a folding table in the galley (more counter space - yeah!) and replace and rebed the portlights in our saloon.


TRANSPORT | Total = $190

This category is for costs related to our vehicle, mostly for gas to keep it going and drive into the nearby "big city" of Stuart for errands. We also track other transport costs, like the Uber we took in Atlanta.

We ended up spending a lot on gas during September due to evacuating to Atlanta as a result of Hurricane Irma, far more than we normally spend each month. We also bought new windshield wipers ($14).


MEDICAL EXPENSES | Total = Nil

This category includes medical expenses outside of our monthly insurance premium (which aren't included here - see section on exclusions above), like over the counter medications, prescriptions and things for our medical kit. It also includes the costs of doctors visits and medical tests which aren't covered by our insurance.

It's always nice to report nil spending in this category.


OTHER | Total = $1,461

In this category, we break out how much we spend on clothes and travel expenses. We also include a catch-all miscellaneous group for stuff that doesn't fit neatly anywhere else - things like laundry.

Yep, this was the budget breaking category over the past couple of months. Scott's laptop once and for all stopped working (he nursed it for a long time), so we got him a new one. Cha-ching. The other electronic gadget we bought was another Kindle. No more having to share.

One of the other big ticket items was Scott's ticket back to Scotland. He'll be heading back there this month to tend to work and other matters.

We also bought Scott some new clothes. Those of you who know Scott will be amazed that he agreed to buy new clothes. He got some new Keen sandals (his old ones literally fell apart) and some new t-shirts from places we visited in Atlanta (most of his other t-shirts are "official boat project t-shirts" because they have holes or stains on them).

We also spent a whopping 79 cents on a can of dog food for a dog we found wandering the streets of Indiantown all on his own. Fortunately, his owner came and rescued him. The dog was so cute so the 79 cents was a totally justifiable expenditure.



Did we spend more or less than you would have expected? Do you track your expenses? Any frugal living tips to share?

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06 October 2017

September In Numbers

Clockwise from upper left: (1) Hurricane Irma's projected track which at one point put Indiantown directly in her path; (2) Operation Portlight Replacement commenced; (3) Refinishing projects; (4) Great pancakes in Atlanta; (5) Our favorite Ethiopian dish - doro wat; and (6) The church where Martin Luther King Jr. used to preach at.

It's time for our usual monthly recap by the numbers. This past month is probably best summed up, not by a number, but by one word >> hurricanes <<.

Most of our energy in September was focused on prepping our boat for Hurricane Irma, evacuating Florida to Atlanta to get our of Irma's way, waiting and worrying to hear what the impact of Irma was, making our way back to Florida and getting our boat back in order, then worrying about whether Hurricane Maria was to come our way, watching the news unfold about the destruction that Irma and Maria left in their wake, and feeling devastated for all of those folks impacted as we .

We did manage to have oodles of fun while we were in Atlanta visiting our amazing and generous friends, Duwan and Greg from Make Like an Ape Man. Our evacuation turned into a bit of a vacation, which was a nice distraction from the waiting and worrying.

Once we got back to Florida and went through a bit of hurricane decompression, we also managed to start in on our boat project list.

So, enough with all of those words, here's the usual random nonsense recap by the numbers:

  • 1 - Number of pancakes I ate while in Atlanta. I love pancakes. I love them more when someone else makes them for me. I love them even more when they're gigantic and larger than my head. The Thumb's Up Diner delivered. {Jo Ann and Vic - thanks for taking us there!}
  • 113 - Number of beers that people gave us as we wandered around the Cabbagetown neighborhood of Atlanta. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. We love Cabbagetown and its inhabitants. Some of the coolest people you'll ever meet. Blog post on what make them so awesome coming your way soon.
  • 2  - Number of chicken legs we got in our doro wat at the Embilta Ethiopian Cafe in Atlanta. The nice lady knew we were sharing the dish, so she popped an extra leg in for us. Sweet! {Ethiopian is probably our favorite cuisine and we try to find a restaurant in every new city we go to.}
  • 39 - How old Martin Luther King, Jr was when he was assassinated. Last month wasn't all about eating out and hurricanes. It was also an opportunity to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr National Historic Site. On our tour of MLK's childhood home, we had two Muslim ladies, a family from India and an African-American family. The mother of the African-American family talked about how important it was to have monuments and historic sites focused on African-Americans and how happy she was to show it to her children. Such a good reminder of the importance of diversity and inclusion. 
  • 4 - How many leaky portlights we need to replace in our saloon. We're doing them one-by-one, taking each one out, dismantling everything, cleaning all the old sealant and goo off the frames, cutting new acrylic windows, reassembling everything and reinstalling them. It makes me tired just writing about it.
  • 22 - How many hours it took us to get from Indiantown, Florida to Atlanta on our evacuation. 
  • 3 - The number of new t-shirts Scott bought. Getting Scott to buy new clothes is worse than pulling teeth. I consider this to be quite a victory. They're really cool t-shirts too from places we visited in Atlanta.  
  • $383 - How much we spent on entertainment last month. Much higher than we normally spend but a good reflection of how much fun we had in Atlanta and all the delicious food we ate.

In case you missed them, here are some of our favorite blog posts from last month:

Captain Ron, Squalls & Support Groups
Evacuating the Hurricane Zone | Stinky Chickens & Dodgy Motels
Going for a Walk with a Load of Laundry | Spanish Wells, Bahamas


How did last month go for you? What are you looking forward to this month?

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