08 June 2015

May In Numbers

Clockwise from left. 1 - Hopetown lighthouse. 2 - One of the inevitable squalls in the Bahamas. 3 - Spanish Cay Marina. 4 - Flying our yellow Q flag to show that we haven't cleared into the Bahamas yet. 5 - Man O'War Cay mooring field.

Now that we’re back in the States, it’s time for our usual recap of the past month in numbers. We spent the first part of May getting our new-to-us Moody 346 sailboat ship-shape and ready to cruise at Indiantown Marina in Florida. After that, we took her over to the Abacos in the Bahamas for a shake-down cruise. The purpose of a shake-down cruise is to see what works and what doesn’t on your boat, what changes you want to make, what kind of equipment you need to buy etc. I can’t think of a better place to shake-down your boat then in the Bahamas, because in between making lists of everything you need to fix and do to you boat when you get back to the States, you can swim and snorkel, explore picturesque Bahamian towns, drink the local beer and rum and get some insights into Bahamian culture.
  • $7.25 – Average per night cost for our boat. This includes cost of marina slips (9 nights at Indiantown Marina), mooring balls (1 night at Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart and 1 night at Man O’War Marina in the Bahamas) and anchoring (20 fabulously free nights on the hook in Florida and the Bahamas).
  • 19 – Number of days we spent in the Bahamas during May.
  • 11 – Number of different anchorages we stayed at in the Abacos during May – Mangrove Cay, Great Sale Cay, Spanish Cay, Manjack Cay, Green Turtle Cay, No Name Cay, Man O’War Cay, Hopetown, Marsh Harbour, Matt Lowe’s Cay and Powell Cay.
  • 21 hours 50 minutes – Amount of time our passage from Florida to the Bahamas took us. We left Lake Worth at 6:00 PM on 12 May and dropped our anchor at Mangrove Cay  in the Abacos at 3:50 pm on 13 May.
  • $150 – Amount it cost us to clear into the Bahamas. The fee is based upon your boat size – boats 35’ and up pay $300 and boats under 35’ pay $150. Our boat is 34’5”. The Customs & Immigration lady wanted to round up to 35’ and charge us $300. After a bit of discussion on Scott’s part and a few phone calls, she agreed that our boat was under 35’ and in exchange for $150 she gave Scott a 90 day cruising and fishing permit.
  • $201.94 – Amount we spent on diesel for our boat. $89.67 of that was to fill up in the States before we headed over to the Bahamas. We ended up doing more motoring then we would have wanted initially, so we spent $86.34 to top up once we got to Green Turtle Cay where we cleared in and then another $25.93 again at Green Turtle Cay before we started making our way back over to Florida.
  • A fair few  – Number of things that aren’t working properly or need to be addressed such as our windlass (Scott had to pick up and drop our anchor manually), our battery charger monitor (doesn’t seem to be working, so not sure if we’re fully charging) our batteries), solar charger (goes on and off sporadically, so we’re not always charging our batteries with our solar panels), our autohelm (various issues), leaks in one of the hatches and some of the ports (fortunately, we haven’t had too much rain) and a number of other bits and bobs.
  • 1  – Number of bags of Hershey miniature bars I ate while cruising in the Bahamas. I gave Scott all of the Mr. Goodbars (peanuts do not belong in chocolate) and kept all of the Krackle, Hershey and Special bars for myself. I actually haven’t craved chocolate too badly while in the Bahamas. Strange but true. Must be all that fresh air.
  • 3 – Number of barracudas Scott caught trolling from our boat. He threw them all back. They were a little too large to keep and eat due to the potential risk of ciguatera poisoning. Ciguatera sounds like a nasty little thing to get – incapacitating nausea, vomiting and vertigo, possibly even paralysis. It can be found in some reef fish, but the problem is you don’t know which ones have it. It’s a bit like playing Russian roulette. The advice is to only eat smaller fish (5 lbs or less). Or just stick to peanut butter.
  • 1 – Number of buddy boats we hung out in the Bahamas with. We met Charlie and Janie from S/V Wild Blue at Indiantown Marina and hooked up with them at Spanish Cay. We cruised around with them for much of our time in the Bahamas. We had an absolute blast with them! They travel around with three adorable cats. They even brought Evy the Cat over for a visit on our boat one day. I thought that might soften Scott up a bit to the idea of getting a boat cat. No such luck. Although to be fair, once I saw how much storage space they have to devote to kitty litter and food, I’m not so sure having a boat cat is sensible either. I really don’t want to give up precious storage space dedicated to chocolate for kitty litter.
  • 4 – Number of loaves of coconut bread we had. On every island you go to, there is a Bahamian lady who makes wonderful homemade bread – white, wheat and coconut. The cost varies quite a bit – we paid $6.00 for a loaf in Spanish Cay, $4.50 for a loaf in Hopetown (Vernon’s Bakery is the best!) and $3.00 for a loaf at a bakery in Marsh Harbour. Whatever you pay, its well worth it, especially when you make French toast out of the coconut bread.
  • 1 – Number of cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer that we brought with us. Although we rationed it out, we ran out of beer. Spending $35 – $50 for a case of Bahamian beer just wasn’t going to happen, so we did without. Of course, we bought a $10 bottle or two of Castillo rum, so that helped us cope with our lack of beer.
Anyways, that’s last month in a nutshell. Hope your May was fabulous too and that June is shaping up to be even better!

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  1. Love your numbers crunching! That's the sort of thing I'm justly famous for.

    1. Thanks Keith! There's something satisfying about Excel spreadsheets and tracking data :-)


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