Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What mistakes WE made before setting off to cruise the Caribbean

Provisions for the passage- I found we are not like the other cruisers. Some call us minimalist, but I think we are somewhere in the middle of the extremes in the cruising world.  

We have friends getting ready to take off and was wondering what we advise.  Looking back on what we did and what we know now I think it can help if you know your crew and how they react during passages. 

I wish we had more passage experience in our own boat. It would have been helpful to know how Steve handles the stress. While on our ten day passage from Texas to Isla Mujeres, Steve lost his appetite. 

I expected us to have at least two meals plus snacks on the passage. So I precooked a large roast, a ham and some bacon. My thoughts were to use these to make meals easier to make underway, which it did. The problem was Steve would barely eat one meal a day. He would sometimes accept the snacks I brought. 

I knew I wouldnt eat three meals a day. Despite my size, Steve eats way more than I do on a daily basis.  So his change in behavior cause me to throw out a lot of food when we got to our destination. Now, I plan on one meal a day with snacks. 

Snacks were another thing I have changed. Before leaving I made this big trip to Costco attempting to prepare to never get the good stuff again and for the long passage. I bought all kinds of snacks, many of them were items we never eat, all wasted. Well I gave them away later so I suppose they were wasted. 

So for passages I take cold cuts, cheese, tomatoes, onions and crackers, Lots of ready to eat fruit, something sweet and crunchy and lots of drinks. I concentrate on keeping him hydrated. 

Now, I can only speak about my knowledge of the Western Caribbean, but there are stores in all of the ports we went to, at least so far. Also, the locals eat similar dishes as we do in the United States. They also use toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap, dish soap and other cleaning supplies. So I did not need to bring a year's supply of it when we left. If you are like me, I do like to keep a good supply of these things but not a year’s worth. I still have three quarters of tide in a bilge compartment. 

Things I advise to bring are special seasons, sauces or salad dresses, things that can be stored in your dried goods cabinet. Or special brand items that you need that might be difficult to find here. You can find “gringo” brands here but they can be higher priced than in the states. 

I also took too many clothes, despite all the posts I read advising against it, and I don't even have as many clothes as other women. I confess I like to buy new things from time to time. So to satisfy that urge I shop at secondhand stores or items clearanced items. When I bring it aboard I find something to donate. This is no hard since this lifestyle can be hard on clothes, especially if they were already used. 

I do this in the kitchen also. I go through my cabinets and drawers cleaning and tossing things I have not used like I thought I would. This gives me room to find special local items to use in our daily life. Things that will bring back past memories of our time there. 

Steve says he wished he installed a radio and speaker in the cabin. He felt having a portable speaker was more efficient. The problem we have had with using portable speakers is where you plug in the cord for recharging. We keep breaking it leaving us no way of charging the device. I believe we are on our third speaker.

He also wished he had thought to buy a few LED Davis lights for anchor lights. We have since bought a few and brought them back from the States. He says he has no good reason of why he didn't think of it except that he was overwhelmed with all the other things. It wasn't an extremely important item, we do have an anchor light and we did have a regular Davis light we used but the LEDs are more power efficient

Another thing, he thought it would be easier find replacement parts for the Honda 2000 generator and Honda 2.3 outboard motor. Yet, it has been a challenge. We could get products that are similar but we rather not, so we brought back replacements on our last trip to the states. 

For what it is worth, we feel we were pretty prepared for this lifestyle, thanks to all that went before us and were willing to share their wisdom and opinions. This is why I try to think of things to pass along to people that are like us. There a ton of people out here living their lives cruising and they are all so different from each other just like life on land. I feel we should all share and help one another. There is someone like you out here I am sure. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Visitor and a trip to the Cayos Cochinos

Well this week has been exciting. A long time friend flew in from Houston last Saturday to spend the whole week with us aboard Saga Sea.

We showed her around the west end of Roatan. Had a great time and had a chance to play around with our new cameras. She brought a gopro and I had a knockoff brand. We were filming everything. You will get to see some of my awful filming on our YouTube channel or on Saga Sea's facebook page. 

On Monday we took off to The small Cayos Cochinos islands here in the Bay Islands. Had a great sail over there. It took about four hours from West End. 

A few hours after dropping anchor a local man, Foster, paddled over to us with his stash of jewelry that the locals have made. I bought a pair of earings and he told us that we could come by one of the little islands for lunch the next day. 

We had a pleasant night, the next morning we had a visit from the park officials were we completed their paperwork and paid the entry fee, it is $29 for the first day and $20 for each day therefore. 

We then headed out to explore the little islands. Two or three seem to be privately owned. On one we were politely escorted off. We then found Foster's island. 

We had a filling lunch and tour around the "peanut" island. The water was gorgeous with all the silky white sand. You will have to watch a few of the videos just to see these beautiful islands. 

On Wednesday, we sailed back to Roatan but to the east side and anchored in Jonesville bight. Here, Jesselyn got to see where we stayed a little over two months when Saga Sea's decks were being recored. She got to meet several of the expats friends we meet while there. One of our friends, Mark, took us on a road tour of the island then a boat mangrove tour. 

Today, Steve, Mark and Jesselyn went snorkeling and we enjoyed her last full day here in Roatan. When she first arrived ahe was welcomed aboard with a little chalkboard saying "Welcome Aboard Jesselyn". Tomorrow morning the chalkboard will say "get your crap and get off the boat" lol :-).  Honestly, we loved having her aboard. We loves sharing our life with "wage slaves"  even if it is only for a week.  Jesselyn has been a long time sailing friend. She has longed to live life and we are happy to have the opportunity to show her how easy it really can be. We cant wait for her to come back. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Other great traveling blogs

Just to let everyone know I have added a list of some of my favorite blogs to the right side column. I hope all of the links work, we all know I am a bit slow at this, but I am trying.. I remember finding new blogs from others posting their favorites to their blog. It helped a lot when we were in the dreaming and planning stage of this lifestyle. Their stories and experience helped us tremendously. I am stubborn but I don't like to reinvent the wheel each time. It also help me figure out what way was best for us, each one has their own way and each of them works.... well!
I hope you find each of them as entertaining and helpful as I have. I continue to keep the Bumfuzzles on the list because they are the first, at least for us. Steve found them when they first started... they are the reason I am where I am.. lol thanks you Bums.. hahah

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Cruiser's Life in Roatan

Well as you can see by Schooner sleeping in the position she has settled right in with us and the cruising life. She is enjoying our routine of doing little except for short little errands on shore and daily trips for her to play on the beach. 

She doesnt seem to mind the weekly city Tica bus to the bank and Eldons grocery store

Ive been planting a few plants inside the boat from clippings I have gotten in my travels. 

Im planning on trying some herbs seeds in two litter bottles like the picture below. Hang them under our solar panels for a little protection. Ill keep you updated on my progress. 

Errands like picking up our laundry has turned into beach time as well. We love the littlw laundry place we found to wash and fold for a little less than a dollar a pound. Unfortunately they wont wash and dry her but we have found a faucet around the corner we can rinse her off with before we head back to the boat. 

Today we met up with a couple that we met in the Rio Dulce. They have been cruising for a little over 5 years. Luc and Aline on Oceana 1 from Canada 

We showed them West Bay beach 

Here is Schooner with a yellow submarine in the background. Well something that looks like a submarine 

I think she liked the looks of the beach

I had to hold the monkey. Maybe one day  I can trade Steve in for a monkey. Haha

Well that is all for today. A friend is flying in from Texas on Saturday. Things will get a bit more exciting soon. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Look

Well the blog has a new look! What do you think?  I hope it is easier on the eyes and user friendly. Now remember just because it now looks all fancy dont start expecting the content to be any different. You will still get the same typos and poor grammar as always. Hehehe 

Im excited to be able to add the Treasure Chest to the site. It will have all the products we use in our daily life on the boat. I will also try to write a review for each thing explaining why I like the product and what I use it for on the boat. When I saw this new feature that Amazon (my favorite store) was implementing my mind went into overdrive. If one of the bloggers I followed had this before I left I would have been on cloud nine.  

So it is up and available but very bare so please be kind and I promise I will do my best and try to include as much stuff as I can remember. You can alway ask any questions you have about preparing to cruise or what we do on a daily basis.

Ok ok, enough of that. Besides working on the site I have been crocheting on my throw blanket and enjoying the West End's beach life. 

My son posted some great shots of him fishing in Louisiana this past week. Loves seeing that on Facebook

My daughter, Samantha posted a great picture of herself at Halloween, as red ridinghood. Cute cute 

And Schooner and I have been visiting the local coffee shops when Steve goes for fuel. 

Thats about it for this post. Hope you enjoy the new look. Smooches 💕