Swing Set

May 7, 201308:46 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Reflecting on One Year of Cruising

One year of living on the boat was celebrated on April 20, but we didn't leave St. Louis until May 8 of last year. It was my birthday, and what a way to celebrate a birthday!

I'm now a year older, and I think I'm a bit wiser, as far as cruising and living on a boat goes, anyway.

Rosie and I've faced a few challenges in the last year, but we've met them and have overcome them. We're in no worse health than we were a year ago, and the boat is no worse for wear, either. In fact, the boat runs better than it did a year ago. But it hasn't been without a lot of work. Rust is a constant issue, but much better and more expensive yachts share the same problem. It's said that stainless doesn't mean stainfree. Everything on the boat works as it should (except for the generator, but that will be fixed today), and even our one Bora fan started working again, right out of the blue. Keeping our little city operating at 100 percent is a primary goal of ours.

We checked some numbers and found that we've spent a tad over $12,000 for fuel since we left St. Louis. We also spent $4,000 to stay at marinas. A-B Marina in Key West was over half of that, though. Like they say, we wasted the rest, but we've been able to overcome some minor debt we carried with us upon leaving St. Louis, keep the boat maintained, and even save some bucks for upcoming surprises. This lifestyle has been affordable for us.

We miss our friends and family at times, anyone would. There's a fairly long list of friends that have visited us in the course of the year, and we've been able to meet up with friends in Florida that we haven't seen in years. We expect to be able to meet up with more friends as time goes by, once we get "settled" some, and can predict our whereabouts a little easier.

We're still both enthusiastic about our adventures. I do get overwhelmed at times about the responsibility of getting us where we need to be, and keeping the boat safe and operating properly. There are lots of decisions to be made, and I make them, and I won't allow anyone to second guess anything I decide to do. Of course, we run into all sorts of other boaters who have the right idea about everything. I resist telling others what they should do, but rather just relay our story and they can decide what works for them.

Rosie and I've both learned some things about each other that we didn't know, none of them are deal breakers, but were a little surprising. It would serve no purpose to go into them here, but even with our 37 years together, we still don't know everything about each other. Not sure if we want to find out more, though. Who knew Rosie was a man?

There's been lots of rain here all week, and southern Florida has had lots of rain, too. Because of the rain, the generator part we need didn't get picked up from the Westerbeke dealer in West Palm Beach until Thursday. All FedEx packages then go to Memphis for sorting, and ours did, too, then got sent back to southern Florida to get flown to the Bahamas. Severe weather on Friday got our package routed to Freeport instead of Marsh Harbour. We're supposed to get it today.


Someone asked me how Marsh Harbour is: In the photo you can see the one traffic light there is. But the hardware store is one of three, and all three are stocked with just about anything a person might need. Every service you could want is here, too, but there are no quaint little streets like in New Plymouth, or like we expect to see in Hope Town. Most of the thoroughfares are dusty and filled with potholes. This is a bustling city compared to the sleepy island towns that we like.

Harbour View Marina is home to a shuttle service that takes the rich and famous out to Baker's Bay on Guana Cay. The 77-foot Lymon-Morse yacht in the photo is a charter vessel used to take some of the larger groups over to Guana. There are also two Hinckleys used as well, a 36- and a 40-footer. All vessels are kept in pristine condition. The Lyman-Morse is currently for sale for a mere $2.4 million. Who wants it? It's nine years old. 

On Sunday, Rosie and I took the dinghy out to explore. We found some pretty beaches nearby, and around on the other side of Marsh Harbour are some nice homes and resorts. Most folks around here go to Nippers, a beach bar on Guana Cay. Some folks we met at the pool asked us to join them for the weekend on the hook near Nippers, but we stayed here at Harbour View and went again to Snappas next door for Cinco De Mayo and had a good time.

Besides the generator part issue, we've had some other problems. Our Internet service was interrupted on our MiFi device because of a mix-up on the part of AT&T, but we got that resolved after a few phone calls.

We've also exceeded the 40 minutes allowed on our International calling plan due to a lengthy phone call regarding payment by our medical provider to the health clinic in Marathon, where I got my physical last month. Using the MagicJack Internet phone service hasn't been the answer; if the connection isn't top notch, the phone calls are of poor quality. These little problems are magnified when phone service, or Internet service, is poor. We get used to those luxuries when we are in the U.S.

We should be heading to Hope Town in the morning, only seven miles away. The weather should cooperate for the next week, so we can travel through the cays to the Little Harbour Cut and then cross nearly 50 miles over to the Eleuthera Islands, first stop being Spanish Wells.

But like I've said, Harbour View Marina isn't a bad place to hang out for a while. I just said to Rosie yesterday when we were lounging around the pool that we should consider coming here for vacation some time.

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