Last night Murray was working on his log book and did some end-of-season calculations. On our 2003-2004 cruise, we used 160 gallons of diesel, ran the motor for 192 hours, traveled 1500 nautical miles, made 500 gallons of fresh water, used 40 lbs of propane and 48 gallons of gas ( for the dinghy and generator ).
The water was all of our usage from Dec 23rd until April 7th ( in the US we get free water from the marinas by filling jugs and hauling them back to the boat ). We showered daily unless it was too cold to shower in the cockpit. The water was not rationed but, of course, taps were not left running. Our monthly usage averages out to be approx 140 gallons. How does that compare with your household usage? Of course we have one advantage in that we flush our toilet with salt water.
The 40 lbs of propane cost us about $40 US. That took care of all of our cooking needs from the end of Oct 2003 until the end of April 2004 ( 6 months ). During that time, I made a hot breakfast daily and baked bread, muffins and even cookies as needed.
The gas ran our car ( the dinghy ) and supplied all of our electrical needs for the six months. Of course, the generator was supplemented by the solar and wind power but there is no charge for that. Once you buy the equipment that is. The maximum paid for gasoline in the islands was $3.30 and, if that price was paid for the total gallons, our car and electrical power for the six months cost us approx $160 US.
We have not mentioned the $300 for a cruising permit to travel in the Bahamas. This was a huge increase over the previous charge of $100 and caused many cruisers to re-think their travel plans. We have also not calculated the many dollars spent to keep the boat in tip-top shape. It has all been recorded and, if anyone is interested, we can give a yearly average of maintenance expenses at a future date.
So, those are some numbers that you can relate to and compare with your household costs for the same period. How do we measure up?
Today, Murray is re-assembling the pedestal in the cockpit ( it is where the steering wheel, gear shift and accelerator are mounted ). A friend helped him paint it the other day and now it looks brand new. It was not a job on the list but you take advantage of paint and spray guns when they are offered! I am washing down all of the woodwork in the boat with a vinegar solution to retard the growth of mildew while we are gone. Also organizing our clothes etc for packing. We will load the car ( the real car this time ) on Sunday as we will be hauled out early Monday morning. Once the sunshield is in place and all of the final jobs are done, we will head north.
In case I haven’t described it before, the sunshield is a screening material that cuts 60-70% of the sun’s rays but allows the wind to blow through. Thus it does not create a danger during high winds. We drape it over the spinnaker pole attached to the mast up forward and it is cut to go around the rigging. The seams are then held in place with wire ties as the awning is shaped around the boom and the stern arch. I do have photos of the boat enclosed in this material and will post them on the website.
We sure look forward to meeting up with all of you in the near future. Until then, hugs
Heather & Murray