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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Coming Along with Plans for a Pacific Crossing

Silk Classes

With instructor Mary Jo

This counts for PE in boat school!
We decided to begin keeping records of expenses once again... now that we aren't “living” somewhere permanently temporary. When cruising, we find it interesting how much money we spend – or don't spend – and on what. Boat repairs, provisions, marina fees, last minute doo-hickies, Dr. appointments, etc... especially the last week of February when we made the decision to cross the Pacific Ocean to the Marquesas.

MARINAS- they used to be cheaper in Mexico than in the States. Not so anymore. In fact, most marinas would prefer to have the income from large motor yachts instead of the high maintenance and cheapo sailboat cruisers. There are a few affordable marinas still left in Mexico (Chiapas is offering $200US a month from May through October for vessels 41'!), but those days are coming to an end in most of the Mexican marinas.
Playing in the little Fatty Knees in Banderas Bay
But, there is nothing more frustrating than doing a boat project at anchor and needing parts... bolts, screws, washers... and having to hop in the dinghy, walk around town to locate what you need, and ride back that afternoon in choppy conditions – to find that you still can't finish your project because you discover you need yet another part. That is exactly why Hotspur decided to cough up the dough and spend more days in the marina to get things accomplished as we near our target date to jump across the Pacific. Marina La Cruz is charging .68 cents a foot, plus electricity, plus water, plus 16% tax... that is the weekly rate. Paradise Village is roughly the same – maybe pennies less. There are NO discounts for being members of the Rallies – Puddle Jump or El Salvador – as there were in previous years. Dinghy docks fees, which used to be non-existent here, are now 40 pesos a day. And security is aggressive about collecting that fee! This is not a slam against Marina La Cruz - it just is what it is. The marina is nice, well  maintained and Katrina goes over and above to make sure there are fun movie nights, bonfires and excellent kid events. We prefer the town of La Cruz to Paradise Village, which is a marina in a mall.
Our gimbaled stove needed to be re-installed
and better secured for passage
Our Mexican boat insurance renewed the first week of February – it has gone up an additional $50US this year and it is no cheaper to purchase monthly than it is for annual coverage. And, this year is a little different from other Puddle Jump years - cruisers are required to have some form of medical insurance to procure the services of the agents in French Polynesia to help with checking in with the authorities. If you check in all by yourself (as many cruisers do frequently) you do not need to show proof of medical insurance (from what I have been told). We almost opted to check in ourselves, but you receive duty free fuel if you use the agents and we don't speak much French (although we are studying!) – we hope the savings we get in fuel will be a wash. (I put the agent fees on our credit card and so you will see the charges on our expense post next month). For medical insurance, we signed up to become members of DAN – for a family it costs only $55US and it offers travel assistance up to $100,000 to the closest place DAN sees fit to drop you off should you need dire medical attention.
Provisions are really the last thing on our list, but I have done a small amount so far...
like sifting together our favorite baking mixes and affixing instructions
We've eaten out more than we've cooked aboard due to cheap street tacos and no desire to do dishes. With just three mouths to feed instead of four now that Tim has left the nest we can eat out more frequently. $369US was the cost of groceries and eating out combined for three people in February.

Also in February, Carolyne's braces were removed and Jim and she both had their teeth cleaned. Jim's prescription eyeglasses took a swim (and then drowned!) so we had to order new lenses. Why wasn't he wearing a lanyard?? Hindsight, you say? What about foresight? He is seriously blind without his spectacles. We expect his order to arrive the 18th or 19th of this month.  
For fun... I cut, taped and stitched together 150 psychedelic droguelets
for our Jordan Series Drogue (just kidding about the fun part!)
We really don't feel stressed about the crossing. We are super excited and looking forward to new adventures. We are hoping to head out of Mexico in about a week... trade winds permitting, of course. There are several boats that headed out early. We prefer the idea of having the trade winds push us across vs. bobbing up and down (or worse, side to side!) for days and days.

At this point, we are looking at Saturday the 22nd to make our move. But that could change!

EXPENSES for the month of February 2014 in US dollars:

Boat Parts
$489 - included new starter battery, Navionics electronic charts of South Pacific & canvas hardware
$295 -  $245 annual MX liability & $55 Dan Membership for family
$277 - included 2 teeth cleanings, Carolyne's braces removed and Carolyne's retainers
$186 (Sadly... also not as cheap as it used to be in Mexico. But cheaper than the South Pacific!)
$169 Dumb husband
$100 - 3 days – no electricity used
$100 - Printer toner (should have bought a new printer!)
$42 zoo outing + silk dance classes
$36 - Carolyne's spending money
Cell Phone
Dink Dock
$15 - 40 pesos a day at Marina La Cruz (don't get me started!)
Potable H2O 
TOTAL 1,992 US dollars


  1. Poor Jim, he can't get away with anything. And not only that the world knows all about it. Hang in there buddy, I feel for you. HA!

  2. Fortunately, my captain has a great sense of humor. Well, except when he dropped his eyeglasses overboard and I said, "Why weren't you wearing that lanyard I gave you?" ;)

  3. Let the Adventure Begin...or resume...or...well heck, just have a Blast!

  4. thanks, Rich & Lori... we are super excited and looking forward to some more grand adventures.