I haven’t left the boat in 6 days. I’m trapped aboard with a monster whose appetite knows no bounds. Eating and eating every day for hours on end, seemingly never satisfied. He looks at me with those hungry eyes and demands more coffee for his mug. This is such a different life than I enjoyed just 6 days ago when we had our first guest aboard. We’ve now eaten everything in the freezer and are breaking out the canned and freeze dried provisions. We are officially on LOCKDOWN, for reasons so deep and complex it’s impossible to explain in one blog post alone but for the sake of good order I’ll sum it up in a short sentence: Honey we broke!
All of the fun times we had gallivanting around the country side with colorful birds, lots of tequila and guides named yet again “Pedro” have caught up with us. Now we spend our days at anchor looking longingly at the shore, biding our time. Tate’s appetite has never been more fierce. He reads book after book after book on his new Paperwhite Kindle (brought to us kindly by a cruiser named Jimi), faster than I’ve ever seen before. Even on our very limited budget we squeeze in the $10 a month for “Kindle-unlimited” to satiate his need.
Scary isn’t he?
One of the questions we get asked most frequently is how much does it cost out here and in fact our Cost page is one of the most frequently viewed pages on our website. Cruising Costs, this is something people want to know! I did too after all it’s almost the most important thing, can you afford it? When we saved for the trip we assumed 3 years at $3k a month. This was very conservative and as we started to reach our goal we cut the budget per month to $1,500. We had talked to many people over the years and felt this was a reasonable/borderline “active cost control” amount to live on and so we really make strides to keep within it.
While I have been keeping a detailed accounting by category of what we’ve spent thus far I think it’s best to not share this until we hit the 6 month mark. I don’t think our first 3 months of cruising is a good representation of what the normal monthly spending amount will be since both Key West and Cuba were in the more expensive range (we knew this would be the case) and we started with a boatload of provisions, literally. In fact I think a more accurate representation of costs will come after 18 months and an ocean passage, like the Pacific next March.
In summary though we spent roughly $2,100 in January, $2,100 in February and $1,500 in March…though we hit the end of our budget as soon as Mr. Logan left 6 days ago. I’m super excited that even with him visiting and traveling inland we were able to stay within our planned $1,500. Something about not having a job puts a death grip on all of our hard earned money for this trip.
So the science behind hitting our magical number? Not spending money. It incredible how little you actually need when you “don’t have the money”. Just this week a number of times I caught myself saying well hey now I could use one of those, or I wonder what Amazon is up to today, or perhaps we should go to shore to get some food and then I correct myself and JUST SAY NO. That’s a great cruising motto “JUST SAY NO to spending money”. And so we just didn’t. We pulled out some of the stored food and partook of other, free, activities like playing cards, Scrabble, sunbathing, working out, reading and of course writing blog posts, like this one.
I have hinted on the blog quite a bit but I’ve actually become kind of obsessed (if you know me this can be intense) with learning to speak Spanish. We ordered some books that Mr. Logan brought with him and I have been practicing everyday for 2-4 hours. For some reason the monster only samples these books from time to time…they’re not as delectable as the many Sci-Fi books he reads I suppose. Better for me!
I also spend time on the FREE language learning website Duolingo. This site makes it fun and easy to learn to a new language! No that’s not paid advertisement I just talk this way!:D I also try very hard to converse with the locals which helps incredibly on the HARDEST part for me, listening and then responding.
Here’s a tip* If you are not good at a another language don’t construct a complex sentence in order to impress your Spanish speaking friends. They’ll take this to mean you know more than you do and proceed to speak at a lightning bolt pace in ways you didn’t know possible leaving you completely lost. Stick with the simple, child like sentences. In fact just to be safe only speak with children.
Now that we have just finished our third month of cruising we are really starting to get into the “groove” of things. Somehow for the past week I’ve been waking up at 7 or 8am feeling fully rested and ready to start my day. I’m not sure this has ever happened in my life before, my family can attest to this. Who is this person I’m turning into?
Well this Thursday makes 5 weeks we’ve been in Isla Mujeres and I’m sure many of you are wondering if we are ever going to leave. To be honest this place is great. Free and calm anchoring, cheap groceries, free wifi all around the island, access to water and weather TO. DIE. FOR. This is a place someone could stay indefinitely…if they weren’t interested in traveling. But we are going to get the move on coming up. Our island time clock is saying a week or two to head south. Where to you ask? Possibly the outer atolls of Belize for snorkeling before making our way to the Jungle book river of the Rio Dulce in Guatemala. Stay tuned.