Dreams of Sunsets, Rum & Island Life
Ahooy! I am currently land-locked in Arkansas, but am planning to relocate to Florida''s West Coast in the next 3-5 Months.
I will be looking for a sailboat in the 25-35 foot range. I will be Single-Handing the boat, thus the small size.
After upgrading the boat and building the "Cruising Kitty", I plan on cruising the Bahamas... maybe a trip around the gulf to Belize for a Shakedown cruise.
My only boating experiences are ski-boats and the one trip that got me hooked on sailing, 2-3 years ago, I went out on a sailboat with some friends.
Standing out on the bow pulpit, the sun halfway hidden by the horizon, I watched as a pod of dolphins played alongside the boat. I stood there for what seemed like an eternity. It was almost spiritual. I was hooked.
I despise the "rat-race", traffic, the whole 9-5 scene, corporate America (I LOVE AMERICA, just hate climbing the corporate ladder, office politics, brown nosing, etc...), and all the general little things one must deal with to work and live in "normal" society.
I am rather Nomadic by nature, never caring to stay in one place too long. I love to travel, see new places, meet new people and experience new things.
I''m not foolish enough to believe it will be all white beaches, with rum drinks, sun and fun. I know there will be maintenance, break-downs and myriad other things I haven''t even considered. I know it will be a lot of work but it will be a great adventure.
Things I wonder about...
Can I earn a living abroad? - I have an Associate''s Degree in Electronics and can do a lot with circuit design and implementation. I am somewhat handy with tools and can do most maintenance on a gasoline engine. I have been a computer geek for more than 20 years. I can sew. I fancy myself a good cook. I''m not a carpenter but I can do some basic woodwork.
Is an Autopilot or a Self-Steering WindVane a better choice?
Where in the Bahamas are the best places for...
Fresh Water for tanks,
Fresh Meat (Lamb, Beef, Poultry),
Good Rum - (Taste, Smoothness),
Computer Parts (Hard Drives, Printer Cartridges, etc...),
Paper Charts - if I decide to venture outside the bahamas,
Riding out storms/hurricanes,
Sodas - (Coke, Mt Dew, etc...),
Dry Dog Food
If I take a dog with me (Pit, German Shepherd, Lab, etc...) what complications will I run into? i.e. quarrantine, etc... I plan on having the dog immunized, documented, etc... The dog is for guarding the boat when I am ashore, companionship, etc.
What I want on the boat...
Laptop w/ Charting/Plotting, DVD & MP3s
GPS - Handheld X 2 (1 for laptop, 1 backup)
Radar (highly unlikely to obtain)
Small Watermaker for when tanks run dry
Various Windlasses/Winches for anchor, sails, etc.
Minimum of 3 anchors w/chain and rode
I don''t plan on having refrigeration or Air Conditioning. I am thinking of building a 12 Volt Ice Maker, capable of keeping an ice chest full and a little extra, if needed...
Being a sailing Newbie, I am planning on many Daysails, Coastal Cruises, etc. before heading "Down Island". The middle of the Gulf Stream is a bad time to realize I don''t know how to ___________ (fill in the blank).
With any luck, I will find one or more "Buddy Boats" to head Down Island with, but I do not want Crew other than a trusty Canine.
I intend to leave when the "Cruising Kitty" is approximately $7500-10K. Ashore, I have lived on as little as $500/month, rent included, trying to learn to live on as little as possible.
Can anyone reccomend a book or website about tropical fish and other sealife that can be be caught/prepared for food and which are dangerous to humans and canines.
Many friends think I am nuts, my family thinks I should be committed to some mental health facility... I think I am fairly sane and have a pretty good plan... Do I sound nuts to you?
Everyone around me is trying to discourage me from pursuing the dream... Maybe its out of concern for my safety, envy that they can''t do it themselves, or just a general landlubber''s ignorance of the sea). With so much negativity around me, I can''t help thinking about all the possible negatives.
That being said, I intend to push forward and live the dream.
Sorry that is so long... It should probably be several different posts but here it is...
Oh, one other thing... If anyone has any Navigation Charts, Cruising Guides, etc. for the Bahamas and or Belize that you would care to donate, e-mail me at Dharstvonz@hotmail.com