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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Provisioning
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Old 11-11-2007
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Wink Provisioning for Bahamas

Any advice/tips on provisioning for a 6-7 month cruise in the Bahamas and Caribbean area will be appreciated.
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Old 11-11-2007
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Since you're going to be in the Caribbean and Bahamas, you don't really have to stock up on a lot of things, since you'll have access to fresh supplies on a fairly regular basis. That said, some things are far more affordable to stock up on here in the United States, than to buy as needed in the Caribbean. There are several excellent books on preparing for an extended Caribbean cruise, and if I get the chance, I'll post the one I was given by a friend. It's on the boat, and I'm not.
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Old 11-11-2007
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Take enough beer to get you through the Bahamas ($40 a case there). Don't take rum, there's lots there. Stock up on toilet paper and paper towels in the States. Most things are available now. Food is quite expensive in the Bahamas so take enough for a couple of months till you get to the DR. How far are you going in 6 or 7 months? Is this a one way trip? If you intend to return home with the boat you don't have much time. Most folks who set out with this time frame end up just doing the Bahamas. If that's a possibility, take more beer. We always fill the freezer with meat and make sure we have tea, coffee, condiments and spices. Some canned stuff but we usually manage to get fresh veggies. We also take lots of stuff for happy hour, salamis, cans of oysters etc. A lot depends on the individual likes and dislikes but provisioning is not difficult, just a bit more expensive. Oh, if you're a milk drinker or cereal eater takes lots of powdered milk and cereal.
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Old 11-12-2007
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Our son did a 6month trip from NC to Bahamas and back in '05-'06 on his 27' Watkins sloop, Walkabout. I helped him with the provisioning plan and some tests of food quality and storage techniques. He left with 8 months provisions for the 6 month trip. His take was that other than rum, grits and frozen lamb everything was more expensive than the states. The rum in the Bahamas is better and less expensive so wait till you get there. A good site for high quality dehydrated and canned food at good prices is http://www.internet-grocer.net/product.html.

Taking food with you is important for independence and self reliance. about 40 cruising boats, power and sail , were held up in Chubb Cay for a month because of stronger than usual prevailing easterly trade winds. Chubb Cay had been leveled in the two prior hurricane seasons and there was no food, water or fuel of any kind available. The cruisers had planned to re provision at Chubb and were running our of everything. Our son and his crewman shared two 35lb fish they caught with other boats when they first got there and fished during the 5 days he waited for the winds to change. One captain was so greatful for the fish that he gave Andre one of his spare alternators to replace the one on Walkabout that had crapped out (brand new from The Evil Empire 4 weeks earlier!). 2 months provisions is a minimum IMHO. Conversley, water was free in George Town at the dinghy dock. Carry as much water as you can, in jerry cans on deck if necessary, it never rained where he was during the whole trip.

Dehydrated food lasts almost indefinitely. Canned foods can rust and he discovered that putting cans in a zip lock didn't prevent rust because the cans chafed through, hard side Rubbermaid type boxes work better. Zip locks worked for all the dehydrated though. He had an Engel MT35 portable freezer about the size of a 35 qt ice chest. He made ice, kept a few pints of ice cream, and froze fish he caught, after filleting, in zip locks. Wax encased cheeses lasted 6 months or more canned cheese was good.

Easiest meals using least fuel making least heat were instant oat meal in assorted flavors, instant grits, instant mashed potatoes (see internet-grocer dot net, granuals are better than the flakes), also Idahoan brand instant mashed potatoes in various flavors, Lipton flavored noodles in foil packages, Knorr soups and noodle dishes, various gravy mixes to flavor the above. He preferred meal size canned beans over dried for speed, fuel and heat reasons. Dried fruits of all kinds, home made turkey jerky (cut boned turkey breast 1/4 in. thick or less, 50/50 Tamari or soy sauce and water soak 24 hours, spread on cake racks on cookie sheets and dry in oven 140 degrees max;or 25/75 Real-Lemon juice/water and salt same drying process).

He used about 1 gal alcohol/month in his unpressurized Origo 2 burner stove and about 1lb/ month of propane in the Magma grill.

His cost for food and booze (forget the beer too expensive although you can bring some to trade locals for lobster and conch) $450/month

Last edited by CosmosMariner; 01-19-2008 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 11-14-2007
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thanks Cosmo, alot of good info there!
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Old 11-21-2007
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Thanks for all the opinions. Much appreciated. As for how far we'll go - no idea - yet. Also, it we have no imperative to make it a return trip. Ideally we'll find a safe place to leave her down Island. We don't have a "home port" on the East Coast. Eventually we want to bring her to Vancouver, so we're thinking of doing that over a few years.
with this scenario, would getting to the East Caribbean be feasible in a leasurely manner, or would it mean hussling and hurrying (which is something we don't want to do).

Boat arrived in West Palm Beach this morning (delivery). We're joining her in two weeks!

Magnus and Ronel Murphy
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Old 11-21-2007
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Magnus...you don't want to head from the Bahamas to the Eastern Carib until the end of Feb or early March when the Xmas winds prevent a passage...then you have until July to get down south before hurricane season so you can be quite leisurely in your approach to the trip...Suggest spending east coast/keys time till you know the boat systems are solid then cruising the Bahmas for a while...then heading south and east. There is really no quality haulout and repair available between the T&C's and PR so you need to be sure of the reliability of the boat and engine (and carry lots of spares) before you make the decision to head down to the E. Caribe and Florida will be cheaper and quicker to get parts and service so it is good to shake down the boat there.

On the provisioning side...there is USA quality food in the Abacos, Provo and in PR but count on significantly higher prices on bulky stuff, moderately higher prices on most stuff and bargains only on local stuff like bread and subsidized commodities like butter.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronelmurphy View Post
Any advice/tips on provisioning for a 6-7 month cruise in the Bahamas and Caribbean area will be appreciated.
Yeah, while you are there, don't waste your time shopping for food if you don't have to. There are some great grocery delivery services there like FoodStore2Go. We used them a lot while we were visiting some friends down there. It was well worth it.
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Old 09-22-2011
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dude please check the DATE of the last post. this one was 4 years DEAD, start a new one, if they are over a few years old
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