Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
Happy Canada Day! And yes, Shelley and I have been on our adventure for 1 YEAR today. First I thank all of you who have followed and supported us in various ways over the last year.  This has been a life changing experience in many ways.  We had many ideas and fantasies on how the first year would turn out...  Some of them were true but most of our experiences were in many ways, completely unexpected....  And almost 100% of the time in a very good way.

Last July 1st we left the RHYC early on a sunny morning...  today the sun shone for the first time in almost a week (its rainy season here in the rain forest you know).  As I said in the last blog, we have traveled over 3400 nautical miles.  we have visited 6 countries and made countless new friends.  From directions at a post office, to building a washroom for a school, I still pinch myself as I recall the great people in our lives...  Some new some old, but VERY special...

Ok, enough of the sappy stuff.  Now some hard numbers.  I must preface this information by saying that we budgeted $10,000 extra in the first year to cover unforseen expenses.  Our fantasy budget was to live on $1000 per month plus insurance (Last year $4600) or about $17000.  Plus the 10000 = $27000.

We will be attempting to live with the same budget this year with the "unforseen" number dropping to $5,000.

So here are the hard numbers (slightly rounded off) in US Dollars:

         Category                                             Amount
  1. Maintenance/Repairs & Improvements - BOAT          6950
  2. Food - Groceries & Sundries                                      5500
  3. Insurance                                                                   4400
  4. Slip / Mooring Fees                                                   4150
  5. Food/Beverage - Dining Out                                      4100
  6. Fuel (Diesel)                                                              1900
  7. Entry / Exit Fees                                                       1400
  8. Travel - Away                                                            1300
  9. Local Transportation                                                 1300
  10. Gifts                                                                         1200
  11. Subscriptions / Instructor/DM fees                               850
  12. Entertainment                                                              850
  13. Maintenance/Repairs & Improvements - ENGINE        650 
  14. Comp./Phone/Internet                                                 550
  15. Medical Expense                                                         500
  16. Clothing                                                                       450
  17. Scuba Expense                                                           400
  18. Dinghy Gasoline / Boat Propane                                300
  19. Miscellaneous                                                              250
  20. Grand Total                                                           $36600

As I look at these numbers I see that they could raise some questions.  So if you have any, please don't hesitate to ask...

Overall we spent just over $3000 USD per month...  At that rate our trip will be over way too soon so here is a little more information.

First, as I said, we put aside $10,000 aside for "extras in the first year". We saved this extra money while we were both working and added to that with some of the things we sold before we left.  

Also, we were blessed this year with a bunch of scuba work along the way. We also got a very healthy refund on our taxes this year so together we took in $8700.

So if we eliminate the budgeted $10000 and subtract our "income" our net, net cost for the first year was $17,300 or just under $1500 per month.

We would be happy if this year works out close to that budget.

I would say our biggest surprises came in the BOAT EXPENSES.  As those of you who have long followed our blog know, we spent nearly $60,000 refitting the boat before we left.  We learned early on, that STUFF BREAKS ON BOATS! A lot!  Also when you leave the comfort of the USA/Canada, shipping and availability become difficult and expensive.  

The other number that was much higher than we expected was SLIP/MOORING FEES.  While many times we chose to take a mooring or a dock, we were surprised at the number of places where anchoring was ether difficult or impossible. Having said that, we think that this year will be different.  our plans include very few places where docking and mooring is even available, so this number should go way down.The last place we hope to save money is eating out...  OK we admit it... We LIKE eating out... And this is a habit that is going too have to change,... (We hope...)

So there it is...  Our hope is that there might be something useful here for anyone wondering what all this "costs"  I do know that everyone is different, so take this information with a grain of salt...

One last thing this week.  For many years I have enjoyed taking photographs, both underwater and above.  Shelley traditionally looked after our "point n' shoot" stuff with a little go anywhere camera. We also own a few other cameras. (Here is the blog entry that talks about that).  But almost exclusively, I was the only one who used them.

Last weekend Shelley went house sitting with her friend Laura and this time she took the Nikon D3200 and the 80-300 lens.  here are a few examples of her amazing work:

While I did some minor color and exposure adjustments, these are from her eye directly to this page.  
I also degraded the images so they wouldn't take three days to load...  I have such an amazing wife!


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