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Old 05-09-2016, 02:57 PM   #1
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Island Cruising

Here is a question for those fortunate to boat in the SE. As we watch TV shows about Island Life and think about building a second home on some island we think it would make so much sense to use our boat to visit all the islands off Florida and southeast.

What am I missing about this thought and how often do Florida and SE boaters really travel to these beautiful places?

A little planning and dreaming taking place here.

John
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:21 PM   #2
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Which Islands did you have in mind? Some are much nicer than others depending on your interests.

Ted
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:49 PM   #3
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Consider that the time spent on your boat is time the other homes are not being used and vice versa. If the boat is big enough, why not take it to wherever.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:47 PM   #4
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Island Life

[QUOTE=O C Diver;440688]Which Islands did you have in mind? Some are much nicer than others depending on your interests.

Ted, thanks for reaching out to us. We would likely start with he Bahama's and if we like it continue east / southeast to the US Virgin Islands and then who knows. We know some Nordhavn folks who spent their early years cruising the islands in small catamaran and had a blast. We hear about island hoping within a days trip and then either finding a marina or anchoring for a few days. It sound like boating at its best so we are curious why we don't hear more about it? What are we missing? Thanks

John T.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:51 PM   #5
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Consider that the time spent on your boat is time the other homes are not being used and vice versa. If the boat is big enough, why not take it to wherever.
When we first got aboard our Nordhavn we thought for awhile we could ditch the house, buy a bigger boat and live aboard full time. After awhile we realized we are not cut out to be "full time live aboards", that just us. We love living aboard a few days a week and when I retire weeks or months aboard sounds good but we need a land base home to return to. Our current home is too big so we will likely downsize in the future and possibly buy a place in Cabo San Lucas as another land base to visit and maybe leave the boat. Dreamer is great since it doesn't cost anything (yet).

John
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:53 PM   #6
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If you are thinking of the Abacos/Bahamas you need to research build time, product import taxes, and overall frustration of dealing with local laid back contractors.

If you are patient, it is very worthwhile. If you want things to move along, avoid the Bahamas!

And look up insurance costs re storms!
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:28 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=N4061;441143]
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Ted, thanks for reaching out to us. We would likely start with he Bahama's and if we like it continue east / southeast to the US Virgin Islands and then who knows. We know some Nordhavn folks who spent their early years cruising the islands in small catamaran and had a blast. We hear about island hoping within a days trip and then either finding a marina or anchoring for a few days. It sound like boating at its best so we are curious why we don't hear more about it? What are we missing? Thanks

John T.
From cruising friends that spent months in the Bahamas, it's great their but quickly you focus on the stuff that's not as readily available as in the USA. Food, fresh fruits and vegetables, and meat have been routinely mentioned. For those that have made several extended trips, it's all about provisioning for what's not readily available, fresh, inexpensive. This is very different than owning a house there. IMO, it would be important to see the short comings before committing to a home there.

My plan is extended visits and head back to the states whenever the fun meter started to drop.

Ted
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:09 AM   #8
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It kind of sounds like you have lived in nice, dry, temperate southern California most of your life. Let me pop your bubble a little bit. From mid June to mid October, Florida and most of the islands are hot, sticky, humid and generally unbearable. There are trade winds but having winds and 100% humidity still isn't fun for many retirees. Air conditioning? Well, power rates in the islands and outside the US in general are high and higher and service not too reliable. If you ever watched HGTV programs on Caribbean living, you will notice AC is relegated to split systems located in bedrooms. Central AC is almost unheard of.

Yesterday, my wife showed me an article from AARP magazine about the "experts in your life" titled "What They Know That You Don't". A doctor pointed out that moving to a new place can be really hard. Lots of retirees from up north sell the farm and move to Florida. Many of these couples end up moving back. The islands are probably not much different. In the town I live in, almost 50% of the homes are owned by snowbirds that live here 3-5 months in the winter.

You really got it great in San Diego and the grass isn't greener on the other side of the continent.
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:23 AM   #9
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You really got it great in San Diego and the grass isn't greener on the other side of the continent.
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:08 PM   #10
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A doctor pointed out that moving to a new place can be really hard. Lots of retirees from up north sell the farm and move to Florida. Many of these couples end up moving back. The islands are probably not much different. In the town I live in, almost 50% of the homes are owned by snowbirds that live here 3-5 months in the winter.

You really got it great in San Diego and the grass isn't greener on the other side of the continent.
I'm sort of in that situation but took a different approach. While it certainly can be hard picking up and moving, there is a more gradual approach. Bought my home in Florida 12 years ago and transitioned gradually. Not sure how many more years I will summer or travel to northern areas, but nothing says you only have to live in one place. Ideally I would like to spend 6 to 8 months a year based out of Florida, but still prefer the NE during the summer.

The grass may not be any greener in Florida, but the taxes sure are a lot less.

Ted
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:25 PM   #11
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Ideally I would like to spend 6 to 8 months a year based out of Florida, but still prefer the NE during the summer.

The grass may not be any greener in Florida, but the taxes sure are a lot less.

Ted

Thus the more than 6 months in Florida.
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:33 PM   #12
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Funny thing about living in paradise is you always wonder where paradise really is. I've got 2 boys and 4 nephews that have collectively lived on every continent thanks to their Uncle Sam. 3 of them currently live in San Diego and the other 3 plan on locating there when done with their enlistments/advanced degrees. Am convinced we improved the family with this generation.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:17 PM   #13
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Am convinced we improved the family with this generation.

Sounds like it! Good job!!
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:04 PM   #14
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Cruising the Bahamas is great, I should have a few threads on our travels over there. Having practically grown up going there in partial in my opinion, but it's beautiful. We also like being able to anchor out for a few days then come into a nice marina for a little dock time then off to the next marina or anchorage.

In regards to building there, Having practically built a house in Bimini side by side with my uncle, I would say you don't want to build there, unless you're young, have endless energy, and are prepared to be throughly involved in every step.
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:36 PM   #15
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As mentioned before, the summers in Florida are humid and warm. But that can be the case for any state east of the Rockies. We moved from Portland Oregon to the west coast of Florida and bought a house. We love the area October thru May. Then we begin our cruising season. From late May to mid October we travel up the east coast to Long Island or the Hudson River north. What is very unique on the east coast is the ICW. You can travel from Miami to New York City and never be out in the open ocean. Not possible on the west coast. And the Keys are as tropical as you could want. Also the ocean water is 84-88 degrees! Not the 53 degrees you are familiar with. We love our five month travels during the summers to Norfolk, Washington D.C., Atlantic City, New York, Erie Canal, Port Washington, Newport RI, Martha's Vineyard and all ports in between. You can weekend cruise off the California coast. But on the East Coast you can spend your summers and never visit the same place twice. Also dockage can be $1-$2 per foot. Just keep your cruising guides handy for the best deals. 😎
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:24 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=O C Diver;441171]
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From cruising friends that spent months in the Bahamas, it's great their but quickly you focus on the stuff that's not as readily available as in the USA. Food, fresh fruits and vegetables, and meat have been routinely mentioned. For those that have made several extended trips, it's all about provisioning for what's not readily available, fresh, inexpensive. This is very different than owning a house there. IMO, it would be important to see the short comings before committing to a home there.



My plan is extended visits and head back to the states whenever the fun meter started to drop.



Ted

Great perspective and advice. When you talk to folks who pay the $300.00 entry fee and spend several weeks in the Bahamas what they tell you is how to provision your boat for the trip. Which typically includes 200 pounds of canned goods. I am not sure looking out from my boat at a tropical beach eating a can of beans is my idea of paradise. I'd rather be in the keys enjoying dinner ashore every night along with some margaritas.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:47 AM   #17
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Great perspective and advice. When you talk to folks who pay the $300.00 entry fee and spend several weeks in the Bahamas what they tell you is how to provision your boat for the trip. Which typically includes 200 pounds of canned goods. I am not sure looking out from my boat at a tropical beach eating a can of beans is my idea of paradise. I'd rather be in the keys enjoying dinner ashore every night along with some margaritas.
Certainly agree with you for long term stays in paradise.

My vision is less of the canned and possible adding a second freezer for island trips. My limiting factor is more in the salad and fruits department as vegetables and meat can certainly be frozen. The cruisers focusing on canned most likely are sailing with limited freezer space and trying to be energy frugal. My plan more focuses on the 2 to 3 week trips. Bring most of what I need and eat out to enjoy the area and supplement those foods that have a short spoil time.

Ted
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:45 AM   #18
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Things have changed in the Bahamas as far as provisioning goes IMHO. Expensive yes, about double from the US but fresh vegtables and fruits are available as is good quality frozen meats and chicken. The locals have to eat.

Stuff may not be available on every island and every day of the week but the main settlements have supply/mail boats that have a regular schedule. Find out when the boat arrives and usually the next day you're good to go. Canned food, not a staple for us.
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Old 05-15-2016, 02:37 PM   #19
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We love all the islands. When we're home, we make regular trips to the Bahamas. Also, some great islands off the Florida coast, both east and west, and south in the keys.

As to living on one of the islands or having a second home on one, we thought about it at one time, looked at a few out of curiosity, but we just don't want to settle for one.

I saw a second freezer mentioned in the thread. Freezer space is just one of the most helpful things one can have.
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Old 05-15-2016, 03:02 PM   #20
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Thanks

Thanks to everyone who has joined in and provided their views. Once we get to this point in our plans we will make the decision then who knows? First thing is to get the boat, enjoy the next five years around southern California then head either south the Cabo or truck the boat to Texas and start the ICW. Time will tell. Thanks again.

John
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