3rd Quarter 2013 – By the Numbers

The 3rd quarter of 2013 included one of our first large purchases since we’ve moved aboard Rode Trip. Our “new to us” main sail certainly made an impact on our budget during this quarter. We also loaded enough groceries onto Rode Trip to lower our water line a couple of inches. We are FULLY provisioned at this point, and as far as groceries are concerned we could head offshore tomorrow without needing to stop at a grocery store.

How we got here
Miles travelled – 1,759.9 nm
Hours motoring – 101.8 hours
Days underway – 36
Average distance per day – 19.3 nm
Average distance per underway day – 48.9 nm
Average hours of engine time per day – 1.1 hr
Approximate miles of motoring – 509 nm
Approximate miles of sailing – 1,250.9 nm
Longest passage (hours/nautical miles) – 833.5nm / 212 hrs
Shortest passage ( time/nautical miles) – 6.6 nm / 2.0 hrs
Nights at dock – 2
Nights on mooring – 27 ( Thanks Mike!)
Nights underway – 15
Nights at anchor – 47

Despite the fact that Rode Trip sat un-moving for nearly an entire month this quarter the passage to Maine and the passage south to Norfolk really bolstered our numbers to keep our quarterly miles up.

What it cost
Total amount spent – $5,777
Total amount budgeted – $6000
$/day – 63
$ spent on groceries – 2,181
$ spent on boat upgrades/maintenance – 1,156
$ spent on “utilities” (propane, cell phone, ice etc. ) – 182
$ spent on diesel – 301
$ for entertainment (not restaurants) – 106
$ eating out – 323
$ spent moorings/dockage – 0

This quarter’s budget was dominated by a couple of large expenses including our main sail and land travel to Pennsylvania to visit our families.  In addition we have the boat FULLY re-provisioned from Portsmouth. We knew the best places to really stock up on the items that we use the most. We should really see our grocery bills drop off in the coming months.


New visitors to Rode Trip – 5
Number of countries visited – 2 (Bermuda, USA)
Teeth cleaned – 56 – Took advantage of being near our dentist.
New babies met – 4
Fish caught – 1

By the Numbers – 2nd Quarter 2013

During the second quarter of 2013 Rode Trip finally moved on from the Bahamas. We missed the great fishing, but really enjoyed being in so many new places. Our big U-turn at Grand Cayman had us spend a lot of money provisioning and preparing the boat for a transatlantic crossing. Approximately half the money spent this quarter was spent during our 2-week stay in Cayman.

How we got here
Miles travelled – 3,000.6 nm
Hours motoring – 30.4 hours
Days underway – 40
Average distance per day – 33.0 nm
Average distance per underway day – 75 nm
Average hours of engine time per day – 0.3 hr
Approximate miles of motoring – 152 nm
Approximate miles of sailing – 2848.6 nm
Longest passage (hours/nautical miles) – 1,824.6nm / 389.25 hrs
Shortest passage ( time/nautical miles) – 12.2 nm / 3.0 hrs
Nights at dock – 6
Nights on mooring – 12
Nights at anchor – 73

What it cost
Total amount spent – $4,008
Total amount budgeted – $6000
$/day – $44
$ spent on groceries – $1,342.66
$ spent on boat upgrades/maintenance – $650
$ spent on “utilities” (propane, cell phone, ice etc. ) – $70
$ spent on diesel – $96
$ for entertainment (not restaurants) – $100
$ eating out – $864
$ spent moorings/dockage – $300

Number of countries visited – 5 (Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba, Cayman, Bermuda)
New visitors to the boat – 4
Days traveling by moped – 2
Number of waterspouts spotted – 3
Number of officials aboard Rode Trip to clear in and out of countries -17 + 2 official dogs
Nights spent away from Rode Trip (gasp!) – 4

A tale of two pesos

One of the interesting challenges of international travel is acquiring local money. In some locations it is really easy, or even unnecessary. In the bahamas the bahamian dollar is tied to the US dollar and everyone accepts US or Bahamian currency. There is no separation in the cash drawers and change is likely to come in a combination of currencies with colorful bahamian dollars mixed in with US greenbacks. Usually an ATM will dispense local currency at the daily rate of exchange. However because we bank at US banks our ATM card will not work in Cuba.

In order to complete customs and immigration you need to arrive in the country with Cuban currency in hand, not an easy feat to accomplish. If you don’t have them already the harbormaster will help you by exchanging the money you need for a 20% fee. Once again our slow speed helped us out and Luki from Skebenga came over to say hello as we pulled in and handed us enough cash to get through the check in process. The harbormaster seemed a little surprised when we indicated that we had the currency necessary to complete our clearing in.

Welcome to Cuba, here the local currency is…the Peso. But hold on a second there are two types of pesos. The tourist currency or the “Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC)” and the local currency the “Peso National”. The nominal exchange rates are

1 CUC = 1 USD
24 Peso Nat = 1 CUC

However in practice since Cubans can’t spend USD easily due to the embargo the best exchange rate we could find was at the hotel where
1 USD = 0.87 CUC

Our next step was to acquire the money we needed for our stay here. We didn’t quite know how much to change but had been told that costs were quite low. Since there isn’t a fee for the exchange at the hotel we decided to change $100 to start. We walked in, spoke to an english speaking woman at the front desk and walked out with 87 CUC’s. We had been told that for some purchases, namely pizza and ice cream, the local currency would be better to use. Matt and Jess took us to where they had exchanged money the day before. We handed the cashier 10 CUC’s and received a fistful of Peso Nationals. We now just had to figure out where to spend each type of currency. Some of the places would indicate what currency was expected. All of the tourist shops specified that their menu’s were in CUC’s. The street vendors were usually pretty easy as well, for example soft serve ice cream at 5.00 was clearly in Nationals. I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream at $0.20 USD. Others got a little more tricky, cold drinks in the store were usually 1.00, which was in CUC’s. However on the street the orange drinks with ice from the back of a street cart were 2.00, in Nationals ( $0.08USD). Produce was also in Nationals! So the most delicious mango’s imaginable as big as your head cost 2.00 to 5.00 (0.08-0.20 USD). This made for a wonderful market experience that you will hear about soon.