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April 16, 2010


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Sounds like it will be an incredible experience!

Plus since you bought a used boat, if after a year or 2, you decide that you change your mind... You can sell the catamaran and get out of it without losing much money!

Sounds like a grand adventure!!!

Good Luck!

How do you prepare for hurricanes?

Great story. Just curious, how do you deal with health issues while your on a trip like this?

Sorry for the delay, we were on a passage from the Dominican Republic to the Bahamas and none of the out islands had internet.

Thank you for the comments and good questions! For hurricanes we have generally moved the boat outside the hurricane zone while we were living aboard (for us that has meant summers in Rhode Island, Annapolis, and Grenada). We've also hauled the boat out into dry storage for two summers while we went home to visit and do some consulting work.

For health issues, we have kept our US private health insurance (Blue Cross/Blue Shield -- it is the second most expensive item on our budget). We try to schedule routine care and checkups around our visits home, but a recent trip to the emergency room in Puerto Rico was covered by BCBS (I think we would be covered in the USVI as well). We have gone to dentists and doctors in Grenada and St. Vincent for minor problems and had no issues paying out of pocket for one-off doctor visits and medications. You'd be surprised at the level of care you can get outside the US, but the facilities may appear different than what most Americans are used to. The clinic in Grenada was state-of-the-art (they do have a med school there), while the clinic on Union Island in St. Vincent/Grenadines was very bare bones. But both visits ended with a successful outcome, so we are content with going local for minor issues but keeping our health insurance to cover anything major where we might want to return to the US for care.

How much are bandits/pirates a concern on the open water?

Well property theft can be a problem anywhere, so locking the boat up when you are ashore and locking your dinghy at the dinghy dock is a must. In five years we've never had anything stolen but we've always been conservative and locked up our hatches/doors even at night when we are on the boat.

Pirates are not really a concern in the Eastern Caribbean. Further south of the EC, there have been armed boardings and incidents, particularly in Venezuela. We did not go that far south. In other parts of the world, piracy can definitely be a problem (ie. the Malacca straits) but there are still people cruising over there. Those brave cruisers organize large groups of boats and then they all cross through known piracy areas at the same time, hoping that safety lies in numbers. Not sure we would do that because we're pretty cautious. But if you have money in the budget and are trying to get your boat safely from the South Pacific to the Med, you could always use a shipping company like Dockwise that would actually load the boat on a cargo ship and deliver it for you. That way you don't have to deal with going through areas known for pirates.

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