Unless you have some serious experience in the ocean I would advise against Florida
to Mexico. You are getting heading into opposing Gulf Stream
currents, eddies and a lot of significant seas.
- - The entry fees are not cheap
in Mexico and all the other Central American countries - however the cost of living is very low so it can average out to economical over a significant period of time.
- - You will also be entering a radically different social setup than North American people are used to, especially in the Spanish speaking countries. How they live and deal with life and the officials is sometimes too much of a cultural shock for first timers who have never traveled the world before.
- - The suggestion to do the Keys and even the US Gulf of Mexico
is quite good. As mentioned you can pick up odd jobs here and there and experience different "mini" cultures, especially along the Gulf of Mexico
- - The Bahamas is a great "training" ground for new sailors
to experience different weather
situations along with some great "deserted" islands for fun and frolicking. The outer islands will give you experience with how the locals get by on little or no money. Staying away from major population centers gets you some of the best swimming and exploring opportunities while still being within reasonable range of the USA. But the $150 for less than 34ft boats is for a year only for the boat. The maximum "you" can get is 6 months then you need to renew. Food
costs are variable depending upon if you shop in "cruiser" orientated food
stores or in "local people" food stores.