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Old 12-07-2017, 17:16   #1
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Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

So I take possession of my boat on the 24th (legally) physically I'll be on it sometime in August probably. Is this a reasonable amount of time to reach the Cape Verdes by Xmas time ie: the time to cross?

Also, I have looked at noonsite and did a google search and havent come up with anything about country entry fees so I'm having difficulty trying to figure out how much money I'm going to need. Can anyone give me a general idea?

I'll be going from England to Ireland (maybe) maybe Isle of Man (is there even a seperate fee for this or is it treated as UK? France, Spain, Portugal and then, Canaries and Cape Verdes before the Caribbean, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico USA and then Back to Canada.

Also, is it realistic to expect to be able to anchor out most places along the route or will I be very uncomfortable doing so?

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Old 12-07-2017, 18:12   #2
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

The concensus on money is that you should have as much as possible, and work with that. For us it meant forgoing marinas (you can almost always anchor SOMEWHERE), and living modestly (no booze, eating out only on special occasions--though this varies from place to place--certainly no excesses like going to movies, a boat kept SIMPLE that didn't need a lot of service, doing all our own work). Checking in and out fees are so different in each place, and change so frequently (I've never paid the same twice, even with 7 arrivals in Isla Mujeres), that it's hardly worth writing down. Also, some cruisers get hit with fees others don't, depending on the mood of the official into who's hands they've fallen. Just bring as much as you can scrape together and adjust your plans as the cruise progresses. The closer you get to a place, the more accurate the information you can glean from cruisers who've just been there. If you hear of excessive fees, forced bribes or other corruption, skip the place--you've got options.
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Old 13-07-2017, 10:44   #3
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

The Canaries are all marinas, you can't really anchor there. Isle of man is not has its own government, and is not in the EU I don't think you get charged, I sailed there with a friend a few months ago, from Scotland, we didn't have to pay anything but marina fees, its got very big tides, you really have to use a marina, and the gate it, gates open two hours before high tide, until two hours after.

Caribbean you can anchor, well my experience, Falmouth harbour Antigua, you are supposed to check in, and pay a couple of dollars a day for your garbage to be taken away, I didn't check in, or pay, I just hid on the boat when the guy turned up.

Guada Loup, check in, six euros, you do it at a cafe in the first place you go to when you go from Antigua, you can anchor for free most places, Montserrat, its about sixty dollars for three days, I didn't pay anything, I thought, they have to catch me first. Police are very nice though, they did come out to my boat to check up on me when I was sick, even though I didn't pay to be there, I didn't anchor, went onto someones mooring, more secure, but everyone else sat at anchor.

Bermuda, about thirty five dollars to check in, you can stay for three months, and sit at anchor in St George or anywhere else, but you have to check in at st george. very expensive place to be, six dollars for a loaf of bread.

You can go up the intercoastal from Florida all the way to new york, and you can anchor anywhere on that, problem is though, they send the big stuff at night, so you see huge barges with spotlights going past you at night. Intercoastal is a great place loads of small towns, small bars, and lonely women in them, that are willing to let you use there shower.
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Old 13-07-2017, 16:51   #4
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
The concensus on money is that you should have as much as possible, and work with that. For us it meant forgoing marinas (you can almost always anchor SOMEWHERE), and living modestly (no booze, eating out only on special occasions--though this varies from place to place--certainly no excesses like going to movies, a boat kept SIMPLE that didn't need a lot of service, doing all our own work). Checking in and out fees are so different in each place, and change so frequently (I've never paid the same twice, even with 7 arrivals in Isla Mujeres), that it's hardly worth writing down. Also, some cruisers get hit with fees others don't, depending on the mood of the official into who's hands they've fallen. Just bring as much as you can scrape together and adjust your plans as the cruise progresses. The closer you get to a place, the more accurate the information you can glean from cruisers who've just been there. If you hear of excessive fees, forced bribes or other corruption, skip the place--you've got options.
So if I encounter a place with fees too high I can just leave even if I'm in the process of checking in?

I'm hoping I will not get charged much as I speak Spanish French and Portuguese much better than the average tourist (not that that's saying much, haha) and will be dressed shabbily and sailing a cheap old boat. One can only hope.

Really it's mostly emergency repairs and fees associated with mooring/clearing in that are going to get me. Food's not terribly expensive especially when I'm not doing much all day.

Thank you very much for your advice
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Old 13-07-2017, 16:59   #5
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

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Originally Posted by atlantical View Post
The Canaries are all marinas, you can't really anchor there. Isle of man is not has its own government, and is not in the EU I don't think you get charged, I sailed there with a friend a few months ago, from Scotland, we didn't have to pay anything but marina fees, its got very big tides, you really have to use a marina, and the gate it, gates open two hours before high tide, until two hours after.

Caribbean you can anchor, well my experience, Falmouth harbour Antigua, you are supposed to check in, and pay a couple of dollars a day for your garbage to be taken away, I didn't check in, or pay, I just hid on the boat when the guy turned up.

Guada Loup, check in, six euros, you do it at a cafe in the first place you go to when you go from Antigua, you can anchor for free most places, Montserrat, its about sixty dollars for three days, I didn't pay anything, I thought, they have to catch me first. Police are very nice though, they did come out to my boat to check up on me when I was sick, even though I didn't pay to be there, I didn't anchor, went onto someones mooring, more secure, but everyone else sat at anchor.

Bermuda, about thirty five dollars to check in, you can stay for three months, and sit at anchor in St George or anywhere else, but you have to check in at st george. very expensive place to be, six dollars for a loaf of bread.

You can go up the intercoastal from Florida all the way to new york, and you can anchor anywhere on that, problem is though, they send the big stuff at night, so you see huge barges with spotlights going past you at night. Intercoastal is a great place loads of small towns, small bars, and lonely women in them, that are willing to let you use there shower.
Wow, thanks for that wealth of information! This is the best post on the subject I've yet read. How much do you suppose transiting the Canaries will cost me, then? My boat's 30 ft (with windvane) by 8 feet so not huge. I'll be singlehanding so probably won't want to do any super long days if I can avoid it.

How long did it take you to get from Scotland to the Cape Verdes? And what was your pace? Pretty leisurely?

Haha your comment on the women along the ICW made me laugh and feel sad for them at the same time. I'm definitely going to skip the ICW, though. Way too many people there for my liking.

What did you have for ground tackle on your trip? I will have a 25lb CQR type anchor but will get a 45lb Mantus and was considering a 100+ lb Mantus for storms (cheap insurance).

Too bad about Isle of Man, sounds like more trouble than it's worth. Is Ireland much the same? I pretty much only want to go to Ireland to get some butter from grassfed cows (kerrygold) and an Ulster Fry (huge breakfast if you didn't know). Not exactly worth paying big bucks but would like to do it.

Haha your experiences with country fees confirmed my suspicions, I've only been to St Martin in the Caribbean but there didn't appear to be anyone going around checking out who's new in Marigot Bay, seemed pretty relaxed.

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Old 13-07-2017, 18:20   #6
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

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Originally Posted by KetoNomad View Post
So if I encounter a place with fees too high I can just leave even if I'm in the process of checking in?

I'm hoping I will not get charged much as I speak Spanish French and Portuguese much better than the average tourist (not that that's saying much, haha) and will be dressed shabbily and sailing a cheap old boat. One can only hope.

Really it's mostly emergency repairs and fees associated with mooring/clearing in that are going to get me. Food's not terribly expensive especially when I'm not doing much all day.

Thank you very much for your advice
Probably not--by then they'll have your passport in hand, and have stamped you in, and you'll need their stamps and all to get out and legally enter the next place. And you'll be pretty ready to get to the grocery store and stretch your legs and fuel up and rest for a while.
But you can talk to cruisers coming from ports ahead of you, find out what their experience was, and make more informed decisions about where to go.
If you find you've been spending over budget on checking in, you can make longer hops, check in at less places, and save fees that way. I skipped Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala because word was it cost $500 to enter. Likewise Barillas, El Salvador: people who had just been told me about the fee schedule.
If you do what atlantical did--hiding from officials and poaching moorings, you'll be doing huge damage to the goodwill that law abiding cruisers are working hard to preserve. Do doubt there are times when unavoidable circumstance and prudence will cause you to anchor in a forbidden spot or arrive or leave without proper papers, but to make a habit of it, then brag about it on the internet will not do the rest of us any good.
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Old 13-07-2017, 18:37   #7
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
Probably not--by then they'll have your passport in hand, and have stamped you in, and you'll need their stamps and all to get out and legally enter the next place. And you'll be pretty ready to get to the grocery store and stretch your legs and fuel up and rest for a while.
But you can talk to cruisers coming from ports ahead of you, find out what their experience was, and make more informed decisions about where to go.
If you find you've been spending over budget on checking in, you can make longer hops, check in at less places, and save fees that way. I skipped Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala because word was it cost $500 to enter. Likewise Barillas, El Salvador: people who had just been told me about the fee schedule.
If you do what atlantical did--hiding from officials and poaching moorings, you'll be doing huge damage to the goodwill that law abiding cruisers are working hard to preserve. Do doubt there are times when unavoidable circumstance and prudence will cause you to anchor in a forbidden spot or arrive or leave without proper papers, but to make a habit of it, then brag about it on the internet will not do the rest of us any good.
Hmm, okay I will have to ask in advance, then.

Yeah I wouldn't make a habit of trying to stay places for free. I'm just trying to avoid getting bled. I've heard it costs $600 just to get into Panama which is a joke. They're virtually excluding a whole group of cruisers. I guess it's all about canal transits for them. But yeah, I'll need to avoid places like that or I'll be broke in no time.

I want to check out a bunch of the Caribbean islands but I will probably stick to just Brazil, Argentina and Peru and Mexico once I hit the mainland. Hopefully that involves fewer fees.
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Old 13-07-2017, 19:04   #8
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

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Originally Posted by KetoNomad View Post
So I take possession of my boat on the 24th (legally) physically I'll be on it sometime in August probably. Is this a reasonable amount of time to reach the Cape Verdes by Xmas time ie: the time to cross?

Also, I have looked at noonsite and did a google search and havent come up with anything about country entry fees so I'm having difficulty trying to figure out how much money I'm going to need. Can anyone give me a general idea?

I'll be going from England to Ireland (maybe) maybe Isle of Man (is there even a seperate fee for this or is it treated as UK? France, Spain, Portugal and then, Canaries and Cape Verdes before the Caribbean, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico USA and then Back to Canada.

Also, is it realistic to expect to be able to anchor out most places along the route or will I be very uncomfortable doing so?

I think you need to spend some time with pilot charts or Jimmy Cornell's Ocean Routes of the World (you might be able to get an older edition second hand cheap). I don't see how you can do the route you suggest. for starters Brazil and Argentina are on the Atlantic side of South America and Peru is one the west side. Cornell will suggest the best route from point A to point B and what the best season is. Getting from the Caribbean to Brazil is a very hard passage (not impossible, but hard) because you are into foul winds and currents. Going to Peru involves a Canal transit and a very difficult trip south once you get past Ecuador. We went to Ecuador and went back-packing through Ecuador and Peru, that worked well. Where do you want to end up in Canada and how much time do you have?

You will be able to anchor in most places with a few notable exceptions like the Canaries. You certainly do not need a 100 pound anchor on a boat your size. The smaller Mantus is more than enough. Most country entrances and exits are not expensive although a few are like Panama (more fees than you can shake a stick at) and Australia. Follow the rules - that is good for you and for the cruisers who follow you. Also wear decent clothes when you go to check or check out. In some countries, particularly Spanish heritage, they frown on shorts as well. Improper clothing is seen as disrespecting the country and its officials.

Edit: another thought came to mind, in some countries, again Spanish heritage, you need to exit from one customs district and enter the next. There is generally a fee associated, could be $25 or similar.
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Old 14-07-2017, 04:40   #9
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

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Hmm, okay I will have to ask in advance, then.

Yeah I wouldn't make a habit of trying to stay places for free. I'm just trying to avoid getting bled. I've heard it costs $600 just to get into Panama which is a joke. They're virtually excluding a whole group of cruisers. I guess it's all about canal transits for them. But yeah, I'll need to avoid places like that or I'll be broke in no time.

I want to check out a bunch of the Caribbean islands but I will probably stick to just Brazil, Argentina and Peru and Mexico once I hit the mainland. Hopefully that involves fewer fees.
I assumed from your first post that you were going south around South America--Brazil-Argentina-Peru-Mex-Canada. If so, it's easy to skip Panama, though we did it for about $200, not counting the $600 canal transit. If you try to backtrack to Brazil from the Carib, that's hard. Likewise going to Peru from Pacific Panama. If you get all the way to Argentina, you might as well do the Straits of Magellan and cruise Chile on the way to Peru.

I think like Ainia said you should get Jimmy Cornell's book.
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Old 17-07-2017, 04:25   #10
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

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I assumed from your first post that you were going south around South America--Brazil-Argentina-Peru-Mex-Canada. If so, it's easy to skip Panama, though we did it for about $200, not counting the $600 canal transit. If you try to backtrack to Brazil from the Carib, that's hard. Likewise going to Peru from Pacific Panama. If you get all the way to Argentina, you might as well do the Straits of Magellan and cruise Chile on the way to Peru.

I think like Ainia said you should get Jimmy Cornell's book.
Yes, sorry I am very sleep deprived working 16 hour days and then spending my "sleeping time" trying to square away the details of moving onto my boat, insuring it and registering it on a different continent; I'm a bit scatterbrained right now.

That was loosely the plan, to sail through the Strait of Magellan and visit what looks like a bunch of beautiful islands in Chile
.

How is the sail to Brazil from the Caribbean hard? I will buy the world cruising routes book but it'll have to wait until I am in the UK as I already have to cram everything I own into two duffel bags so one more book is unwelcome until I don't have to carry it.

I have no time constraints, really;. apart from crossing the Atlantic around xmas time, of course. other than that, if I run too low on money I can always put the boat on hard standing and go back to Canada to make more cash. If I've learned anything about traveling it's to check out everything you want to check out while you can because you might never get there again. I'm going to employ that

Thank you for your advice
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Old 17-07-2017, 04:35   #11
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

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I think you need to spend some time with pilot charts or Jimmy Cornell's Ocean Routes of the World (you might be able to get an older edition second hand cheap). I don't see how you can do the route you suggest. for starters Brazil and Argentina are on the Atlantic side of South America and Peru is one the west side. Cornell will suggest the best route from point A to point B and what the best season is. Getting from the Caribbean to Brazil is a very hard passage (not impossible, but hard) because you are into foul winds and currents. Going to Peru involves a Canal transit and a very difficult trip south once you get past Ecuador. We went to Ecuador and went back-packing through Ecuador and Peru, that worked well. Where do you want to end up in Canada and how much time do you have?

You will be able to anchor in most places with a few notable exceptions like the Canaries. You certainly do not need a 100 pound anchor on a boat your size. The smaller Mantus is more than enough. Most country entrances and exits are not expensive although a few are like Panama (more fees than you can shake a stick at) and Australia. Follow the rules - that is good for you and for the cruisers who follow you. Also wear decent clothes when you go to check or check out. In some countries, particularly Spanish heritage, they frown on shorts as well. Improper clothing is seen as disrespecting the country and its officials.

Edit: another thought came to mind, in some countries, again Spanish heritage, you need to exit from one customs district and enter the next. There is generally a fee associated, could be $25 or similar.
Hey thanks for taking the time to respond!

I will stick with the 45lb Mantus for now.

I was a bit unclear about my intentions and forgot to mention wanting to go to Chile via Strait of Magellan. I have as much time as I want, money is the limiting factor for me. I can always go back to Canada and work, though. It's easy for me to save up several months of cruising funds in a single month because I can live very cheaply in Canada.

Starting to think I may not come back to Canada anytime soon with the boat. To go to Canada would involve paying tax on the boat and roughly doubling the cost of laying it up for six months to earn cruising funds. Just so I can cruise the inside passage and leave again? Hmm. Might not be worth it.

So Brazil's a tough cruise? Too bad, oh well. I want to see it and I'm not going through Panama so no choice. A country like Brazil is probably worth a bit of a slog.

Thanks for the heads up about the dress code while checking in. I usually dress pretty conservatively around other people. People seem to get uncomfortable otherwise. A shame...me being so pretty and all haha
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Old 17-07-2017, 04:43   #12
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

The most readily available source of current info about checking in to countries is Noonsite.

IMHO, if you can't afford the mostly reasonable fees to check in to the countries you plan to visit, you probably shouldn't be cruising internationally. The fines and penalties for entering a country without properly checking in can be pretty severe. For example, when I lived on Nevis, in the eastern Caribbean, a couple arrived after hours, went ashore for dinner, and checked in the next day. Customs and Immigration fined them EC$5,000 for going ashore without having properly cleared into the country.
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Old 17-07-2017, 05:11   #13
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

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Hey thanks for taking the time to respond!

I will stick with the 45lb Mantus for now.

I was a bit unclear about my intentions and forgot to mention wanting to go to Chile via Strait of Magellan. I have as much time as I want, money is the limiting factor for me. I can always go back to Canada and work, though. It's easy for me to save up several months of cruising funds in a single month because I can live very cheaply in Canada.

Starting to think I may not come back to Canada anytime soon with the boat. To go to Canada would involve paying tax on the boat and roughly doubling the cost of laying it up for six months to earn cruising funds. Just so I can cruise the inside passage and leave again? Hmm. Might not be worth it.

So Brazil's a tough cruise? Too bad, oh well. I want to see it and I'm not going through Panama so no choice. A country like Brazil is probably worth a bit of a slog.

Thanks for the heads up about the dress code while checking in. I usually dress pretty conservatively around other people. People seem to get uncomfortable otherwise. A shame...me being so pretty and all haha
If you want to go down the east coast of South America it makes sense to cross the Atlantic in the trades south of the equator, i.e. skip the Caribbean. Doing the Magellan Strait is not a casual undertaking to be sure. Check out the experiences of those who sail there; it requires a lot of sailing and cruising experience, although it is a fascinating place.

Not sure why you are so averse to doing Panama. It is easy to do and really not that expensive. If you do not use an agent and arrange your own line handlers it will cost less than $1000. Note that for going around the south end you will need to buy some specialized gear such as very long lines for tying ashore and very good (and expensive) foulies - which you do not need for tropical cruising.

If you want to go back to Canada to work from time-to-time you need to do your research on safe places to leave your boat. A couple of examples, we left our boat on good moorings in Ecuador while we went backpacking in Ecuador and Peru for a month. In tropical areas you need to find secure places to go during the local tropical cyclone season. in the western Pacific the vast majority of cruisers go to either New Zealand or Australia (we went to Brisbane). You could find a safe marina or get hauled and go to Canada to work for a few months. BTW, I would not consider leaving my boat at anchor if I am not in the near vicinity. You never know what might happen. We left our boat in a harbour in the Galapagos for four days while we went on a tour. This seemed acceptably safe since winds in those islands are almost non-existent. The day after we returned the big tsunami came from Japan and all the vessels in the harbour had to go a few miles offshore. The tsunami did cause some damage in the harbour and town.

I agree with someone else's view that the cost of administrivia should not be a major factor in determining whether you can cruise or not. If you need to bump your budget then best to build in more work periods during your cruise time.
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Old 17-07-2017, 13:57   #14
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

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The most readily available source of current info about checking in to countries is Noonsite.

IMHO, if you can't afford the mostly reasonable fees to check in to the countries you plan to visit, you probably shouldn't be cruising internationally. The fines and penalties for entering a country without properly checking in can be pretty severe. For example, when I lived on Nevis, in the eastern Caribbean, a couple arrived after hours, went ashore for dinner, and checked in the next day. Customs and Immigration fined them EC$5,000 for going ashore without having properly cleared into the country.

Wow, I will definitely mind my Ps and Qs then!

I didn't find Noonsite overly helpful TBH. It gave a general idea of what cruising is like in the country but no specific info on fees typically. No matter, I'm sure I can find a few people who'll know as most of the countries I'm going to are large so there'll be many opportunities.
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Old 17-07-2017, 14:13   #15
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Re: Costs of cruising strictly mooring/marina and country entry fees...

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If you want to go down the east coast of South America it makes sense to cross the Atlantic in the trades south of the equator, i.e. skip the Caribbean. Doing the Magellan Strait is not a casual undertaking to be sure. Check out the experiences of those who sail there; it requires a lot of sailing and cruising experience, although it is a fascinating place.

Not sure why you are so averse to doing Panama. It is easy to do and really not that expensive. If you do not use an agent and arrange your own line handlers it will cost less than $1000. Note that for going around the south end you will need to buy some specialized gear such as very long lines for tying ashore and very good (and expensive) foulies - which you do not need for tropical cruising.

If you want to go back to Canada to work from time-to-time you need to do your research on safe places to leave your boat. A couple of examples, we left our boat on good moorings in Ecuador while we went backpacking in Ecuador and Peru for a month. In tropical areas you need to find secure places to go during the local tropical cyclone season. in the western Pacific the vast majority of cruisers go to either New Zealand or Australia (we went to Brisbane). You could find a safe marina or get hauled and go to Canada to work for a few months. BTW, I would not consider leaving my boat at anchor if I am not in the near vicinity. You never know what might happen. We left our boat in a harbour in the Galapagos for four days while we went on a tour. This seemed acceptably safe since winds in those islands are almost non-existent. The day after we returned the big tsunami came from Japan and all the vessels in the harbour had to go a few miles offshore. The tsunami did cause some damage in the harbour and town.

I agree with someone else's view that the cost of administrivia should not be a major factor in determining whether you can cruise or not. If you need to bump your budget then best to build in more work periods during your cruise time.

I could skip the Caribbean but that would kind-of defeat the purpose of cruising (for me) to see the stuff I want to see. A bunch of beautiful islands with warm water is too good to pass up.

If I feel like my experience is inadequate to do any part of the trip (after doing more research) I will postpone that leg of the trip in favour of somewhere else. I'm sure I can find something to do in the meantime but then, how do you get experience without doing it?

I've got some nice e-vent rain gear which has seen me through some epic weather and a dry suit for even crazier conditions, do you think that will suffice?

The Panama Canal just doesn't appeal because the whole process sounds perfunctory, it doesn't look beautiful and I've heard the whole country is just a nonstop experience of corruption and red-tape. maybe that's inaccurate but I'll never find out, paying extra to miss out on more coastline might make sense if I were heavier on cash and lighter on free time.

I agree, I'd never leave my boat at anchor without being close by too risky. Storage on the hard doesn't seem to be much more expensive than in the water anyway.

I can afford reasonable fees for clearing in but I can't imagine a place that's worth $500 or more. I think those places are effectively saying "No cruisers of modest means!" and that's fine. There are plenty of more reasonably priced options available. What I'm most concerned with is ensuring I don't inadvertently wind up in a customs office at one of those high priced locations. I can do a LOT with $500 so it's no small matter. Even in Canada $500 is a month's living expenses for me so, yeah.

I wanted to work longer but work has been much less profitable and more unpleasant lately; made my decision to leave early a breeze.

I'm not cut out for this "work" stuff
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