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Old 12-10-2011, 01:48   #31
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

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........

Florida produce is three times more expensive than in Texas, so it is difficult to relate what "3 times more than US prices" may be.....
Yep.

I didn't appreciate the prices of produce (and other things) in Texas until we left. We did not cruise the Bahamas, but in the Eastern Caribbean all food was at least 4 times the price of same item in Texas. These are islands that are not capable of growing much of anything. Transportation costs (and the rare refrigeration cost) is expensive for the islands. But when you want something, you want it. So you pay the high costs to get what you want.

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Old 12-10-2011, 03:42   #32
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

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Where can I find a list of vegetables and fruit typically grown and sold on the islands? For example, should I provision with fresh squeezed lime juice in my freezer?
why is it so difficult to find the actual prices of Bahamian produce? With the internet, it seems possible..... but have had no success in searches.

Florida produce is three times more expensive than in Texas, so it is difficult to relate what "3 times more than US prices" may be.



thanks
you can't find a list because it would be very short. I know a few local grown things. Onions, bananas, pineapples, limited citrus,(Andros). But what you will find are locals that sell what they grow on thier own small farms. But most of the islands are small, and very poor growing conditions. The larger the island the better the choices, Long Island, Great Exuma, and Andros are good spots to load up on fresh stuff
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:22   #33
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

You will not find "a list" as in the Bahamas the food is imported like in most of the Caribbean Islands with a few exceptions. Being a British heritage type island - limes are almost always available.

- - Canned goods and packaged food is also imported but the variety of selection is extremely limited. That means that usually there is only one brand of a particular food item. The import duties, etc. are extremely high in most islands so the stores limit the choices of one particular item so that they do not end up with "dead stock" that nobody will buy reasonably quickly.

- - Since almost everything is imported and the rarely is there more than one or two grocery stores, competition between stores is virtually non-existent. This keeps the prices high. Food stuff that does not sell quickly is usually priced several times above the price of Florida food stuff. Which according to your Texas vs. Florida would be up to 6 times higher.

- - "Fresh veggies" are normally limited to the basics that sell rapidly and are eaten by most everybody, things like lettuce, onions, potatoes, carrots, etc. If there is a local demand for a particular item the store will stock it but otherwise not.

- - Meats are really high priced except for chicken which is the staple animal protein in the islands. Compared to what beef costs in Texas, the Bahamas sells it as diamond jewelry prices. And to keep the costs somewhat low they sell the high fat, low protein cuts. However, there are finer cuts available in the vacuum packed/sealed bags imported from various parts of the world but of course, the prices are high.

- - One "trick" experienced Bahamas cruisers have found to save costs is to not shop very much in the foodstores aimed at the tourists/yachties. Instead buy your stuff at the small out island local stores where tourists/yachties almost never visit. As an example, after spending months in Georgetown, Exumas and buying food stuffs there, we went to Thompson Bay, Long Island and found the same canned/packaged goods there at almost half the price of the "yachtie" markets in Georgetown.

- - Normally I would recommend stocking up in the USA on your herbs and teas, coffees, beer, mixers and other long life storable food stuffs along with a good supply of your personal hygiene/bathing favorites.

- - Depending upon how long you plan to "be in" the Bahamas, you can vacuum pack (FoodSaver machine) and freeze other meats, fish, etc. which will last months in your freezer.

- - If you eat normal mass produced preservative saturated packaged bread then no problem, it is available. Otherwise bring bread making flours, etc. and maybe a bread machine.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:40   #34
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

We sail from Miami to Nassau, Exumas. Long Island, Jumentos. Produce is always available in Nassau, GT and Long Island (Thompson Bay). Prices are what I remember from last season.

Meat, we take about 2 month's worth with us, frozen of course. Concentrate on beef or nice cuts of pork or lamb. Beef and good lamb is the most expensive. The meat selection is good in Nassau but we still have a full freezer when we get there. There are stores (don't expect much) at Sampson Cay , Staniel Cay and Black Point. Very expensive and poor selection. If you hit them when the supply boat comes in, the selection is better. GT has meat, lots of chicken, some odd cut lamb and pork. Bony ribs. Also has some very expensive Stateside cuts at an exorbitant price. These cuts seem to stay in the freezer displays a long, long time.

Eggs are reasonable. Cheap cheddar is $4 a pound. (Govt controls prices on the cheese, corned beef and a few other items). We use powdered milk from the States. Also take all your tea and coffee with you and any condiments and sauces etc.

Produce, very expensive not much locally grown. Some in Long Island. A good vegetable farm (pick it yourself) at Barreterre, not too pricey. (Mr. Lloyd's farm, anchor at Rat Cay and dink over). Green stuff in GT is expensive, last season, bunch of brocolli $4 -$5, three romaine hearts $5-$8. Local tomatoes are about a buck a piece. Limes $.50 each (in Toronto they're often ten for a dollar). Fruit is expensive, local papaya from street vendor , a small one $5.

In Nassau you can go to the Govt. wholesale veggie place in Potters Cay. Go with another couple of cruisers as there are minimum amounts so you'll want to split it with others. In the "olden days" they used to have a $10 box of mixed veggies and fruit but that's gone now.

Flour is not much more than in the States and yeast is the same price as in the States. (We bake our own bread as we find the Bahamian bread too sweet) All other staples are about double the price. Paper products are very expensive so bring all your paper products with you. Canned goods are about double except for corned beef which is cheaper than in the States.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:07   #35
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

My, does EVERYONE on this thread have a freezer?
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:28   #36
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

Except for Marsh Harbour and George Town, we found limes to be scarce. We like them with our Gin or Vodka Tonic sundowners. A decent substitute for fresh limes in mixed drinks is Roses Sweetened Lime juice. I find it in the US grocers where they stock beverage mixers.
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Old 12-10-2011, 18:39   #37
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

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Originally Posted by susan kennedy View Post
My, does EVERYONE on this thread have a freezer?
Mostly, yes! You can cruise cheap and really basic eating beans and local foods for pennies if you want - then you will not need a freezer - or a frig.

- - But my idea and some other folks is that cruising is supposed to be fun and comfortable. So we have large refrigerators and freezers.

- - In places like the Bahamas, anything other than subsistence food stuff is very highly priced. So being able to stock up before leaving the USA including a freezer full of meat and other stuff will go a long way to paying for the cost of the frig/freezer in savings from not having to buy the local, very high priced stuff.
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Old 12-10-2011, 20:56   #38
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

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Mostly, yes! You can cruise cheap and really basic eating beans and local foods for pennies if you want - then you will not need a freezer - or a frig.

- - But my idea and some other folks is that cruising is supposed to be fun and comfortable. So we have large refrigerators and freezers.

- - In places like the Bahamas, anything other than subsistence food stuff is very highly priced. So being able to stock up before leaving the USA including a freezer full of meat and other stuff will go a long way to paying for the cost of the frig/freezer in savings from not having to buy the local, very high priced stuff.
I feel I cruise "fun and comfortable " but with refrigeration only. Thanks for making me feel bad.
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Old 12-10-2011, 21:47   #39
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

Thank you all for the added info on Bahama produce and the absence of it. I'm still put off by the fact limes in Florida are usually over 30cents each, while much less in Texas. Mangoes and Avacados...same thing, double the price here in Florida. Same with Florida oranges.
Maybe I shouldn't cruise the Bahamas. Last time I was there (70's) the locals were so rude in Nassau and Paradise Island I vowed I would never return. As to the "everything must be imported"....my observation was that they were not willing to make an effort to farm anything.

thanks for the reality check!
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Old 13-10-2011, 06:10   #40
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

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. . . As to the "everything must be imported"....my observation was that they were not willing to make an effort to farm anything.
thanks for the reality check!
If you have only been to Nassau and its gambling/tourist hotel area - Paradise Island - I would say you have not been to the "Bahamas."

- - There are literally hundreds of islands you can anchor off with -zero- population and more where only little settlements and quaint villages exist. The beauty of the Bahamas is in the gin-clear waters, swimming, snorkeling, diving and fishing opportunities. Also exploring the little islands full of scrub and little creatures (iguanas, lizards, boas, and pigs) offer some great adventure and fine times.

- - The Bahamians in the little villages and settlements are indeed friendly and polite. Like any "little" village anywhere in the world they are not "jaded" by hoards of tourists and commercial establishments so are basic, good people.

- - There are cruisers/boaters power and sail, who only go to the Bahamas for the smaller town and floating condo type community experiences they find in Marsh Harbor and Georgetown. But more like to explore and experience the "outer islands" less traveled and more remote from the crush and hustle/bustle of populations of people.

- - Being the closest place to the mainland USA that can give you these range of experiences, the Bahamas are quite popular.

- - As to farming, if you have been to the Bahamas and the "other" islands than New Providence, you will instantly realize that there cannot be any farming as there is not soil or water to grow anything bigger than scrub. For hundreds of years, colonists from Europe and other places have tried to establish "plantations" in the Bahamas but all failed and disappeared after a short time.
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Old 13-10-2011, 07:14   #41
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

i do not see any reason to load up on meat or animal protiens before going to the bahamas, there is more fish then you could ever eat there, all available for free just jump in and go get em
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Old 13-10-2011, 07:45   #42
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

I agree entirely with osirissail. Do not let Nassau be your standard for judging the Bahamas. pressuredrop, the fish are getting fewer and fewer in the Bahamas. If you can dive 50 feet and still have some bottom time you might do ok but for us that that do 20 feet max it`s getting harder and harder to find fish. There is a closed season on Nassau grouper now.

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Old 13-10-2011, 07:49   #43
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

cant speak to the rest of the bahamas but i spent a month in the abacos this summer and had to hold back on shooting more then we could eat, and most fish were in 10' of water give or take a few feet, saw a 20+ lb mutton snapper in 6 feet near walkers... i did get one big hog on a dead reef down at 25' but between the fish and the conch and then lobster in season if your going hungry your doing something wrong...
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Old 13-10-2011, 07:55   #44
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Quote:
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I feel I cruise "fun and comfortable " but with refrigeration only. Thanks for making me feel bad.
You may find you prefer eating like the locals-we have a big freezer but found we would rather eat the local food and fish. Our friends without a frig or freezer did appreciate our freezer to keep the beer cold though!
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Old 13-10-2011, 10:46   #45
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Re: Bahamas Provisioning

Cruising comfort means different things to each of us. I glean what is important to me and leave the rest. CF would be of little value if we were all the same.

This summer, we found tomatoes and limes non-existent in the smaller Bahamian islands.

Here in southwest Florida, limes are occasionally 4@$1.00.
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