What we have found in cruising the Bahamas
and other islands in the Caribbean
is that on those islands where things are hard to get, it is very rare the locals have things we would want to barter for, and cash is well appreciated. In places that do have things we want, typically supplies are readily available.
If you are thinking you want to load up on things to save money
when you get there, you'll likely be disappointed. If you are looking to make a few friends and grease the social skids, you'll find that routine ships stores will work
What we have found most valued by the locals is fresh, ocean fish
. A couple steaks from that 50lb tuna or wahoo will make you a hero in a lot of places. We never sell fish
, or explicitly barter it, to avoid running afoul of local regulations
rules. We also limit the amount we share, especially if there are local fisherman who are trying to make a living. Sometimes, they can be the best people to gift such a thing to.
Don't forget too, that anything you leave behind on the islands, needs to have import
duty paid. It might seem unlikely such a rule
would be enforced, but you never know. That nice guy you traded a box of outboard
spark plugs for a side of goat might have a brother-in-law who works for Customs
and is hoping for a promotion...