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It appears as if we may be destined to row our dinghy. With the sky darkening in the late afternoon yesterday, our brand new outboard engine died on us on our way back to ZTC from an afternoon at Volleyball Beach (yes, we got to play yesterday, and we made some new friends while doing so). Fortunately, the engine issue was easily diagnosed. Our troubles are caused by the tiny O-ring which seals the connection in the clip between the fuel hose and the outboard itself. The O-ring, in the brand new fuel hose, has developed a split in it, allowing fuel to leak out and air to get in. Not good. By the way, my friend Bill on Knot Tied Down told us that we should carry a spare one of those clips. As usual, he was right!


Can you see the split in the red O-ring?

While paddling our way back to the boat (we have found it easier to paddle it like a canoe rather than to try to row it), we were intercepted by a fellow boater, Chuck, who gave us a tow. Thanks Chuck. After getting ourselves sorted when back on ZTC, I jumped on the radio to inquire about where I could buy one of those clips in Georgetown and immediately received two responses, one from our friend Mike on R-Sea-Cat. Yamaha engines are pretty popular around here and if something’s going to break, Georgetown is a great place to have it happen as they have stores where you can actually buy things! We’re just happy that the engine didn’t crap out on us on our way into town earlier in the day.

As mentioned before, we had a couple of big items on our to-do list. We managed to find the immigration office to get our cruising permit extended. For anyone following in our footsteps, it is upstairs in the Royal Bank building, near the Office of Tourism, at the end of the hall. After filling out a bit of paperwork, we were given an extra 120 days to explore the beautiful Bahamas. Why couldn’t they just give us that much time in the first place? While in the office we met a couple who just bought a house in the Bahamas and they too, were only given 30 days when they checked in. Ouch! They received their extension too but that’s pretty scary. If we had problems, we could just leave the country. That would be a little harder to do in a house as compared to a boat.

Our second to-do item, acquiring some groceries, was also ticked off the list. We found that Exuma Markets, just inside Lake Victoria, was well stocked, even when compared to a small grocery store back home. They have a nice dinghy dock just behind their store, offer free RO water on their dock (you can fill up your jerry cans) and even have free Wi-Fi available, as evidenced by the number of people sitting around the outside of the store with their laptops open. As expected though, the prices were higher. We find it funny that some items are only marginally higher priced than they would be in the US or Canada while other things are crazy! FYI, here are a few of the prices of items we did purchase, in no particular order:

  • Granny Smith Apples: $0.90 each
  • Canned Corn: $1.22 each
  • Loaf of bread: $3.98 each
  • Green Peppers: $1.59 / lb
  • Cheeze It crackers: $4.53 box
  • Cheddar Cheese: $6.09 med. sized block
  • Cabbage: $0.99 / lb
  • Eggs: $2.76/box of 18
  • Avocados: $2.25 each
  • Maxwell House Coffee: $13.42 / 34.5 oz. can

We need to catch some more fish!

There will be no calm seas and sunshine here for the next few days. A “trough” is effecting our weather, forecasted to give us 20 – 30 knots of wind with frequent squalls for the next few days.


  1. Glad to hear that Cheez-its are on the “staple” list. 🙂

  2. Glad you got the 120 on your second go around at least. Just think if you hadn’t got the thirty first, who knows where you might have been when the motor stopped working (silver lining), and now you got four months of Bahamian exploring with no worries.

    Looks like y’all are having an awesome time. We’re in the sell all of our junk and house stage now (the sooner the better for us). Hope to be down there sailing too somewhat soon, don’t know if we’ll beat out this summer’s time window or not.

  3. Looks like we’ll need to stock up on the coffee before hitting the Bahamas! Thanks for posting some prices, and hope you continue to do so. We hear the Bahamas are really expensive, but it would be good to hear about it from your perspective. Some of the prices didn’t seem bad.

  4. Mike,

    Possible temp bandaid: In a pinch you can use the pump to get enough fuel into the carb to keep it running. Not to much to keep the leakage to a minimum (wrapping the end with a rag will help keep fuel out o fhte dinghy and water). The motor should run a few minutes with a full carberator, then pump it up a little every few minutes to keep the fuel level up. Beats rowing into the wind. Put the good end on the tank side so that the pump suction works.

    We’re having fun keeping up with your adventures…

    M & L

  5. Rowing’s good exercise 🙂

    Next time you have a fuel flow problem (and are feeling too lazy to row), uncoil the fuel hose on the dinghy floor so that you can pump the primer bulb with your foot. A sl0w, gentle pumping keeps the carb full of gas when you have air leaks, bad gaskets, a dead fuel pump…. it doesn’t fix the problem, of course, but it hides the symptoms while you get back to the boat/dock. That little bulb has helped to get me home with an apparently dead motor on several occasions.

    Bureaucracy? In this day and age? Noooo… 😉

  6. Where do you get your weather updates from? VHF?

  7. This isn’t going to help you at all, but it might make feel a bit better about yourselves. You can’t tell how long those plastic/pvc parts have been sitting on the shelf before you bought it. Plastic and pvc items lose/evaporate/dissolve some of the polymers that create the part, hence becoming brittle and failure prone. A manufactured date on it would be a huge boon for us consumers…….Allan

  8. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    That engine is fairly new & the O’ring is in poor shape. I bet the new/next one will last for months. The eggs would be the only thing we would of got on you’re shopping list, “sea grass/weed” is like cabbage & with more protean so i would look to dry some of that out to use. & That is one dark cloud coming over in your pick so hope it didn’t bring to much wind & rain.

  9. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    Hi again my mate wants to know did you smoke the fish with brown sugar ? we have & also put some Rum in it. & is well worth try’n if you have some spare fish one day & it is great cold then

  10. My cure? NEVER disconnect the hose, no matter what the manual says. It wears out the fitting and since you run it frequently, it serves no purpose. It is too easy to do damage, if it is angled.

    I had to replace all of them when I bought my boat, because the PO like to take them on and off. There were spares and old ones on the boat.

    In 20 years with my 2 prior boats, I never replaced one and never worked on a carb. And I haven’t with this boat, since the initial fix-up.

    Once I had a similar problem; I ended up running back to the harbor by siphoning gas into the engine from a Gator-aid bottle duct taped to the transom. Where there’s a will…!

  11. Hey Mike and Rebecca — love your site and your inspirational outlook on cruising!

    …am still laughing at Chris’ (TILT) comment re: sudoku and going back to work – LOL – beach cocktail parties are always so much fun and a great excuse to socialize.

    Keep up the great entries and the budget data-points — provisioning has definitely been an understated expense on our budget.

    We will be following your adventures as we head back in late spring 🙁

    Ciao from Eliora

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