equipmentThe equipment I consider essential for the trip I did is as follows:
Reis Mueller full-suspension folding bicycle
- Dinghy - something of course you have to have. I rowed it the first year but found the odd place where either distances were too far or currents too strong and I bought a small 2 HP outboard. An inflatable is probably the best all around platform for general use like going on snorkelling trips etc. If I were doing the trip again I would seriously consider using an electric outboard (there are excellent trolling motors now available) with a small 12V battery. Honda have recently brought out a beautiful 2 HP 4-stroke motor which only weighs 28 lbs. Some people did fine with a hard dinghy, there are pros and cons. A hard sailing dinghy can get a lot of use and I think should be considered if you go the hard dinghy route.
- Folding Bicycle - the biggest mistake I made on my trip was not having one the first year. They are so useful you would be nuts not to have one. Groceries are often a long way away and you can get to see so much more with a bike ( and exercise to boot.) There are many excellent folders available now from Dahon and others (see links below.)
- Windscoop - essential for down south. Keeps the boat cool all day long and at night. Work amazingly well. There is the rare night with no wind where a small 12v electric fan is useful - I only used mine a dozen times.
- Spotlight - proved its value a few times when I had to maneuver around at night.
- Tools - I made a marine plywood tool case and it was great. Have tools for everything including an electric multimeter!
- Camera - it would be a shame not to have one. I had a major problem with fungus growing inside lenses but I kept it in a sealed box without a moisture absorption bag - I would have been better leaving it out. Best would be to keep it sealed but with those absorption bags and make sure to dry them out once in a while.
- Spare parts. I had them for everything but only used one shackle and one head (toilet) gasket.
- Water containers - backup/reserve for tank and to get water from the remote wells in the out-islands of the Bahamas.
- Snorkel gear (buy good stuff) and fishing gear (scuba gear is rarely used in Bahamas.)