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Boat Life: How We Get Supplies On A Remote Island

We used to stock up like we were preparing for the zombie apocalypse. We would fill every locker, bilge, cabinet, drawer, and shelf of our sailboat. It was equal parts of us preparing for unknown scarcity and economy.

Would everything we want, and need be available elsewhere and if it was, would it be affordable?

But, after a few years of living aboard and sailing to some of the world’s most remote island nations, we’ve learned what should have been obvious right from the start.

No matter where in the world we end up, if there are people, there will be food and supplies. It just may not be what we are used to or, worst case, the exact part our foreign vessel needs.

The more time we spend sailing and living in remote places, the more our ideas of what we really need and find pleasure in, evolves. Because experience and hindsight are semantically related.

Our need to fill the bilge with beer, beans, and rice has diminished. But there are some things we still stock up on when we find them or pay the big bucks to ship across an ocean and wait patiently on.

Because how we stock and provision our boat has a lot to do with what food and supplies we will have access to along our journey.

This is why we’re taking you shopping today. It’s potential foresight for our fellow sailors on a similar route and because it’s fascinating to see what is and isn’t available on such a faraway land.

 

What Do You Want To See Next?

Are there other aspects of living on a sailboat or on a remote island you would like to know about? If so, let us know in the comments. We’re always keen to hear your suggestions.

 

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Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (48)

  • Doug Box

    Are you still working with SurfShark? Do you have an affiliate program with them?

    reply
  • Jeffrey Stenberg

    That was fun, I love shopping. Bits and Bobs. Get creative mixing foods to make amazing meals, cream of mushroom would be one of my wants. I did see Barney in the clouds. My wife thinks I’m crazy seeing thinks in clouds. Thankful for what we have, make do.

    reply
  • Angela

    Thanks I enjoyed that vid (not that I don’t the others!). Most of those product brands I recognise from here/NZ. I’m like … ‘oh we’ve got that and that and that’, thanks for making me smile 🙂

    reply
  • Daniel Pierce

    Boat insurance: can’t you haul out where your boat was stored, and fly in a surveyor? Expensive, but way cheaper than $50k. You might even be able to pool funds if other cruisers in the area also need surveys.

    I watch a half dozen videos today, not sure which mentioned the insurance issue. Also went back through my watched videos and made sure they were flagged thumbs up! Several were not. My bad.

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      Would be nice but you can’t fly anybody to Tonga because the border is still closed.
      Curious Minion

      reply
  • Peter Adamson

    I thought that if you labelled a crate “Yacht in Transit” that that bypassed duties since it is going to a boat that is not really in the destination country but moving thru.

    reply
  • JB

    When you ship the crate, do you pay duties on all that stuff? If so, how so?
    Do you just list everything with values, or do they for through it?

    reply
  • Pam McClure

    I really enjoyed this one. I like seeing the day to day in a whole other place. It might sound like a bore but it isn’t. It’s interesting.

    reply
  • Larry Zetterlind

    Love you guys. Been watching you since your rv Sprinter days. One thing that has bothered me lately. This video made me more curious? A starter for your generator? I would think that getting your generator working would be a very high priority item. Someday you are going to be able to move on and you will want it for water purification and other reasons. Yes, the customs and shipping might be costly but it seems something for safety you need. Why have you not had a starter shipped in? Is there more to your generator problem besides that? What am I missing? Larry Zetterlind, Chief Pilot, Hartzell Propeller, retired.

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      They initially thought it was the starter & tried rebuilding it, but there are some other issues with it as well. The guys in the boat yard also looked at the generator and they couldn’t get it running either. So no, not worth paying $250 to get a started shipped in when it might not fix the problem.
      Curious Minion

      reply
      • Larry Zetterlind

        Sorry to hear, I hope you find a solution!

        reply
  • Gary

    Things move slow here in Wisconsin too. Just called to have my boat worked on. Cant get in until June. Here I thought I was early getting it in. Ugh. Keep sending the warmth and blue waters. Love it.

    reply
  • About Creativity

    Very good.

    reply
  • Alan Solomon

    WOW again. I love going with you guys. Its fun going with you guys.
    If you have a taste for multiple things you have to visit multiple outlets. I thought the store “Snabs” had many familiar items including Kirkland products. Many of the stores you visited were amazing that they were able to get all they have in the middle of the Pacific.
    I am surprised I did not see or hear anything about Nikki’s favorite, Ben & Jerrys ice cream. Do you still like Ben & Jerrys? Is that sold on the Island there?
    Continued Tropical living a day at a time.

    reply
  • Diane Silverstein

    As always, a great video! Nice to see how a shopping day goes! Thanks for sharing with us. Stay well and happy 😁❤️

    reply
  • Jeanette Brennan

    Tremendous peek into your everyday life — what an adventure! Enjoyed the shopping trip immensely and made me very grateful for my everyday life – I’m rather spoiled it seems… 😂 Stay safe and thanks for all you do. 💖

    reply
  • Wishing

    I love love watching you both!!! It is a small piece of tropical life that I enjoy! I can only admire how you just take day by day in stride! Love watching every minute. Thank you for sharing your lives in the beautiful world.

    reply
  • Cecilia

    LOVE the videos and what you share of your amazing adventures.

    reply
  • Deborah Kerr

    Good exercise! I really really appreciate being spoiled by the ability to get anything at all here in the States with little effort!
    Keep smiling 😎 Love your stories!

    reply
  • Pat

    Great day shopping with you two. Glad you both are doing well

    reply
  • WC from LA

    Great video. You really captured some of the local life here. Thanks! Would love to see something about the local economy. How do people earn their money to ship these items? What money comes into the island vs moving from person to person around the island? How much does it cost to live there?

    reply
  • Dan S Brown

    Thanks for the video. I was wondering why you didn’t mention the airport as a way to get stuff faster? Cheers

    reply
  • Mark Byron

    Thanks for satisfying my curiosities. (Ha ha). Your video is very comprehensive too! Plus, you show how shopping for stuff can be fun and an adventure. I love your endings and can see the beauty and feel your satisfaction. 😎

    reply
  • William Domb

    Gal (?) going into store wearing a rattan mat?

    reply
  • JOHN SCHRETLEN

    What a delightful video. There is always a delay getting things shipped to smaller islands but I was quite impressed with the variety at the speciality shop (with all the Kirkland branded items) and the boat shop.

    Only question I have is about gifts. If their mom sends a $1000 laptop would there still be a 40% duty? (See where I’m going with this?)

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      They asked – still have to pay the taxman.
      Curious Minion

      reply
  • William Domb

    There has GOT to be an app that would connect up peeps traveling, say, to Tonga to carry something for you. Like a computer.

    Used to be a service online designed specifically for Ecuador, but it died.

    reply
    • Michael

      Yeah. That makes a lot of sense.

      reply
    • Curious Minion

      Maybe during regular times but the border is still closed in Tonga. Even citizens trying to repatriate are having problems just physically getting to the island. And you’d still have to pay the duty on it.
      Curious Minion

      reply
  • Curious George

    I just love watching all your videos (since trying to decide what boat to buy). Down to earth reality. And I get to relive my youth through you guys!

    reply
  • mary van

    It is a good thing you don’t have to go very often. It’s a full day without transportation.

    Glad you were able to get a ride home. 🙂

    reply
  • Ellen

    You two always lighten my mood and carry me away to wherever you may be. I am truly grateful and totally enjoy time spent with you.
    Be well and safe and happy !

    reply
  • James Kim

    Keep Safe….. Cheers and God Bless.

    reply
  • Bonnie Morris

    I have been following you since your RV days and love both those lifestyles. I am usually a motor home full timer, however with Covid, I have been in a house for a year. I sold my 30′ Class A and just bought a 26′ Lazy Daze which I am trying to get set up for my next adventure…heading to the Canadian Rockies.

    I am 67 and travel with my two dogs and two cats, who are all anxious to start moving again.

    My question is, I would like to learn more about documenting my travels, if for nothing else, my children to have and to show people who dream of hitting the road, that it can be done when your older and a woman traveling solo. So many of my friends would love to do what I do, but just have no idea what it is really like on the road.

    I’m searching for a new camera with a long lens for shooting pics of wildlife on my travels, the A7iii looks interesting and a video camera for possibly starting a travel blog…lots to learn. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. And of course, I will buy them through your contact page.

    Bonnie

    reply
  • Spiceland

    What are some the restrictions or rules for your drone ? I would like to see something about that. Thanks and fare winds

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      They get asked this from time to time & the answer is that it varies from country to country. They are always very careful to check regs in each country and get permits to fly when needed.
      Curious Minion

      reply
  • Andria Kildare

    Wow! I am totally amazed at the fabulous selection you have! Living in Norway, we can only dream of this…all shops have very limited choice, and all stock exactly the same things…. If you can go to Sweden you can add to the selection (right now covid so no travel) Coming from Holland and now living in Norway, I can sometimes truly cry me a river in more ways than one… Holland is absolutely 100% for food and goodies..and chocolates and icecream and and and..I think you understand. And Tonga even has the climate… Thank you so much..this was very welcome and very informative! Stay and travel safely. AKxxx

    reply
  • Smitty

    Guys you should get a colapsable wagon for going to town or getting gas tanks filled. Just pull it behind you. Lovethe channel

    reply
  • Ingrid

    Love watching your videos. Safe sailing kids!

    reply
  • Mary Nelson

    No video!

    reply

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