DEFINITION #1: Our trusty Voyagers Handbook The Essential Guide to Bluewater Cruising
, written by Beth A. Leonard, describes the cruising kitty as two categories: funds to buy and outfit a cruising boat and total expenditures necessary to pay for life aboard. Like most other cruisers, Brian and I decided to set sail when we thought we had our nearly outfitted boat and enough money stashed in the cruising kitty to sustain our life aboard for approximately three years. To further preserve our kitty, we decided to not outfit the boat with too many modern conveniences that not only extract money from the kitty but also may potentially break and cost money (and headaches) to repair (examples: refrigeration, hot water, plumbing, and water maker).
Our cruising kitty consists of savings, investments, and generous family gifts (if you think I'm hinting here, I am). Our only income since we've stopped working has been here in St. Mary's, GA where we brought in $30 at a swap meet for the sale of a windex and electric trolling motor. We've borrowed, given, and graciously accepted various gear from fellow cruisers all of which has aided in further outfitting the boat. The trick is to stretch the kitty as far as possible by becoming self-sufficient and scrimping. We're getting good at both and we've stocked ourselves with stores of food and boat/engine replacement parts. Our primary expenses are fuel, food, maintenance, entertainment, and insurance. We will soon add customs' fees to those expenses when we begin cruising in foreign countries. Brian also includes caught fish, crabs, etc. on the income list, still justifying the cost of fishing gear with meals eaten by successful hunter-gathering. We're hoping that our expenses per month will continue to trend downward, looking forward to the next quarterly report.
DEFINITION #2: A cute, cuddly, living, breathing kitty cat. Cruisers and cats seem to go together like white on rice. We've met many cruisers who have a furry crew member or two, including our friends aboard Anthyllide and Serendipity. Some cruisers leave home with their kitty cats and some find their new pets along their travels. The kitty cats are great companions and find their own private nooks in the boats. The kitty cats do go topside as well. We've learned that cats can swim! And cruisers with kitty cats will leave a net or large rope trailing off the stern of the boat so that if a kitty goes in by accident they can swim and climb themselves back aboard. (This has been proven to work!)
Anthyllide found their kitty cat, Ally, as a very young and very unhealthy stray in St. Mary's, GA. They began feeding her, taming her, eventually befriended her and got her the medical attention she needed. Ally has lived aboard Anthyllide for one year. She is totally spoiled!
Serendipity just became new parents to adopted, Georgie, who was also born in St. Mary's, GA. Georgie was born in a cat rescue shelter. She is six-months old and quickly making herself at home aboard.
Brian and I enjoy visiting our furry friends too, but when it comes down to it we'd prefer a kitty that stays in the bank!