$6 a Gallon

KlaxonThat’s now the price of diesel in Marsh Harbour; gasoline is more. An experienced marina operator here believes $7 a gallon is likely before the end of the season (and $6 in the SE-U.S. by year end). Our last U.S. purchase was $434 for 103 gallons ($4.19 per) in Georgia. Yesterday, it was $300 for 50 gallons. Fortunately, we added solar power and can almost always wait until the sails can do what they do…and we burn a gallon an hour underway and 0.4 gal/hr when running the genset. But still, to fill both tanks from empty in the Bahamas would be $1200.

We have noticed powerboat traffic here is significantly less than last year. Once here, the boats are staying put (making slip reservations, when wanted, harder to find*). Our sail down from Treasure Cay yesterday offered a horizon full of sails. The only powerboats were island Ro-Ro freighters and public and private island ferries and mega yachts. The mom & pop cruisers were all harbour-nating. The one good thing is one can still buy unadulterated (ethanol-free) gasoline here. The Bahamas doesn’t have a corn lobby.

This will affect all here as these island’s power plants are all oil-fired and every commodity is moved from A to B by petro-fueled conveyance.  Right now an excellent plate of grouper and peas and rice is $15. How long, we wonder?

For more of what engages Bahamians in dialog take a look at Bahama Pundit.

*Another impact on slips has been 10-14 foot swell offshore in the Gulf Stream and Rages in most of the passes keeping the homeward bound bottled up.

2 responses to “$6 a Gallon

  1. Are we getting to the point where sail powered freight transport is going to make a comeback?

    • Andrew, Interesting Question. I think it involves “threshold of pain”… as in boiling frogs. Put them in the water and slowly raise the temperature, and they will cook to death. Drop them in a pot of hot water and they will jump. It seems to me we are still in the raise the temp slowly phase. It also seems to involve the technology and manufacturing pipeline. Until alternate propulsion can be provided within the pricing limits for marine transport I don’t see much happening. It seems we are where airplanes were in the 1910-1920 period — lots of ideas, no first second or third tier industry, lots of costly capital strangling failures and a few visionaries. It took 4 decades and a World War to create an aviation industry. It seems to me alternate propulsion will need something more than what’s happening now be a technology of choice — hopefully it will involve less time and terror than aviation did.

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