When people find out that we live on a boat they are often full of questions. Here are some of the most common ones. Starting with the most asked question…
How do you get your mail?
The first thing we did, prior to moving aboard was to convert as much as possible to online billing. At this time most bills are received through email and paid online. After all, we are moving to a paperless world!
Now for packages and hard copy mail. Jim had an established business mailing address through a local UPS store. For about a year that became our mailing address. We would regularly keep in touch with the branch and have them forward our mail to a marina where we were staying.
Then we learned about St. Brendan’s Isle mail forwarding service in Green Cove Springs, Florida!
It is now our legal mailing address. We have been assigned a mailbox number. Every time we receive mail, we get an email from St. Brendan’s Isle alerting us that we have mail. The cover, outside of the package or envelope, is scanned so that we can see where it came from. We then reply and let them know to shred it, hold it or forward it to us. If we think it is time-sensitive then we have it forwarded immediately. Typically, we let a week’s worth or more of mail accumulate and then request to have it shipped to a marina where we are staying. Once it is shipped to us, we receive tracking information.
We have found this service to be perfect for our lifestyle!
How do you get to the store?
We use diverse forms of transportation to get where we need to go! From Uber, Lyft, marina loaner cars, rental cars, and bikes! We own a beater car that is stored in the driveway of our son’s place when we aren’t in the area. When spending time on the Chesapeake Bay, our son will drive the car down to us and we keep that car at the marina. We have always managed to get where we need to go.
Do you work or are you retired?
Jim is a self-employed small business coach. Prior to living aboard, we removed 2 chairs from the salon in order to make room for Jim’s desk. He needs a computer, WiFi connection, and a phone and he’s all set to continue working.
Steph left her career to go on this adventure. She does most of the filming and editing for the YouTube content as well as keeping up the blog. Neither of these has reached monetization, but maybe someday!
We hated to remove these chairs to make room for a desk. But in order to make the space work for our lives we had to!
What do you do about WiFi?
WiFi is a must for us. It is always a work in progress, here’s what has worked for us.
We have hot spots with cellular data programs through Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. In most places we travel up and down the east coast, one or two of them usually work.
We have an antenna with a signal boost on the radar arch that is connected to our Verizon Jetpak. Additionally, a portable antenna is connected to the Net Gear Nighthawk hotspot, which is connected to our AT&T plan. The T-Mobile hotspot does not have an external antenna port.
Jim has an app on his phone that shows the locations of the various cell towers. Sometimes it helps to aim the AT&T antenna in the direction of the correct tower and that may increase download speed. On rare occasions, when we’re in a remote anchorage or marina, Jim will raise the Net Gear antenna up high on a boat pole and it works remarkably well!
We have a Direct TV satellite and our TV can also connect to one of our Hot Spots for streaming programs.
Do you still own a house?
The short answer is no! Let me explain further. We had decided it was time to move on from the house that we’d lived in for 28 years and raised 4 children. We no longer needed or wanted to deal with and acre and half of property. So we started batting around ideas of where we would move. Then the ideas got more grandiose! HGTV’s House Hunters International will do that to you. What about living on an island? Then Steph said “What if we lived on a boat?” SOLD! Jim was on it like white on rice!
Back to the question “Do you own a house?” No, we no longer wanted to own and be tied down. We were ready for a life of adventure.
Many memories were created in this house. But it is a house. The memories are in our minds and our hearts. We are content knowing that someone else is now calling it home. We are happy to be living an adventurous life aboard Floating Home!