Working on all the small details, jumping back and forth between getting things wrapped up on shore and planning the stops along the way. I tend to get carried away with PLANNING, even though I know darn well a “schedule” on the ICW will depend on things like weather and whim. Still it is fun to read through the guides and plot possible stops, particularly for Halloween (Julian’s favorite holiday). Trick-or-treating by dinghy, anyone?
So what small details need to be worked out? All you do is close the house and move on the boat and go, right? Not so fast, Buster.
There’s the house. Rented, check. Oh – checks. As in getting paid by the renters. They can’t exactly mail a check to us for us to deposit. Electronic fund payment? Okay if they have a bank account with the same bank, but if not, there is a $20 fee for us to receive it (and who knows how much for them to send it that way). Paypal? A 3% transaction fee. No thanks. So the old-fashioned way is our choice – make a stamp with our account number and “for deposit only” on it, give them enough stamped addressed envelopes and the stamp, and hope like hell nothing gets lost in the mail.
Banking. How what where . . . what are the fees, and how do we transfer money, and do we need to sell stock to do this, and and and. Still to be determined. Last time we took travelers checks. This time around we may use a combination of credit cards and cash. Electronic banking will help with the transfers etc.
Taxes. File an extension in April, yes – this year between leaving 2 jobs and renting the house (and being out of the country on April 15) things may be a little more complicated than usual.
VOTING! Have to vote absentee in the November election . . .
There’s the cars (3 of them.) Store them, yes, but where? And the boats (we have 2 we are leaving here, on a trailer.) And the trailers.
Mail. Who takes care of it, where does it go, how to handle bills. I think my parents have volunteered to do this (thanks, Mom and Dad!) but they may rescind the offer if it gets more complicated.
Pets – all farmed out (thank you to Brendan and Rachel, Dianne and Zoe, Tom and Cabell, and Hope and William!). Takes special people to take temporary care of animals. Guess we’ll see if we really get the critters back!
Communication. Different than last time (ATT calling card), but perhaps more complicated. There will have to be a long blog written by the technology master on this one. We will have email via ham radio, and sometimes internet access. Cell phone will likely work throughout the US. We have set up a Skype account. The learning is incredible.
Ham radio license! We both have them (extra class Hams – AA1RN Nica, AA1RU Jeremy) but to transmit in the Bahamas means getting a reciprocal license. Those take 2-3 months to process, so hopefully sending the application in by mid-July will mean we receive them by the time we head to the Bahamas.
Insurance – boat and health, oh and car and house . . . details details details. Boat insurance we will add a rider (hope it is as easy as they said it would be when I called the company earlier in the year). Health insurance is still an unknown, mostly because nobody will quote us anything more than 45 days out and we are covered through November by Jeremy’s work. House – taken care of. Car – will go to a “storage” policy but can’t get that done until we know where the cars will be.
Groceries and provisioning – don’t get me started. Suffice it to say I have a 10 page spreadsheet on local grocery stores, comparing prices and sifting through where I need to buy what. Then there is the weekly obsessive checking of specials and comparing THOSE prices to the otherwise-best ones . . . and the trips to get THAT stuff. I can’t stow it on the boat until the work is mostly done, so I am stockpiling it in the apartment we are in right now. By the time the end of September rolls around, we might be sleeping on cans and bags of rice.
I am sure there is stuff I am forgetting. I’ll get there and add more to this list!
Off to Harris Teeter and Kroger to buy the specials of the week . . . enjoy your day.