I know it seems like we get anchor/mooring glue a little too often, but really, we do want to be on the move again. This time our holdups are bureaucratic and medical.
Top of my to-do list since we arrived back in Florida has been to become official Florida residents. This requires that we get Florida driver’s licenses and register to vote. Voter registration was easy online but the DMV wants proof of new address. Most people use utility bills, a lease or a property deed but as liveaboards we have none of that, and we get all our bills and bank statements electronically. I called both of our financial institutions and requested statements mailed to our new official Florida address. And with that, the fun began. We received statements in New Jersey and Pennsylvania but not Florida. I called again. We got one statement in Florida, the rest in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I called again and got another statement in Florida, the rest in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, we opened a new bank account, gave our new address and received new ATM cards — one in Florida, one in New Jersey. Apparently the corporate forces of nature will fight a change of address to the bitter end. I sat on the phone with each institution and asked them to please go through all the account records and excise the old addresses but still they linger on.
Eventually we cobbled together enough proofs of address to take to the driver’s license office and as of yesterday we are finally officially Floridians. It’s a victory of sorts but my ATM card is still in New Jersey.
Last weekend we ordered an AIS transponder at the Miami boat show. AIS overlays information on our chartplotter about ships near us and broadcasts our location and course to other vessels. It’s the new generation of collision avoidance and the last big purchase on our list. I got an order confirmation yesterday and saw that in our shipping address “Bay Drive” was entered as “Bag Drive.” Jack called right away but part of the order had already shipped so we don’t know if it will find us or cause yet another delay. I’ve been in this clerical hell for weeks now and I’d like to spend a day happily doing something fun on the boat (nothing involving the heads, please) instead of working the phone and chasing an Internet connection. I keep telling myself that will come, but we’re learning how difficult it is to live the nomadic life.
For me the most important item on the list is a checkup for Jack. He had cancer six and a half years ago, and while we’re pretty confident he’s ok, we wanted one last official reassurance before we cancel our health insurance and head out. His surgeon recommended a couple of doctors nearby and we rented a car for the appointment, big folder of records in hand. The visit went well, we liked the doc, he ordered a few last tests which we’ll take care of next week, and best of all, he gave us confidence that we have very little to worry about. I’ll breathe my sigh of relief after next week.
Otherwise life aboard Escape Velocity is still a dream come true. I’m starting to worry, though. I need to do some serious provisioning and as I look around there aren’t too many places left to put things. For all the things we’ve brought aboard, I only managed to remove two towels and a coffee pot. I need to work on that.