The Decision Is . . . . . .


In anticipation of some day giving up our nomadic life style and settling down, we have been researching alternatives. Some parts are easy. After all our travels we’ve found a few, a very few places we’d consider if we didn’t have family. However, the lure to be near family draws us back to upstate NY. When we finally come off the water and road it will be some place in greater Rochester NY. The benefit also is it some of the most beautiful country we’ve seen.

The tough part for us has been trying to figure out what kind of home.

We are now among the last of our boating friends to still be living aboard splitting time between Odyssey and the Trek. It’s been interesting watching each of our live aboard friends decide to settle down and come to a decision about where to live and selecting the home of their choice. Their choices have been wide ranging, and its given us a chance to observe and realize what they chose was great for them, but doesn’t work for us.

We know we want something small. We’ve been comfortable for ten years living aboard in Odyssey’s 36’ x 15’ space sharing it with two engines, fuel, waste and water tanks. When we need a change and relief from the confining space of a boat we switch to the Trek and find in some respects its 28’ x 9’ space is more comfortable and easier living than the boat since everything is on one level—except for the 2 step climb up into bed.

We’re drawn to unique and would like our home to have a distinct and unique character. Combining small and distinct with character is a challenge. We’ve been researching all kinds of options.

Ruth has become an online real estate search expert and finds properties we tour virtually. So far we’ve resisted doing a physical inspection.

High tech panelized construction, where a factory ships super insulated wall sections with precut door and window openings has caught our eye. A pole barn type frame supports the panels so we’ve been looking at pole barn construction adapted for residential use.

Factory built homes are part of our research as are loft apartments. Checking out the latest in new construction, we went to Homearama to see the one story two bedroom model and walked away wondering what we’d do in 2500 square feet.

We joke about buying the old RR bridge spanning the Erie Canal in Newark and using it as the frame for a truly unique home. However, we’ve done some investigating and cost becomes an issue.

We consider buying a piece of property, starting with a pole barn where we could park the Trek inside in the winter and live aboard. An outside TV camera coupled to large TV mounted on the wall in front of the Trek’s windshield would be our high tech ‘window’ capable of providing an outside panorama or serving as a super sized computer monitor and TV screen. Real windows would provide light from the sides. Over time we’d convert the garage to permanent living space.

Finally late one beautiful summer night enjoying a glass of wine in Odyssey’s cockpit at the marina we reached a decision we were excited about. The lure of the water and a desire to make one more ICW passage won out. Living ashore research will continue, but for now our focus is on taking Odyssey south and finally doing the trip that was canceled in 2008 because of diesel cost and only partially completed in 2009 because of repairs. We’ll decide if it’s time to change our living style sometime next year.

Our decision energized us. Suddenly boat projects we let accumulate were getting done. The itch to be on the move, watch the scenery pass by began to grow. It’s time to be on the move.


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