Monday, July 23, 2012

Visiting Home

When Pam and I bought Drift Away, we made an agreement.  As soon as one of us decides that living on a boat isn't fun anymore, we'll stop.   For the record, that hasn't happened yet, and we've been living aboard for over two years now.  We love it.  But we also miss the mountains of upstate New York, as well as our friends here. 

We're stayiing with Pam's folks on Bleecker Mountain.  There is no cable TV, no cell phone service, and so no internet, which is why my blog has been sparse lately.  Right now, I'm sitting in a Walmart parking lot connected to Al Gore's internets through our Verizon hot spot.  I've contacted my doctor in Annapolis to get prescriptions filled in Amsterdam NY, checked my email, and figure I owe you guys an explanation of where we've been.   I'll post some photos at the end.

Pam and I are very interested in buy ten acres of land in Bleecker and building a small home on it over the next couple of years.  The thought is to live upstate from June through Christmas, and on Drift Away over the winter.  We're thinking small, less than 1,000 feet, which would seem HUGE compared to living on a boat.  We'd like a big ol' deck with part of it screened in for protection from deer flies, horse flies, and black flies.   We'd build a small horse stable, and a good sized workshop.

Something I've learned over the past couple of years is that I can do most anything with the help of google, so we'll probably build most of it ourselves, from clearing and grading the land, to installing septic system, to framing and building the house itself.   I'd have the well drilled and the foundation poured by professionals.

We stopped at the Saw Mill Cafe where the Bleecker Town Clerk works.  No one works at the Bleecker Town Hall.  They all work out of their homes and businesses.  I got the name of the town building inspector as well as the number of the Adirondack Park Agency.   The APA has many rules and regulations concerning building and I want to make sure we don't run afoul of any laws before actually buying the property.

So besides playing golf, going to my class reunion (man, those people are old!), and visiting friends and relatives, that's what's been up.   We'll head to Connecticut during the week to visit friends there and to make a visit to the Black Duck R&D Center.   Maybe next week we'll drive back to Drift Away, where it should be waiting for us with a nice new coat of bottom paint.

Here are a few photos for you, showing some of what we've done while on vacation.

Scratches on my truck where a bear tried to climb inside.

Scratches on my mother-in-law's car where the bear DID climb inside.

The dogs love being outside all day, sitting in the shade...

or playing in the deep grass in the field.

The view of Shaker Mountain.  The lot we're interested in is next to this one.

Pam's mom has a half dozen little dogs, and so Ruby has new toys to play with.

There was golf at Pinebrook in Gloversville...

watching jet ski races on the Sacandaga...

hiking into Wood's Lake in Bensen with the dogs...

to admire the beauty of the Adirondacks.

We also visited many friends, including James and Anita on an Adirondack Lake and Bob and Linda on a lake on the Rennsaeler Plateau.

They say you can never go home again.  They are wrong.


  1. I am with ya Dave, we are also at a cross roads of sorts, we are home getting our house ready to be put on the market but have not decided what we will do once it sells. Good or bad that may take some time. We love the boat and will live there if need be, but we, or maybe I should say I, feel we need a dwelling on land as well, but where? Time shall tell! Congrads on being able to make the decision, we will see where or what we end up doing.

  2. Other than all the flies it sounds amazing! A little too many months on land but I'm guessing even you can make those months interesting to all of us "Dave Followers"....

  3. :) Welcome to the world of commuter cruising! We can highly recommend it and a small house IS HUGE compared to living on the boat! Congrats! Jan

  4. Great plan! The idea of living in Georgia in the summer on your boat seemed crazy Dave(no offense).

    There is no place on the east coast that has great year round boating weather.

    1. Finding a happy medium can be daunting. Cruising is great! Visiting home is also great..... With no schedule it becomes easy to take our time visiting away from the boat.... Hmmm, this should be a blog topic..... Leaving off and going to give this some apprpriate space.

    2. It is the heart of your blog Dave. I have a friend that lived aboard and even wrote a small book about it(The Liveaboard Report)way back. He spent 10 years on the east coast, often moving up and down the coast. It was great but moving the boat became a chore(40' sailboat).

      Then there's the issue of boat vs home. You addressed that early on. As a boat, even a large one, becomes more of a dwelling, does it become less of a boat?

      You had to establish the weather you could move in safely with your house type set up. Every boat is a compromise and as they get set up as homes, some part of the "boat", has to give.

      This was great stuff for a sailor that does home design; you can't have it all, even in a dwelling. But it's that very challenge of what you can do that is so interesting to me.

      It will be fun to see how you proceed.

  5. Dave and Pam, tried to tell you earlier this year - I highly recommend a home base no matter the size - how do you think we have made it 11 years doing the boat thing. You go home and then all you can think about is going back to the boat - and then after awhile all you can think about is going home - it is the perfect balance. The hard part is who takes care of the house when you are gone and then storing the boat when you go home. It is a learning process. We are still learning.

    1. I hate to admit it, but being with family has been great. I am not ready to give up the boat....cant imagine not being on the boat, but habing a place to go and be with family for escapes is a very tempting idea. Yes, you were right and I was wrong.... Who knew?

    2. There's just nothing like family.... Just one request Dave, GET SOME GOOD WIFI AT YOUR LAND DWELLING!!!