Monday, January 28, 2008

Becoming a boat person

First of all, I guess I should explain how it came to pass that we are now living on board our new (to us) boat. It all happened very quickly. Well into the fall June received a phone call from a former co-worker at HP in Toronto who was looking for someone who could do the same work as she was currently doing but for a British financial company named ICAP which has its North American headquarters in Jersey City (JC or JCNJ to those of us who live here) across from lower Manhattan. The pay was significantly larger than in Toronto and it seemed like a good opportunity for a bit of adventure, so … here we are. June did not want to commute (typical commutes here seem to be 1 to 1 ½ + hours) so we checked local rentals. JC seems to have two main parts – the new stuff along the river and the old part which is still pretty run down. Rents in the old section are not too bad $1200 to 2000, but most of these areas are really not too nice and I have no idea if there are safety issues. The new part (which has a few nice, older areas) has many very nice apartments from four to 35 floors but these rent from $2500 to $4500+ so this was not an attractive option. The high rents might be understandable by considering that this part of JC is being sold as Wall Street West. It is almost as if Manhattan has spread across the river with many financial companies paying well and housing being built to provide housing.

This led to the idea of living on a boat. There are a number of marinas along the water that are very close to June’s office. The one we are in requires a one-minute ferry trip and a ten-minute walk to the office. If the weather is really bad there is a bus on the other side of the ferry that goes to her office complex. We had been looking at a somewhat larger boat before the job offer, but the idea of living aboard allowed us to look for something a bit bigger and more comfortable. I will include a separate blog about the boat (actually more than one), but our new home was found in far eastern Connecticut. After finalizing the deal we had to get a bit of work done at a very nice, but very expensive yard in Stonington, CT. Most important in this was the installation of an Espar diesel-fired heating system – more on that later because it is obviously a very important item.