Monday, March 14, 2011

Boaters' mail

When I first moved aboard Eolian in 1997, we berthed her at the south end of Lake Union, in downtown Seattle, at the Fairview Marina.  At the same time, I started working at the University of Washington, and they wanted a mailing address.


The marina would not accept mail for me.  So, having had experience with dealing with things postal in the past (we even got mail addressed to "General Delivery" for a while in Chewelah, WA), I rented a post office box.

Time passed, and we moved Eolian to the Shilshole Bay Marina.  And we kept the PO Box, because, well Shilshole wouldn't accept mail on our behalf either.  (Is this common?  Apparently.)

Now, the PO Box was a pretty acceptable solution to the mail delivery problem.  Being the soul of  laziness, I rented the box just down the street from my work, in the University District Post Office.  So it was easy to stop in on the way to or from work and pick up the mail.

But there is more, unfortunately.  You cannot accept delivery of a UPS or FedEx package at a PO Box.  The Post Office is jealous, and will only accept packages with the correct acronym: USPS.  For us, that meant another hassle.  We eventually pressed our kids into service, using them as receiving agents.  But this was kind of awkward when the packages were, for example, Christmas presents for them.

(Cue heavenly music, beams of light, and angels descending)

And then Angela from s/v Ghost across the dock decided to go into business for herself.  She started Dockside Mail Solutions, and our mail-based life suddenly got waaay easier.

But our mail delivery problems are just the tip of the iceberg for cruising boaters.  For example, what do you do about mail when you take the summer off and cruise to Desolation Sound?  Or Baja California?  Angela has the answer - she'll bundle it up into a package and ship it to a destination of your choosing on a regular basis.  Or, she'll scan your paper mail and email it to you.  How convenient is that?

We've gone from having a more difficult mail delivery situation than those living ashore, to having options they haven't yet dreamed of.  Oh yeah, Angela will provide her services to the shore-bound folks too (Long vacation?  Temporary job posting?  Sabbatical?).

Thanks Angela - you've made a huge difference!

And I actually felt a little sad when I gave up the PO Box after 14 years...  I'm writing that off to the Stockholm Syndrome.


SV Estrellita 5.10b said...

I wish there was a Canadian equivalent. As far as I've been able to tell, there isn't.

Also, funny enough, I just wrote and queued a post about voicemail while cruising in which I mention problems with not having a residential address.

Great minds and all...

Beka said...

now that is a fantastic idea!

Ghostsailors said...

Bob, Thank you so much for the support. It's pretty easy when I have perfect customer's like you guys!

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