Thread: Your Own Private Island
19th November 2012, 12:47 AM #1
Your Own Private Island
When I was in high school, I remember reading an article in the newspaper (dead-tree edition), regarding abandoned houses for sale on the Outer Banks of NC. They needed a great deal of repair and had no utilities. “That would be cool”, I thought.
When I was in college, I traveled to Belize. While preparing for our trip into the rainforest, someone discovered that nearby riverfront property sold for $150/acre. “That would be cool”, I thought.
Fast Forward to the recent sale of government surplus, in the form of Diamond Shoals Light Station off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC. “That would be cool”, I thought. Then I printed out the related information pertaining to the sale. $15,000 started to sound almost reasonable. Then I found the Coast Guard estimate of $2,300,00 for repairs, the warnings of lead paint and asbestos, and the photos taken at the recent inspection. So I did nothing.
On the last day of the sale, I changed my mind. I called the appropriate channels and asked if they could accept a bid made by electronic draft. They could not. That was that. Even if they had accepted my bid, my offer of $15,015.15 would have been lower than the winning bid of $17,200.
Now I am kicking myself for not offering $20,020.20. Diamond Shoals seems to have been the last NC lighthouse/light station placed up for bids. If there is another abandoned one, I am unable to locate it.
So now I find myself watching the sale of lighthouses, at http://realestatesales.gov/gsaauctions/gsaauctions/ . I find myself looking at ex Navy barges and the like. These two have been available, on and off, for years: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/110-x...ht_1052wt_1182 , http://www.maritimesales.com/SGA10.htm . There is a ferrocement barge from the 40s and a european-style trawler/tug/houseboat that also caught my eye. Mind you, all cost a bit more than $15K, but it’s fun to dream.
Which brings us to seasteading ( http://www.seasteading.org , http://blueseed.co ). For me, it isn’t so much the political aspects of seasteading that attract me; anchor in international waters, set up your own government, and enjoy all the drugs, prostitution, and lack of work visas. For me, it’s the lure of being “away from the things of man”.
Mind you, that is tempered with an “off-the-shelf technology meets off-the-grid living” lifestyle. Envision an offshore community (Sweethaven?) situated over a remote seamount far out at sea. A community deriving power from the sun, wind, and waves, drinking fresh water pulled from the humid air or cleansed from RO/DI filters, and feasting on the bounty of the sea farmed in AquaPods. I would have hydroponic gardens, a flock of chickens (meat, eggs) and herd of goats (meat, milk), and harvest biofuel from algae.
Part of the allure is that it seems contrary to my current lifestyle. I live on several acres in a larger home. Living on a seastead would be an exercise in “Tiny House” meets “Zero Footprint” meets Margaritaville. My youngest child is 8, so I suppose I have 10 years to figure this out. Imagine what my home and acreage would be worth, by then.
Imagine living on a man-made island. When bad weather looms, you simply lower your island off of the supports that lift it above the sea and unfurl the sail which pulls the island to safer waters.
I leave you with this puzzlement. Assume we have power from wind, waves, and the sun. Assume we have fresh water from RO/DI filters, rainwater reclamation, and solar ovens. Assume we have vegetables from hydroponics gardens, fruit from containerized dwarf trees, chickens (meat, eggs), goats (milk, meat), and of course fish (line caught and farmed in Aquapod net pens). Assume access to television and the internet can be provided by satellite. Assume security would be provided by radar, sonar, ROVs, sensor arrays, and constant monitoring of local marine band radio and the like.
Transportation will be available in the form of a seaplane and a single boat. I will assume regular trips to the mainland will be necessary to replenish supplies, dispose of waste, and trade. Local transportation will be in the form of electrically-charged jet skis, sailboats/surfboards/kayaks/paddle-boats, underwater propulsion devices for SCUBA, and the like.
You will be living, in essence on a platform far at sea. If this was a multi-family community, I'd include a multi-purpose room(s) for communal meals, exercise, game and movie nights, home schooling, and religious needs will be available. Residences will be blocked into groups of rooms which share bathroom facilities. There will be a central kitchen/brewery, computer facilities (including 3D printers, sewing machines, and the like), medical facilities, a machine shop, and a science lab.
To be fair, I have tempered my aspirations to include the purchase of a private island in the Bahamas or Belize. Might as well dream in style, eh?
What else would you need, if secluded from the mainland and the amenities of home? How many square feet would you require? What forms of recreation would you desire? What am I overlooking?My Games
- EN World
- has no influence
- on advertisings
- that are displayed by
- Google Adsense
A good boat or inflatable raft in case of emergency.
A DAMN good phone/cable/Internet connection.
Ditto a radio. As in shortwave or what have you, for communication.
Personally, loathe though I would be to do it, I'd have to spend a bunch of time & $ making sure my books & CDs were all in a portable electronic form.
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
- Blog Entries
electricity production would need to be solid
so would food and water production, I have no idea how efficient/easy our current technologies are, and I don't want to be a farmer.
hurricane readiness would also be important, I'm not certain how easy it will be to move this boat thing.
Being sturdy enough to hunker down and weather the storm is also a factor. Most of the production technologies are probably fragile and don't weather storms well.
You'll also need to beef up security. I can't imagine bad guys won't take a shine to your new island and they may be better armed.
All this leads to staffing needs. How many people are needed to do all the jobs? How much production capacity is needed to maintain those people? How many people are needed to do the production jobs?
for Islandtown to not suck, the efficiency needs to be high so it's only a little bit of work with a lot of free time.
A small fortune for repairs when the storm hits before you can do anything about it. Also, living on the coast is a lot harder on maintenance costs and requires much more frequent repairs. 10 year windows? try 5. If you are lucky. Paint? every 2-3 years.
So a good general contractor's license and a lot of skill there would be essential. Also, get the higher-ranking for electronics broadcast/repair--same as the radio officers on ships--bare minimum.
Breaking away from the US sounds great, until you realize all the protections you loose, and how vulnerable you are. NC is a lot better than, say FL or in the gulf, but still...
You would need a lot of really good friends to set up this colony.
And the willingness to be cut off from the rest of the world. (Radio/TV/Internet aside, you are setting yourself up far away and in isolation in a hazardous and unpredictable environment.
Good luck with than.
And don't expect to get away from the IRS.
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
- Blog Entries
yeah, I'm not sure why anybody would want to leave the US, we get a pretty good deal on defense, infrastructure, and civil rights. those are pretty handy, and I'm wary of what Aeolius could provide me if I moved in.
I think that's the problem of all such situations, each of us is dubious of anybody else taking care of things and not being a total nutjob cult leader.
Whereas MY island nation will be 50% better than Aelious. We'll have Kool-Aid time every day. Participation is mandatory of course...
I think the lighthouse island would be better than a boat-thing. You can always build new buildings, leaving the lighthouse alone until you can tackle cleaning it up.
But as an island, you'd want to have the right smurfs to take care of basics:
security smurf to patrol and identify external threats
medical smurf to keep everyone healthy and treat problems
electronic smurf to keep the radios and hardware up
handy smurf to build and fix buildings/plumbing/etc
how good is the technology for hydroponics and stuff to grow food?
There are plenty of US territories that are islands in the tropics (not that they're for sale, though), so you needn't eschew US citizen rights and advantages to still have a dream island to live on...
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
- Miscatonic U. professor of supernatural studies-Emeritus [Nolensville, Tenn.]
re: electrical power
there are semi flexable solar panels that could wrap around a light house.
Check out Living Pathfinder!
76 83 92 102 109115 members and counting!!
Bah! My Kool-Aid will be dispensed in one of these:Whereas MY island nation will be 50% better than Aelious. We'll have Kool-Aid time every day. Participation is mandatory of course...
Seasteads are a currently a pipedream; a nice pipedream but still a pipedream. Private islands are available as we speak. So that is the direction I let fancy take me.I think the lighthouse island would be better than a boat-thing. You can always build new buildings, leaving the lighthouse alone until you can tackle cleaning it up.
If I was to purchase an island near Andros in the Bahamas, I could count on the Chickcharnies for help:But as an island, you'd want to have the right smurfs to take care of basics
Feed Four Families With This Hydroponic Greenhousehow good is the technology for hydroponics and stuff to grow food?
I would think wind power would be a good idea, given where lighthouses relocated.
Also consider piezoelectric power generation. Put those crashing waves to work for you!