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Island Broker Blog

C&K Magazine has a little article about daydreaming

October 8th, 2008

Just in case you needed validation that you aren’t all that strange, C&K Magazine has a short article on daydreaming about islands! I suppose it doesn’t hurt that we’re mentioned in the article so I thought I would maybe gloat a little bit. C&K is a magazine focused on the affluent lifestyle and offshore investment. Take a look and consider signing up for a subscription. It never hurts to learn about offshore banking and investment.

Personally, I daydream constantly. You’d think this whole island thing would get old but it doesn’t. I’m constantly thinking about the details of things and find myself just wanting to go out to an island and do some work and then just hang out and watch the waves, maybe grow a beard. It’s odd I know, but I can’t help it. Okay, maybe I’ve revealed too much!

The other day we drove the boat past an island called Little Rendezvous. Boy does this one conjure up the day dreams!!

Does the owner want to sell it it? Well, he would consider it for a cool 2 million! I’ll be the first to admit, that’s a bit steep for less than one acre. But you gotta admit, it does help spark those daydreams.

In the meantime, check out the article here: C&K Magazine

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Categories: Island Fun

Tropical Island Camp for Castaway Wannabes

July 13th, 2008

I have an idea that I desperately need your feedback on.

It’s an idea I think we’re uniquely qualified to implement and one on which you, as an island enthusiast, are just as qualified to give your feedback. In fact it’s very important that I do hear from you on this one. The more ideas, the better so give me everything you’ve got and I’ll use the info to make the right decision.

I’ve always loved camping and fishing. I’ve also had this little fantasy of being stranded on a deserted island just to see if I could survive. Even if it were just for a weekend, I think it would be a blast… just me and maybe a few friends hanging out, fishing, eating coconuts, and enjoying the beauty of the island. No, KT wouldn’t participate. She thinks I’m crazy for even having the fantasy. The very idea of going a day without a shower makes her skin crawl.

But what if we could have it both ways? What if we kept an island as untouched as possible but had all the major components there for comfortable camping? By that I mean a top notch tent or palapa with a decent bed, a cooking area, maybe a fire pit for the evenings, a toilet (that doesn’t smell) and yes a shower! Consider it hi-end camping on a deserted island.

All of this could be accomplished with practically no impact on the island at all. The gray water and solids could be boated out weekly in small removable tanks for disposal at the mainland. We can add a rain water collection system that would easily cover all the needs and we can boat in jugs of purified water for consumption during the trip. Small solar panels could provide power for a few florescent lamps and to charge a ship-to-shore radio and a fixed cellular for safety. Everything else is just logistics.

Personally, I’d add a grocery shopping and fishing component to this and stock the island with snorkel gear and a kayak or two. I’d also have a trusted caretaker nearby to help out where needed during times when “castaways” are on the island.

So here is where you come in. I’d like the answers to a few questions.

  • As island enthusiasts, have you ever had this same fantasy? Or am I as weird as I think?
  • Would you come to a place like this?
  • If so, what is the MOST you would pay (per person, per night) for such an experience? I know everyone wants a deal but this is a business venture!
  • If you were interested, would you want to do it by yourself or with friends and/or family?Please leave a comment to give me your feedback. Positive or negative, it’s all valuable information. I think it’s a good idea and one worth pursuing. But then again, I like camping and getting dirty and salty and fishy, so maybe my ideas need a little tweaking.Thanks for the feedback!

    Categories: Island Fun, Island related businesses

    Island names, what a pain in the butt!!

    July 11th, 2008

    We’ve always been fascinated by the interesting names that have been given to islands. Often times the name of the island is either a reflection of some notable feature on the island or its location, or even of a family name from way back when. Some are so odd that you don’t even question it. It’s just a collection of letters that formed the name in some native tongue from a long time ago. The name no doubt has a meaning but good luck finding it.

    Katafanga Island? Beats me. But with views like this, who gives a rip? Besides, I like the sound of it.

    For us, island names are an important topic and a constant source of frustration. After all, it’s the only real “address” the island has. So you can probably imagine how the name might change over time and the resulting confusion it causes for us AND you as potential island owners.

    The islands of Belize are particularly confusing. At least 50% of the time, the island’s name on a map (if it even shows up on one) will be different than its official name. Plus the local fishermen and boat captains may know the island by an entirely different name. And if well meaning folks like us get involved to publicize an island, you know we won’t want to market an island called “Mud Caye” or “Mosquito Caye”! So the name changes again!

    There are easily a thousand islands in Belize. Many of which have no name at all. So these and even the named islands are simply referred to by the name of the range they sit in rather than by the individual island name. There are several ranges of islands including Pelican, Sand Fly, Blue Ground, Cockney, Lark, Drowned, and many more.

    Historically, Belizeans just didn’t have much of an imagination when it came to naming islands. I can’t tell you how many islands are named after bugs or birds, but there are a lot! But even though you’d think the selection of names those two categories might offer would be HUGE, they’re really not. So what happens when you run out of bug and bird names? Well you start over of course! As a result, there has to be at least 4 islands named Pelican plus the range name itself. Mosquito Caye? Yeah, there’s about 5 of those. Sand Fly? At least 3 that I know of the several \

    One of several “Sand Fly” Cayes. This one I affectionately re-named Ugly Boat Caye after catching a glimpse of the presumed owner’s craft.

    And then there is the “Long” Cayes. Long Caye, Middle Long, Southern Long, the Long at Lighthouse, the Long at Glover’s, Long Coco, North Long Coco, Little Long Coco, Long Loco…aaaah! See what I mean?

    Then along come us well intentioned Island Brokers. It doesn’t make sense to have two islands of the same name, for sale on our site at the same time. You can probably imagine the time wasted just trying to carry on conversations where both islands may be discussed. With that and the risk of duplicate content from a search engine perspective, it simply makes sense to give the islands new names.

    This by no means changes the official name of the island but it does tend to establish a new way of referring to the island locally. It also gives us a chance to give the islands more fun and romantic names that reflect the dream of owning a private island.

    So before you pack your bags, it’s important to know that any island could have 3 or more names. Just because a local boat captain has navigated the waters their entire life, doesn’t mean they know an island by the same name as us. He may unintentionally take you to the wrong island simply because he thinks it is the correct property and he wants the income from the boat charter. This is one of the biggest reasons we choose to personally show our clients the islands.

    We will have personal knowledge of every island we market and will have properly documented and verified the island by GPS points to ensure we’re selling the right island. Believe me, we learned this one the hard way!!

    Yes you can officially change the name of an island if you wish. But that’s a whole different story. Give us a call and we’ll fill you in.

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    Categories: Island Fun

    Island shopping

    May 31st, 2008

    It’s hard to describe what it’s like shopping for islands. The days are long, the sun is hot, and the water can beat you up at times. Other times, you get drenched in rain squalls. But overall it’s a great experience! Here is a short video of a day in Belize.

    Of course sometimes the day doesn’t go as planned! The locals just don’t seem to understand we’re on a schedule. A storm could roll in, the batteries are dead, the boat could break down, the captain could show up late, the marina takes their sweet time launching the boat, the taxi gets a flat, the gas station is out of gas, the toilet paper got wet, and on and on. So, we’ve learned to go with the flow. When you get to Belize, remember to just slow down and make the best of the time you have. If you don’t sweat the small stuff, you have a lot more fun.


    Categories: General, Island Fun, island videos

    Alert: The Sea Level Is Rising, The Sea Level Is Rising!

    May 11th, 2008

    Sheesh! I just started this dang blog and already I have people trying to start a debate on global warming and sea level rising! Please friends, just calm down. Now, slowly step away from the edge.

    I recently posted a little joke about buying a tiny one tree island. I didn’t expect to get the responses I received and I’m deleting pretty much all of them. This may upset some people but hey tough! It’s my blog! I’ve OK’d George’s post but it’ll be the last one about sea level rise since this is a blog and not a forum. I don’t really want to start a debate but I wanted to use George’s comment to make my point.

    Let me start by saying this: It was just a joke people!!! Maybe my sense of humor is a little warped but it was just us giving a little poke to the people who think they can buy an island for a ridiculously low price. I get these requests all the time and the first thing one should ask himself is, “If an island is that cheap, why don’t Doug and KT buy it?”, the answer is WE WOULD! So believe me, they don’t exist. It was just a poor attempt at humor.

    Jeez, imagine if I had made fun of the “buy an island and start a new pot smoker country” crowd!

    Like I said, this may upset some people but I do have my own opinions on sea level rise and it’s based not only on my reading but also real observations of the sea and it’s effects on the islands. I have to admit up front that I’m not much of a believer in the doom and gloom global warming stuff, especially when they say it’s caused by humans, so feel free to disagree. I just don’t believe that man can produce enough green house gases to even come close to what one volcano can do, or the ocean itself on a daily basis. And don’t get me started on cow farts!! To me this is just one more fad that will go the way of the Ozone hole or the coming ice age argument. Just because it’s repeated a thousand times and governments create schemes to tax people based on it, doesn’t make it true.

    Remember the story about the well meaning environmental activists in the Maldives that whacked down a centuries old tree sitting at sea level and right at the waters edge because it got in the way of their sea level rising argument? This is the kind of stuff that makes me a skeptic of all these environmental fears.

    But even if I gave in to this for argument’s sake and say that even if global warming is raising the sea levels, it’s doing it very, very slowly over many, many years. So I’ll use George’s argument of 6 feet in 50 years as an example. This is roughly 1.5” per year of rise. Now apparently we’re starting this measurement next year because it sure hasn’t happened as yet. And next year when it hasn’t happened, I’m sure the doom and gloomers will issue a perfectly logical reason as to why their prediction hasn’t come true AND that it’s all our fault. But I digress…

    The forecasters of doom and gloom love to report that the islands will soon be covered in water. We the consuming public, sit at home watching TV and absorb this entire predicted catastrophe without asking some basic questions. Seems to me the doom and gloomers are conveniently forgetting several very important variables.

    The first and most obvious is the Human Element. They don’t bother mentioning that man just might do something to help himself, rather than standing there watching his island disappear. The natural maintenance of your beach and surroundings over the years will easily keep up with this.

    Second, Islands are always changing just a little bit every day with the currents, storms, rainfall (or lack of), falling leaves, growing coral, the shifting of the earth’s crust. They don’t need global warming to have these issues, they happen all the time naturally, every second of every day of every year. It’s so interesting to look at an island at different times of year. Sand, coral, and vegetation is moved from side to side naturally with the currents. Islands grow, and then recede. Some have sand bars that appear at certain times of the year but disappear the rest of the year. Some are continuously growing, some are eroding. When any of you visit islands with us, I’ll happily show you brand new islands that appeared just this year. It’s fascinating and really shows you that the sea is constantly changing things.

    Third, and maybe most important, is looking at it from a real world perspective. It’s easy to tell that the sea and land masses change all the time. The sea is constantly washing up sand on the beaches. As the level rises, it brings in more sand. It doesn’t take it away. For me, this is particularly evident during the month of October in Belize when the tides are naturally 8-10 inches higher during that month. Anything that’s light enough to be washed around in the waves (ie; sand, vegetation, bits of coral, seaweed, and yes, garbage!) finds its way on shore on the low lying islands. The higher the tide, the farther in the debris gets washed in. This is when new islands tend to appear and was the basis for my poor joke about the one tree island. During other months those new islands may tend to erode. But largely over the years, the added tide height in October gradually builds the land mass, rather than erode it. This is in addition to what the Mangrove roots naturally collect. So in my humble opinion, it’s safe to say that added sea level ADDS to island elevation while a sea level decrease will erode an island. Here’s a question to ask your self; why do archaeologists always have to DIG to find their treasures? Answer, because the land mass is always being added to naturally.

    The fact is, there are islands in Belize AT sea level, with Mayan ruins on them. Think about it. What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that the sea level hasn’t risen in thousands of years? Or does it mean that the island grew in elevation with the sea level?

    So if we take George’s figure of 1.5 inches per year and also take into consideration the tide naturally moves in and out every single day by 8 inches PLUS the high month or two out of the year that it varies naturally by an additional 8 inches. I believe that an island naturally adjusts to the height of the sea. I’m sorry but I still look at this from a real-world, man on the ground perspective. I’m not a scientist (one could probably tear up my rather simple observations) but simple logic has always served me well enough. An island is an island for a reason. I have no idea why, but the earth moved things in such a way that the island was created, and it continues this movement to this very day. Movies like “The Day After Tomorrow” are not realistic. A permanent wall of water will not wash in and wipe everything out. If I’m wrong, I’ll happily eat my words, but not till after I finish paddling back to shore!!!

    On a side note, many people worry that hurricanes are a big threat to islands. And of course they are, but the vision conjured in their head is that the island itself will be washed away. This just isn’t a realistic fear. I suppose it’s statistically possible for an island somewhere to be wiped off the map but the chances are so remote that it’s unreasonable to even worry about it. Life and property ON the island is what should be worried about. Most people don’t realize that hurricanes and major tropical storms have a greater chance of growing an island than washing it away. Why is this? It’s because of storm surge (sea level rise under the storm system due to low atmospheric pressure). The higher sea level, plus the violent currents tend to pile sand and coral onto the islands. In some cases, HUGE piles. I can show this to you when you visit too (the result of Iris). When the storm passes, lots of islands have new sand or coral washed up on the island. Of course there can be massive erosion in other areas too, but my point is that the argument works both ways.
    Finally, consider natural tectonic plate movement. A few countries are naturally sinking and those are the countries we hear about. Except they say the seal level is rising, not that the land mass is sinking. We never hear about the countries who’s elevations are growing at a rate of over a millimeter per year, but it’s happening everywhere and more often than countries that are sinking. I know of islands with documented proof that they are raising 2mm per year in elevation due to tectonic plate shifts.

    All this long winded explanation to basically say that I agree with Stan’s comment and if global warming actually does raise the sea level, it’ll do it slowly and normal maintenance (that would be required anyway) will easily keep up with it. A smart thing to consider is once you own an island, to hire a caretaker. It’s one of the most sought after jobs in the country so you won’t have any problem finding a person to do it. Labor rates for that job are about $600-800 US per month. You can keep the caretaker busy in the long term doing beach maintenance where necessary.

    Well that’s about it. Maybe I’m a little off base but I don’t think so. I hope everyone can forgive me for being so opinionated on the issue. But I wanted to give all you my honest and unvarnished thoughts on it. Here is the REAL offensive part: This Blog is a benevolent dictatorship and I intend to keep it a blog with comments, but without real debate since its not a global warming debate forum! So I won’t allow the comments instigating it. Sorry guys this is for fun, nothing else. I know, it’s cowardly of me.

    Hey George, Thanks so much for visiting the site. and for the kind words. I hope I haven’t ticked you off by picking on you a little. Your comment was such a common one and something I talk about privately with clients all the time. We just disagree a little, thats all.

    Sorry Edmundas, you can’t buy the one tree island!


    Categories: Island Fun