Re: Magic Kinkdom, for sale, sold (fwd)

From: Strata Rose Chalup (
Date: Thu Feb 15 2001 - 12:15:06 PST

It's so nice when someone comes up with something peculiar which is a
match for my interests and odd knowledge base, much of which is not
centered around technology per se. :-)

I'm not sure where to start, so I'll be blunt rather than gentle.
This is not going to work the way you hope it will. However, when
you understand the constraints better, you might be able to design
something that will give you a similar result without requiring
that you buy your own island.

First, the amount of money is highly inadequate. $1M will not purchase
an island these days.

Next, islands are claimed by a governmental system, and whether you own
the island outright in entirety or not, you are still subject to their
laws. If you find an affordable island with laws that will allow you
to do what you want, ignore this point. Look at what HavenCo went
through to try to find an "island" where they could set up their own
government. It's worth mentioning that on many islands you have a
50 or 100 year lease on property, you do not own it. "Freehold" property
goes at a premium. Bonaire is a good example.

The cypherpunk crowd has a lot of experience looking for islands. If
you are serious about this, tap them as a resource. They are more
concerned with crypto than with substances, but they would have noted
substance laws as part of evaluating likely candidates. They are also
more concerned with internet access than you and your fellow planners
might be, since they want to run a huge network service.

Island living is not for the faint-hearted. Were you aware that
many, if not most, small islands do not have sources of fresh water other than
rainfall? Catchment cisterns are mandatory to sustain habitation and
a small to moderate sized desalinization plant is likely to be
required if one is going to provide "vacation" or "resort" accomodations
(laundry service for sheets/towels, hot showers, etc). Desal plants
are not cheap. If you are doing agriculture, and can stand a slower
process, you can build a homebrew reverse-osmosis setup, though, which
is much more affordable (like, regular people affordable-- assuming
you have the piping and the permission to get seawater into it!)

Building things on an island is vastly more expensive than you
probably imagined. Everything (!everything!) you need for building,
with the possible exception of sand for concrete (and coral sand
may be too salty or too limestone rich to meet structural 'crete
requirements) must be brought in from somewhere else. You are
indeed fortunate if it can come in via only one "hop". That's
not likely for what you are thinking about-- someplace affordable
is going to be more remote than anyone likes to deal with.

If you are still interested, and want to read a lot more information
about the practical aspects, here's a good book: Blueprint for Paradise
by Ross Norgrove, 1989, Moon Publications. I'll include some random

"The purchase or lease of an island may have several strings attached. A local
ordinance, for instance, might state that X number of dollars must be spent on
improvements within a specified number of years. This is quite usual, and hte
amount to be spent is sometimes based on the acreage of the island and the price
paid for it. Almost certainly there will be the expectation that locals will be
employed on the island. You might have to train the locals for whatever duties
they would perform. The local government might even require you to operate (or
allow somebody else to operate) a resort on the island. A well-known film
personality is in this position. When he bought an atoll near Tahiti, the
French government insisted that a functioning resort be built on the island.
The resort was built."

"It is certainly no exaggeration to say that the difference between the success
and failure of settlement on an island can largely depend upon the availability
of fresh water. We can usually build a home on ground that is above the reach
of a possible tsunami, or far enough (we hope) from a volcano. We can reconcile
ourselves to the incidence of hurricanes and take all sensible precautions in
the event of a direct hit. We can dutifully take an antimalaria pill at
prescribed intervals if our island is in the malaria belt. We can even stagger
along in a foreign language. But all this is to no avail if the island of our
choice doesn't have enough fresh water for our needs."

"For the purpose of comparison and to assist the new-islander in arriving at a
decision, I have divided islands into five categories. These are:

        1) Island or atoll such as Suvorov Island in the South Pacific, where Tom Neale
lived in solitude for many years. A category 1 island is deserted and quite
alone, hundreds of miles from a town where supplies may be obtained, and with no
scheduled services for freighters or schooners.

        2) Island relatively isolated but part of a widely dispersed group, such as the
Marquesas or the Tuamotus. A category 2 island has a village and perhaps a
small store, but no town and no facilities. A schooner or small freighter calls
two or three times a year with provisions. If there is a town in the group, it
is a long distance-- perhaps several hundred miles-- away.

        3) Island that has no town, no village, and no facilities, but part of a group
that has relatively sheltered waters. The category 3 island is less than 20
miles from a main island and its town, where provisions may be obtained. The
new-islander can usually reach the town in his own boat.

        4) Island with no town and no facilities except electricity (much more on this
later). A category 4 island is part of a group and close (within a mile or two)
to a main island with a town, from which supplies may be obtained by boat.

        5) Island with a small town, electricity, and a hospital. A modest amount of
shopping for such things as personal effects is possible; a good variety of
provisions is available. Some building materials may be purchased, but frequent
long delays for many items are an accepted part of life. A category 5 island
has an airstrip-- sometimes a jetstrip.

We will discuss each in turn."

"The inescapable conclusion is that the bigger the cistern, the better,
depending of course upon the number of people drawing water from it. As was
mentioned earlier, the building code prevailing on the island of St. Croix has a
clause setting a mandatory cistern capacity of not less than 10 gallon for every
square foot of roof area. Since this is reckoned on a rainfall of only 45
inches, it should in my opinion (and probably in the opinions of those who
dreamt it up, too) be regarded as minimum at best. No mention is made of the
number of bedrooms a dwelling should contain and thus the number of people who
might be drawing water from the cistern.

A workable rule of thumb when calculating the necessary capacity of a cistern is
to go back at least five years and pick out the longest, driest time recorded.
Multiply the number of weeks in this period by the expected weekly gallonage
needed, and then, in this instance, too, add 30 percent. In the above example,
where four people needed 300 gallons a week each for 12 weeks, take the
calculated necessary cistern capacity of 14,400 gallons, round this off to
15,000, add 30 percent, and settle on a round number of 20,000 gallons. This,
in my book, should be the minimum size for the cistern in question."

Strata Rose Chalup [KF6NBZ]                      strata "@"
VirtualNet Consulting                  
 ** Project Management & Architecture for ISP/ASP Systems Integration **

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