Monday, June 17, 2024
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Escaping Economic Woes: Sailing into Paradise

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  • Economic turmoil prompts fantasies of selling up and sailing away to tropical paradises
  • Imagining a life of freedom on a dream catamaran, exploring the Caribbean and beyond
  • Fantasies collide with the practical challenges and realities of sailing as an escape

“Can’t trust the banks, insurance companies are going bust, stock market’s at a five year low. House is worth about half…if you’re lucky. What are we going to do???!!!” This, almost hysterical, diatribe is booming out from households all over America.

One of Charlie’s students was miserably mulling the future recently. Then, after almost a half hour of depression he shouted ecstatically, “I’m gonna go sailin’!” as though he’d just discovered the genome. “I’ll sell up everything and buy my dream catamaran. I’ve seen a forty something footer that’s perfect. “It’ll have a large double cabin big enough for a queen bed, two guest cabins, a workshop, a laundry room with washer and dryer, galley with large fridge and freezer, an office…”  

Charlie interrupted, “Where are you planning on cruising?”

“Oh, I’ll probably cruise the Caribbean for a year or two, then into the Pacific – Tahiti, Fiji…you know.” Charlie had heard it all before.

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Then he pondered the question – With the world in economic turmoil perhaps the tables will turn: Western cities will empty as large populations head south to the tropics. No clothes needed there – what a saving. Floating home all paid for – no mortgage, no taxes and the kids’ll get a great education ‘learning about life.’

Tropical paradises will become busy and prosperous. In Tahiti they’ll have to import Philippino and Thai girls for the new burgeoning market, and teach them to do the hula hula, swim out topless to the ever increasing arrivals, hibiscus in mouth, transparent lava-lava tied seductively around undulating hips.

Coconuts will become very much in demand and new coconut groves will spring up. The local narcotic drink, kava, will run out. This somewhat numbing drink, made from the root of a tree, tastes rather like muddy water, so muddy water laced with barbiturates will be mass produced instead. The time honored tradition of passing the cup, slowly clapping after every sip, honoring everyone in the village and then drinking a cup to ‘honored guests’ will be replaced by. ‘Here you go – Down the hatch – Next!’

The tradition of fishing from sailing canoes with outriggers will remain (by strict order of the tourist board) but, hidden under a coconut frond, a 250 hp outboard will assist on windless days.

Some Polynesians will head north, tempted by video games, flat screens, fast food, big cars and shopping malls… and all you need is a piece of plastic – and the longer you don’t pay for it all the more they like it.

Yep, the world is going to do a 180 – Courtesy of Nostradamwelltoldus.

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Julian Putley is the author of ‘The Drinking Man’s Guide to the BVI’, ‘Sunfun Calypso’, and ‘Sunfun Gospel’.

So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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