From The House To A Boat, From The Boat To An Island: An Off Grid Story

Categories: Life Stories

After ten years of living on our 38-foot Bayliner, "Diamond Lil", we were ready to settle down. My husband, Captain John, and I sold our house in Canada and moved on to the boat in September of 2005. After a trip and a half around America’s Great Loop, we spent two winters in the Bahamas. Then we cruised from Key West to the Tortugas, west to Cuba, across to Isla Mujeres, down the Yucatan Peninsula, and through Belize to the Rio Dulce, in Guatemala. There, we spent two hurricane seasons.

A trip to the Honduras Bay Islands began the next chapter in our lives. We spent time on Utila, Roatan, and Guanaja, before taking a property sitting job in the historic town of Oak Ridge, in Roatan. We fell in love with the island and decided to make it our home. We tied Diamond Lil to shore next to a vacant property on Oak Ridge Point that we hoped to buy one day and continued to live on her.

After two years of waiting, we realized that the sale was never going to happen.
Meanwhile, we had added two cats, two dogs, a horse and hundreds of tropical plants to our family.

The search for a new homestead began.  We considered a few properties, but our criteria made it challenging. We needed deep water for our boat and preferably a dock. We also needed enough property for our horse to graze on, with access to nice riding trails.

It was difficult to find both of those requirements in one property. A friend suggested a piece of land for sale in the remote community of Port Royal, on the east end of the island. “It’s totally off the grid,” she warned. There are no services – no electricity, no town water, no garbage pick-up. You would be on your own up there.”

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