Some suggested next steps. Get a good aerial survey done, with pictures. This will help in planning, in disputes, and later in figuring out what it looked like before that thing that just happened, happened. Also hire a geologist to do a survey (if they haven't already) and identify all the water flow. You may want to build a cistern to collect fresh water when it rains/snows.
An acquaintance of mine who has a place in the seattle/vancouver area also build a small gauge rail line from the dock to the center of the island where accomodations were. Mostly he's a train nut and that scratched that itch but its great for bringing stuff in before storm season sets in.
+1 on the local visitation. People will drive over there and walk around. In the US you need to put signs posting it as private property if you want to have a hope of charging people with trespass. If you set up a fire pit and a place for your friends to sit around an chat, that it exists will get out and you'll have other people "borrow" it when you aren't there.
Definitely a lot of fun though. I am very jealous :-)
People may visit when you are not there. In the US, the shoreline up to some strangely defined highwater mark (which is higher than you expect) is public. Canada has a similar deal related to crown lands (you may own the island, but the bit under the water, not so much). These visitors have every legal right to hang out, have a picnic, play jarts, whatever.
When you aren't around you will get more visitors. (I have pretty good camera surveillance, mainly to enjoy from afar, but I also get to see the visitors.) These will be bolder and walk around and look at the place.
If you aren't around and the local environment is right, you may get hunters. We get duck hunters and goose hunters. We generally give a few people we know permission and kind of rely on them to discourage anyone else. Hunters are territorial. One year it was posted with "No Hunting" signs nailed to the dock, but not by us or anyone we know, a good attempt by a hunting hacker to secure himself a private hunting area.
Have a medical evac plan. I've used mine in weather that I would probably not have used an Amazon boat.
Have a "pinned down by weather" plan with respect to food and water. I know a couple that was reduced to surviving on popcorn and bloody mary mix for a couple days. Also, know when you are pinned down by weather.
A food digesting composter keeps your trash bags from getting disgusting.
If there is cell coverage, but only for odd carriers, consider an "island phone" that just stays there. If there is no cell coverage, get a VHF that can reach some emergency agency.
I don't mind too much if people respectfully visit the island when we're not there. We told the really awesome neighbor he could visit the island whenever, so maybe he'll guard it a bit. He could certainly see from his dock if another boat was on it.
They ran out of vodka before running out of the mix? Very poor planning.
Just kidding :) your idea is awesome.
No it isn't. All you need is a nuclear missile and you can tell anybody, including US President to piss off. And they will do it. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea for details.
The mainland neighbor we met was pretty confident no one would ever go to the island without permission. He's lived there his whole life, works as a fisherman in the bay, and has never seen anyone else on it. Even so-- we'll put up signs and not mind too much if people use our fire pit when we're not there.
I like the idea of the water flow survey... would be awesome if we could get fresh water without desalinating.
Maine's liability laws are excellent. They basically say, "So you hurt yourself? And you were wandering around the woods? What part of 'woods' didn't you understand?" So the social conventions in rural Maine provide a certain freedom to wander around unoccupied woodland as long as you don't make a nuisance of yourself. Posting your woodland against trespassing was historically considered a bit anti-social in a lot of places.
Nova Scotia appears to have relatively sane rules for liability in wilderness areas: http://nslegislature.ca/legc/statutes/occupier.htm I'd guess that your island probably falls under some combination of 6.1(c) or (d), but it's probably worth asking an actual lawyer.
Have fun with your island! And pay attention to the SAR folks—living on an island is only slightly more dangerous than living anywhere else, but when bad stuff happens, your options may be worse. My childhood best friend once had to make an hour lobster-boat ride with a stick jammed into his throat just below the jaw bone. This experience put an end to his family's island living. Your biggest risk is probably making that 5-minute boat ride in a bad storm.
An old joke is this: If you have something you want to get rid of, put it by the curb with a "FREE" sign on it. If it is still there the next day, put a "For Sale" sign on it and someone will "steal" it that night.
My grandfather was an avid fisherman; he had a 15' line full of catfish "skulls" hanging from a telephone pole. Catfish can grow to 100 lbs. and their "skulls" look like shark or snake heads from a distance.
Macabre trophies do the trick, paraphernalia alone seems an obvious attempt to appear tough.
Jealous as well :)
Heck, we even have reports of theives injuring themself and then turning around, suing the owner in court, and winning.
'Douchebaggery' should become a felony in my opinion. What a bunch of crybabies. They'd sue if there were a "No trespassing" sign and they hit their head on it.
They'd drown in the dead sea. I'm out. I don't like people in the bodies of grown men, and the physical and mental abilities and survival skills of a new-born.
Warning signs disavowing the owner of a site of responsibility for other people's actions (in a public place or while trespassing) often have little to do with the actual rule of law though (except where the signs are mandated by regulation) - more often than not they are simply about reducing the chance of someone trying it on. You might win easily in court if it goes that far, but if you can save the time and other hassle of needing to go that far by putting people off trying it is likely to be cost effective to do so.
It's the same for wifi. If you don't protect your network with a password, you are legally responsible for what happen on it even if it's someone in the street squatting your wifi.
I'm not saying we aren't a litigious country but recreational non profits and others are working hard to ensure that it is safe for land owners to allow to/across their land.
1) Ran a successful professional online poker playing business, actually hired employees and trained them to predictably win.
2) Was one of the main characters in the book The Game (yes, that PUA one).
3) Did polyphasic sleep experiments in earnest (was it a couple months or so?).
4) Had a giant inflatable outdoor pool inside his house, taking up his entire livingroom.
5) Sold all his belongings, including said house, and travelled the world for a year with almost nothing... probably in 2k8 or so before such an idea became more commonplace.
There's probably some much cooler stuff I'm forgetting, but hey it makes perfect sense he'd be part of an island buying crew.
He mentions these and more on this page: http://tynan.com/about
> Maple and marble floors
> Brazilian granite countertops
>Japanese-style tea room in the back complete with rush-reed tatami
mats and mulberry shoji screened rear window.
>Golden tin ceiling
>Gold-leafed 10 foot curved section of the wall
>Home theater system with LED projector, 50" screen, and 12" subwoofer.
>Handmade zebrawood desk
>Controllable low-wattage LED lighting system with over 1000 bulbs
Minimalist and focused on what matters indeed.
I men lets not forget about the giant inflatable pool in the living room incident. you simply can NOT do that in an RV
First world minimalism.
Has this really become more commonplace since 2008? People have always done this. Even before 2008. Maybe blogging about it is a fairly recent thing, though.
Ages ago, I also had this idea, including posting about it online. But it turns out I'm a dreamer rather than a do-er. Or maybe I'm just too addicted to comfort.
Didn't Jesus do this?
so 2k8 is 2000 +8,
2k1da3 would be 2013
The way people seem to reckon it is 2k8 = 2 * 1000 + 8 = 2008
On the other hand, if it were 2k8h then it would be 2800 (2 kilo, 8 hecto).
Still, congratulations, I can really relate to how you guys feel.
In case there are more island enthousiasts here:
A widowmaker is a dead tree that could fall, and kill somebody [in the namesake a probably-male logger]; thereby creating a widow.
In finance, "Widowmaker" means one thing: Shorting Japanese Government Bonds (JGB) and inevitably losing money.
Because of Japan’s gigantic national debt, and because the Japanese bond rally has gone on so long, investors have called the top in the Japanese bond market for years, only to get impaled.
thanks for clearing it up.
That's how my dad died last year.
We don't have weird dangerous stuff here except for the politicians and bankers.
The term seems to be used for all sorts of things.
I guess it just depends on whether you've done much tree-work. (I'm ex-SES in an area with lots of National Parks/State Recreation Areas)
Five minutes to shore when the weather is good and your engine starts. Really, please heed my advice and make sure each and every one of you knows how to do basic first aid, I hope you're never going to be in a position to use it but when you do you'll be happy you took the time and trouble. First purchase: a very good first aid kit.
This is all not to piss on your parade but because I lived in a pretty remote area for 2 years and have a little bit of experience that might be relevant to your situation.
Basic engine repair skills, something to patch up your boat in case you spring a leak, a basic comms kit+genny so you can call up the coast guard or a passing boat if you should need them (assuming your island is out of cell phone reach), cache of freshwater, fuel, waterproofed matches and a couple of days worth of tin cans in case you ever get cut off. Halifax coast in winter can be, how to phrase this, impressive, to say the least.
Mind you, the real kick is when you are isolated but there is an additional degree of risk there. No need to get your appendix out as a precaution just yet ;)
All of this is assuming you're on the salty side of things, if you're in a lake it's a lot more relaxed but you will still need to take basic precautions and you'll need to be extremely careful with what you do with your wastes (you'd need to be just as careful in the ocean with that for ethical reasons but there will be fewer watching eyes so you can drop the 'extremely').
Maybe you could make a weekend of it for your families or something.
Non-nonsense survival guide:
Also: man vs wild (television)
I would very strongly advise AGAINST emulating Bear Grylls' antics in 'Man vs Wild'. He often does things that are the complete and total opposite of what you should do. One example that stuck in my mind was when he (supposedly) needed to cross a mountain and decided, instead, to go through the mountain via a cave, which is possibly the most stupid idea I've ever heard. He arguably puts young people at risk by encouraging such dangerous behaviour. Lofty Wiseman (author of the SAS Survival Guide) has described him as an "idiot".
Also, while the TV show portrays him as roughing it in the wild, the truth is somewhat different: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-470155/How-Bear-Gryl...
In terms of winter storms, this is approximately as bad as it gets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Juan .
The st. Lawrence river might just as well be ocean for the purpose of driving along the shore road in winter, in the middle of a snowstorm like that it really makes you wonder what the hell you were thinking of driving there in winter.
I went there to visit a huge VAT ('eggbeater' or Darrieus rotor windmill), I should have kept a better eye out for the weather reports rather than to keep on driving, and I only caught the tail end of it. Live & learn...
(someone else's picture of the windmill: http://www.flickr.com/photos/libraryman_76021/555075211/ )
It's an interesting experience to try to dig out your car before the next snowplow comes along.
Yep, it's the 4th most powerful known meteor impact: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9-Levasseur_Island
I love Wikipedia.
And an AED
We're actually pretty close to the shore on one side, in cell phone coverage, and have the phone number of our closest neighbor. There's definitely danger there, and we're big on safety, but it's not as remote as it probably seems.
Thanks for the advice and thoughts!
They haven't, yet; humans (H. sapiens) have only been around for ~200k years.
They're one of the “five Ws”—a mnemonic list of things you need (or need to keep away from) to survive in the wilderness: water, weather, wigglies (which would include spiders), widowmakers, and wood.
One of the nice things about here in NS is that there are no native spiders or snakes that are dangerous to humans.
The trees can kill you though. My father was almost killed by one back in his short lived forestry career.
"* How large of a landing area is required for the helipad and where should it be located?
The size of the helicopter’s primary approach area, departure area, landing area, and the obstructions must be taken into consideration before determining the location. The AirLIFE helicopter must have a landing area of 100’ x 100’. The takeoff and approach areas should also be 100’ x 100’ and clear of all obstructions.
* What should the size of the helipad surface be, and how much weight should it support?
The ideal size of the helipad surface should be 50’ x 50’, but can be as small as 40’ x 40’. The landing surface should be able to support the helicopter at it’s maximum gross weight of 9,300 lbs."
Or take a look at http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/f..., "CHAPTER 13 - DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF HELIPORTS AND HELIPADS"
- Ownership structure. With 10 of you, how have you prepared for people falling out or wanting out?
- What are you allowed to build on it?
- How do you access it? Do you have to pay a boatman to take you out there?
We're going to be building next year, so we still have lots of research to do. It appears that anything permanent like a cabin would require a permit, but that yurts / heavy duty tents / sheds / etc wouldn't.
A neighbor on the mainland has offered us dock space and gave us a couple rides this trip. We also bought an Intex Excursion 5 off Amazon which was serviceable but really difficult to navigate in wind. We'll buy a real boat next year.
HN is throttling my posts, so it may take a while to answer everything. I appreciate all the comments and questions.
Thinking probably a 30' yurt for the communal building, and smaller geodesic domes for individual dwellings.
I talked to them once and it sounded like they can ship the materials in a fairly compact way. I helped put up a fairly large one - not so hard, but we needed scaffolding.
Anyone else old enough to mistakenly read this as "island IIc"?
So, not counting significant others, ten people sharing a five-acre island. That's 1/2 acre per person except that not all five acres will be flat, buildable land, and you will have to sort out who lives where, without friction.
This works when you're young, before you start thinking about issues like privacy and personal space. By the time you and your friends are 30 years old, the island will likely be a distant and probably bitter memory.
I speak as someone who lived through the 1960s American back-to-the land, communal-living, private-property-is-a-crime phase.
He doesn't seem to be indicating anyone plans to live there permanently...it sounds like it is intended as a getaway, rather than a home. No mention of building gardens, major construction, or dealing with longterm freshwater, garbage and sewer, etc. In other words, he's building a private campground, not a commune.
In this case it's just shared vacation land which is even easier, and they'll each get their own plot. My family of 6 lived on a quarter acre in a suburb and that always felt like plenty of space.
Also, as noted below, none of us are planning on living there full time-- just visiting over the summer, hopefully all at the same time.
Then I envy your youthful outlook. :)
By the time I was 30 I had had enough of communal living for several lifetimes.
Yep. It was:
When I was inviting friends to be a part of this, there was a big divide... half of them LOVED the idea and felt like an island was something special (as I do), and others just saw it as some difficult-to-access land. I've had a tough time articulating exactly why an island seems special to me.
Also most human cultures either grew from river or coastland - the availability of fish and other resources that a large body of water provides is very comforting to us descendants of those peoples at a very basic level, I imagine.
Is this the beginning of a horror movie or a comedy?
Seriously though, owning an island is awesome. Have fun and be safe. :)
Proof: Would you get excited about a story of someone buying a five acre plot of land with a fence around it? Or a moat-like trench?
Yup, that's a +1 there.
Legally all your island really is is a bit of land surrounded by shoreline and that shoreline is the interesting bit. It may automatically be public access or not depending on where you are, you may be accidentally part of some incorporated town and there may be specific rules governing islands.
I would advice against issuing your own passports but if you happen to have an anti-aircraft gun and an old torpedo lying around you could even consider going sovereign.
And once you successfully pull that off you can do whatever you want with your island ;)
The ministry will do periodic inspections of land, and will investigate complaints. The property we purchased had all vegetation removed from the shoreline to expose the natural sand beach. The owner was fined, and forced to lay down landscaping fabric and crushed granite to cover it in order to reduce erosion. The matter was strictly dealt with by Department of Fisheries.
As for septic, you're required to build a field, but permits are easily obtainable. Same goes with putting buildings; permits are (usually) required, but usually attainable relatively easily.
Then again, there are some pretty janky home-made docks in the bay that seem to have been there for a while.
Just kidding - but really, he's throttled atm. He'll be back to reply to posts when he can!
I've had similar romantic notions about owning an island (we kayak a lot). But the reality is that every vacant island IS your island. There's plenty of islands < 1 hour away that are beautiful and completely uninhabited. Hopefully someday I will come upon yours... sounds nice.
<pessimism>I hope it works out for you but taxes go up, structures get vandalized, local permits are annoying and 10 hours is a long friggen drive. And the fastest way to end a friendship is to joint own something.</pessimism>
You need a sleeping bag to put in the hammock too too, but most people have those.
A couple years ago I bought some rural land with the idea that something like this. . . something I think of as "ecosteading" is going to become a trend of sorts. The idea that I'm working on (and have already applied to YC and a bunch of other incubators with) is actually right along this line: a platform for people to buy and sell land, exchange ideas for ecological homesteading, even build out a platform for more intelligent urban planning. When it's done from the "ground up" (literally), there are all kind of future headaches that can be avoided.
Imagine if the Hyperloop or the California high speed rail had been able to be laid down before most of the development around this insanely populated state took place. Population growth is exponential; it's inevitable that we're going to need smarter ways of transporting people and consumables. The key is figuring out where these new hubs of population are going. Like-minded people congregate; and this idea gives them a way to do it with others.
If this sounds like something interesting/exciting, I am kinda sorta looking for people to work with. Research it, tell me what you can offer (it's Rails!) and what you think of what's done so far: https://angel.co/ecosteader (email only please)
...I have so many, I can't type fast enough!
1. Yeah, we definitely have plans for structures -- yurts, we're actually thinking.
2. Hmm, haven't explored that option. Not sure.
3. Yep - tentatively 5 guests per each owner at a time.
4. Yeah food would definitely be fantastic.
5. We don't have helicopters yet unfortunately, but when we're mad rich sure :)
I would've thought that a helipad would be a good idea if you ever need to be evacuated by air ambulance
Not at all. It's not uncommon to have a fresh water table beneath the surface of an area dotted with islands. If you doubt this, ask yourself where the tree's roots go, and how those salt-intolerant trees survive.
I live 100 feet from salt water in Washington State and I have a perfectly reliable fresh-water well.
See, the mainland has sweetwater running under it all the way to the sea shore and even a little bit beyond, depth and density will vary but it is always there. But a small island surrounded by ocean need not be like that, more than likely it is of a rocky composition (otherwise it would simply disappear or move around) and the water runs right off before it can pool in quantity enough that you could stick a well-head into it to reliably pump it to the surface for consumption.
In such a situation catching it as it falls is your best bet (also better because a small island likely does not have a good filtering capacity and the water you pump up, assuming you can get at it in a useful quantities, will need a lot of processing before you can use it).
It all depends on the actual situation but the chances are rather against it.
Not really. It's a matter of drilling carefully:
"On low, small islands that are largely composed of coral or other porous materials, salt water intrusion into the underlying interior is quite common. The drilling or digging of wells on these islands and especially on along the shoreline must be done with care [emphasis added]."
Notice that the author didn't say "pointless."
Most reasonably-sized islands have a subsurface fresh water source. The presence of salt-intolerant trees tells you there's fresh water available beneath the surface.
> ... assuming you can get at it in a useful quantities, will need a lot of processing before you can use it.
If that were true, it would kill the trees. I know a number of locations in Alaska near salt water where, because of geological changes resulting from the 1964 earthquake, even though the surface is dry there's no subsurface fresh water at all, and all the trees promptly died. Those locations are rare.
It's not nearly as simple as drilling a well far from salt water, but it can be done.
Oh my god. Tynan & Co. are LARPing Dwarf Fortress.
You may want to check with the DFO (Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans) on that. Licenses are sold for many types of shellfish and you want have fishers with licenses for crab, clam, oysters etc. near the island. http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/species-especes/shell...
Recently one lobster fisherman (farther off shore) was caught cutting trap lines and the owner of the lines shot him a few times and then ran him over in his boat. Fishing is taken very seriously in this region, it's all some people have done for many generations.
Other than that you should be fine.
Just in general in Nova Scotia you don't need any license for non-commercial fishing in tidal areas (still need to observe bag limits though.) You do need a license for any fishing in fresh waters.
If you're hand picking crabs you're fine. Just don't set any traps or snares, but you might want to check to see if they are safe to eat. Sometimes the close areas for shellfish harvesting due to food safety concerns.
The murder that dhughes is referencing had more to do with it then them just catching someone cutting their lines, there was a long history between the victim and the boat crew.
I always wanted to do something like this as long as I can remember, build something (more or less) self-sustaining in the middle of nowhere to feel fully independent.
I am really curious to what extent the author plans on living there? Will there be houses next to the communal building? Solar Panels? A Generator? An on-site well?
It is this Idea of your own small ecosystem which makes Minecraft so attractive. This is real life Minecraft and I hope to do something like this one day.
Edit: Just to add some interesting Project: There is open source hardware for everything you need to build your own village in the "Global Village Construction Set"
At first it will be a summer-only thing, but we hope over 5-10 years to make it sustainable all year round. We want to use it mainly as a place to work together and get away from cities.
Next summer we will be putting up a 30' yurt, a huge battery bank, and a generator. Water is the hardest, so we'll probably have to catch rain and use a desalinator.
Oh-- we have awesome LTE and 4G coverage there, too!
Speaking from experience, solar panels and car batteries work very well to supply a minimal amount of power for daily use (LED lights, charging cell phones and laptops, etc), but a generator will likely be needed for the occasional heavy equipment use. I'm less of a fan of windmills, but they have their place.
Water is indeed the most important infrastructure element to get right, but the solution you go with often depends heavily with your power choices. It's one thing to leave a desalinization system running 24x7 and maintain it, but it's a whole different story if you need something that can be shut down and restarted several months later. Maintenance and long-term reliability become important factors. Maybe you'll get lucky and find you can drill a well for fresh water, but the size of your island makes me think that is unlikely.
Other fun things to think about: plumbing, septic systems, waste disposal, hot water systems, lights, cooking, and refrigeration.
Then there is always the debate of redundancy vs. simplicity. and the real cost of maintaining an often fragile infrastructure.
I am very curious to hear more about your progresses in building out your island infrastructure and have subscribed to your blog.
I haven't done enough research into desalination-- I had no idea that shutting it down for a while is a problem. Why is that?
We may also do rainwater recovery + filtration for drinking/cooking, and salt for showering. Worst case we have to bring water over every time and shower in salt.
Planning on doing propane or wood to heat water, propane for refrigeration and cooking.
Thanks for subscribing! We'll be going out in the spring to do some more work and will definitely keep people updated on progress.
* You're right - having a house on an island is cooler than having a house on the shore. :)
* Probably not applicable to you, but when they need to move heavy things (Backhoe to dredge the dock, materials, etc.) to the island, they drive them in over the frozen lake in midwinter.
* The power comes in over an underwater cable. Something you might want to look into.
I don't know how much knowledge you have about desalinators, but here is a FAQ by the company that makes the reverse osmosis unit that I use at work: http://www.searecovery.com/marine/src_faqs.html Being so close to land, you will need a way to sterilize the water. A UV attachment should work.
I also recommend taking a course in Wilderness First Aid. I took a 70 Hour Wilderness First Responder course by Wilderness Medical Associates. It was an excellent course.
Good advice in general too, not just when buying an island.
Bonus is that you'll get some good maps out of it:)
But if you're interested in how the scenario you mentioned plays out, read up on some of the history of Sealand:
It's still under the tax jurisdiction of the Province and Country.
How is this different when I replace the word island with acreage or farm?
There are some disadvantages that come with that. A determined group could keep you trapped on your island more easily as well.
The point isn't to escape jurisdiction, just to have a cool private summer came / work retreat place.
Not quite. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bir_Tawil
I found elsewhere: "this is pretty much just 2,000 km2 of sand and rocks", and "consisting mainly of sand and rocks ... 2069 sq km (795 sq mil) and is shaped like a trapezoid."
, and checked it out on satellite. The nearest road appears to be 250km away. Definitely no chance of internet. But even this place I suppose could be made habitable with long term effort. Solar would be a good bet for power, and long distance radio or perhaps microwave or satellite would be viable for internet. Semi-subterranean dwellings could be ideal and even support crops, once constructed. But investment would be significant. I wonder if you could fly in/out hardware, junk and supplies via solar-powered drone?
But very cool find nonetheless!