Saturday, August 15, 2020

‘It was like something out of Gilligan’s Island!’ The FIRE crowd who spent the lockdown partying in the Bahamas

This couple gives you another reason to quit your miserable job.

Lockdown, FIRE style - Bill & Grace Heaton/ Calico Skies Sailing

By Brett Arends

I don’t mean to depress anyone, but while you’ve spent the lockdown under virtual house arrest, and trying to have “Zoom” drinks parties, a bunch of “Financial Independence, Retire Early” types were spending it in a bit more style.

On yachts. In the Bahamas. In a deserted cove.

“It was like something out of ‘Gilligan’s Island’,” says Bill Heaton, 37. “We had our own little society down there. We spent all day moonshining (i.e. making moonshine), spearfishing, and hanging out at the ‘yacht’ club. We even had a wedding.”

They started catching fish and lobster after their fresh food supplies ran out. “We feel we were really lucky during COVID. We were so safe.”

He and wife Grace, 38, were sailing in the islands when the crisis first blew up in early March. “We [were] sailing to an isolated place in the Bahamas called the Ragged Isles. It’s about 60 miles from Cuba. We were supposed to go for a week, but then COVID happened. We anchored the boat up and just lived there for three months.”

In total about two dozen other sailboat enthusiasts joined them there. The average age was in their 30s, Bill says. They built their own community. They even improvised a “yacht club” on the beach, using fallen bamboo trees and a tarpaulin and a string of lights. They dug a fire pit for the nightly cookout of whatever they’d caught that day.

And because it was an isolated community, they didn’t have to practice social distancing. No masks. No 6 feet distancing. None of that. Why would they? (New arrivals were required to self-quarantine first for 14 days, Heaton adds.)

When the government of the Bahamas banned alcohol sales, they started making their own moonshine. Several of the boats had their own stills.  Read more >>