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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is this even possible anymore in today's society? When I was younger I always wanted to take a well-stocked and well-equipped sailboat and do a "Robin Crusoe" or "Swiss Family Robinson". Sail off and find a deserted island. No crowds, no people. Have the place totally to myself. Bring along some dogs and pets for company. Build me a bamboo shack, fish, hunt, just live the life. And since I'll have a well-stocked sailboat with me too, watch movies, play the guitar, read, photograph nature, surf the internet, make videos for Youtube. Anchor the boat out in the lagoon. I know in the 1970's there was this island called Palmyra Atoll
south of Hawaii you could actually do something like this at but since then it's been sold to a nature conservancy. And 50 years ago a guy named Tom Neale Tom Neale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia actually lived this kind of life for years on an island in the South Pacific.
 

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There are 45000 tropical islands according to Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia

Over 1000 in Polynesia alone.

Source: Wikipedia

I remember reading somewhere that there are over half a million islands on the planet, and that only about 2% of them are inhabited.

Of course, it depends on what you consider an "island", and most of them probably don't have a sheltered anchorage.

 

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Hi,

The romance of the early part of the last century has, unfortunately, disappeared.

Palmyra is a great example. It looks like no one owns it and you could just roll up and drop the pick, but thats just not true. Its a wildlife refuge and until recently any visits were illegal... But this has changed
Limited visits to the refuge are allowed, including by private recreational sailboat or motorboat. Visits must have prior approval, with access to Cooper Island arranged through the Nature Conservancy.[22]
Every other island in the world is sovereign territory for some country and you are required to live under their laws. This means most of the Pacific is owned by the french and you get your standard 6 months and then get the hell out of there. Some of the smaller island nations are much more draconian.

There is also a practical reason why so many islands are not inhabited. Their aint no anchorage, nor access to their lagoons. You physically just cant get on them.

Any island big enough for fresh water and accessible by sea will have people on it, or be owned by a family etc

Then you have the cyclone season...

There must be places you can go and the finding of them would be an exciting adventure, but it would be time consuming and full of unforeseen difficulties.

Have fun researching it, and finding your paradise.... But when you do find it do not tell anyone because the next day you might find a few boats beating into the anchorage.


Mark
 

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Tom Neal lived on Suvarov atoll, much as you are thinking of doing. You should read his book, An Island to Oneself. Most of the islands that are out there which you could actually live on in the SoPac are in the cyclone area. This does create some problems if you are arriving and hoping to keep a boat while on the island.
As Mark said, there just aren't any places that are free for the taking, so if you want to do it you are going to have to find the island, then get someone's permission.
Good luck.
 

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I can't imagine living on Suvarov (also called Suwarrow these days) for years. It has a lovely lagoon (with lots of reasonably friendly sharks) but the island is tiny and the only source of fresh water would be collecting rain. The park rangers who are there for six months of the years try to grown vegetables but they have to protect them from mice and land crabs (if I remember correctly). There are lots of fish and coconuts to eat. After that it is whatever you brought with you.

The island is now a national park and gets about 100 cruisers a year visiting so you would not be alone there even if it was available. When we were there the rangers, two very nice guys, organized a pot luck in honour of Tom Neale's birthday. A grand time was had by all (I think there were about six boats present) and we toasted Neale's memory, at least a few times. When we got to civilization (Fiji I think) I checked Wikipedia and found that Neale's birthday was months away from when we there. Found someone who knew the situation and he said the rangers have a birthday as soon as all of the boats from the previous pot-luck have left. I think their diet is remarkably boring, fish, coconuts, bread, and whatever vegetables they can grown. For six months there is no supply ship so if they run out of something they are out of luck. One of the rangers said he would stay there permanently but the Cook Island government won't let them. The island is hit by cyclones and I don't think any of it is more than 2' above sea level. Climate change may put it all under water.
 
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With 7 billion people on the planet, if you find an island with no one living on it, there are good reasons. Often people did live there and they left.

Besides, it is easier and more convenient to be a hermit on dry land, though most people consider that to be like solitary confinement; cruel and unusual punishment. There are exceptions.
 

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You can get pretty close to what you describe, sure there are visa limitations, and you might have to follow some local laws and customs, but there are plenty of place's to escape for awhile. The fast track bucket list cruisers never have a chance to figure these places out. I won't tell you where my Robin Crusoe hangout is, you will just have to find your own. Modern man is not really made out for remote living anyway. You'll be missing the comforts of home long before you wear out your first set of guitar strings. It's a great dream, so come on out and give it a go.
 
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I don't think you're going to find the kind of place you're talking about has an internet connection, unless you can afford a satellite hookup.
You can't go off from civilization and expect to bring it with you.
 

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One of the more interesting things in the Bahamas, is how many small islands will be uninhabited, but if you walk around, you will find a small abandoned house (and sometimes a really nice one), where someone obviously tried to make a go of it, but couldn't for one reason or another.

I always wonder what the story is behind those abandoned home-sites, and I admit, my mind usually starts to fantasize about trying to buy it and trying to repair it and try living there myself. :D
 

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I always wonder what the story is behind those abandoned home-sites
I wonder that the reasons are quite simple. We have a dream about the simplicity of living on our own island and its great... Untill you run out of milk.

To get the bricks to the island was simple, just hire a barge and pay lots and they are dumperd there. But think of how many times you are doing a boat project, or house project and you need to zip into the chandlery because you forgot a bit of sandpaper or something. But on the idilic island its drag the dinghy down to the water, drive to the big island, jump on the ferry to the bigger island, jump the bus to the hardware store, buy one sheet of sand paper, get back on the bus, get back on the ferry, take the dinghy back to the island and pull it back up the beach and then remember you need a paint brush too...

It would quickly wear thin.

So are those houses broken dreams? Or are they the realisation of reality?



Mark
 

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Living on a tropical island sounds like it might be an ideal way to live but reverting to a primitive state would probably get old very quickly. If isolation from other people is the goal, this can be accomplished easily on the major land masses:). A very small percentage of the planet is actually occupied by people. Most of them are crushed together in cities and like it that way. The population trend is going even more toward cities. People want a better wi-fi connection. Within a few hundred miles of cities, one can easily escape the crush and also have a grocery store and an internet connection but, (thankfully) few are willing to exit the treadmill.
 

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I don't think you're going to find the kind of place you're talking about has an internet connection, unless you can afford a satellite hookup.
You can't go off from civilization and expect to bring it with you.
Yup, the desire to sail off to a "deserted island", and yet "surf the internet, make videos for Youtube" would appear to indicate a significant disconnect from reality... :)
 

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I live on a small island all to myself ... it's called my boat. This is one of the reasons I have a cruising sailboat; so I can have a space of my own that is mostly self-sufficient, has all the things I need, and can be located away from the crowds.

If you want to find a private piece of land all for yourself, just head north into the wilds of Canada. You could find a place where no one has been in a thousand years. Build your shack near a river or stream, live off the land. No problem.
 

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It's not for everyone, but then if it was, it wouldn't be living isolated.
I first thought how great it would be to cruise and liveaboard,so I did. it has it's ups and Downs,not everyone that tries it wants to do it forever. I do,or did,until I realized it wasn't what the rest of the crew craved. So,compromise came along.
The compromise, or realization is .Ladies and little girls want /like yards to play in,gardens to grow in and the occasional social "night out "
So,the remote island only accessible by boat seems the answer.
While not quite the solitude I would absolutely prefer, and not the social conclave the girls apparently require, it seems a good middle ground.
Now the issues are diveting of the mainland home, autos,and possessions that are unnecessary on the island while still having the ability to function when we return to the mainland for whatever reason.
it's more about the economics and logistics than the solitude, at least for me.
'Course, after some time at it,maybe I'll feel otherwise.
if so,I guess we'll dream the next dream.
 

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It is VERY doable, if you really want. Go on Google earth and just scan the pacific. There are plenty of islands in the middle of nowhere that would suffice. Many have little notes attached to them on Google earth talking about how some guy tried it and his wife left him after a couple of years, etc. It is true that many don't have harbors, but maybe that is the point. Do you want a place to moor your sailboat or really live on the island?
 

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living remotely is "affordable " making the switch from the typical mainland lifestyle and getting deed or title to your chosen island location is a bit more expensive. Then there's the cost of building a shelter /home and any of the comforts you desire.
these are considerations before you even begin to contemplate the solitude aspect. and depending on the latitude you choose, heating becomes an issue.
As per a harbor or mooring, plan on a rail system for haul out or storage during storms or winter.
The other issues of supplies, tools, water, and power are simpler,lots of options.
 

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Why does it have to be a desert island? I lived for three wonderful years on an island in Brazil and enjoyed the best of both worlds: isolated beaches and coves only accessible by boat, nice restaurants, charming little village center and friendly neighbours. Since there is no storm season (or winter!) here, you can leave your boat in the water and use it year-round.

You'll find the island here, but don't spread the word please! :)

Latitude 23 46´ South
Longitude 45 21´ West
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Living on a tropical island sounds like it might be an ideal way to live but reverting to a primitive state would probably get old very quickly. If isolation from other people is the goal, this can be accomplished easily on the major land masses:). A very small percentage of the planet is actually occupied by people. Most of them are crushed together in cities and like it that way. The population trend is going even more toward cities. People want a better wi-fi connection. Within a few hundred miles of cities, one can easily escape the crush and also have a grocery store and an internet connection but, (thankfully) few are willing to exit the treadmill.

Maybe something like this.

 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't think you're going to find the kind of place you're talking about has an internet connection, unless you can afford a satellite hookup.
You can't go off from civilization and expect to bring it with you.

This -

Living Off The Grid with Satellite Internet - Globalcom

Best way to get the Internet off the grid? Readers poll | Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself

And Jessica Watson had internet on her around-the-world sail.

OTL: Jessica Watson will attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world - ESPN

"Watson will use a similar 34-foot yacht -- Ella's Pink Lady -- on her journey, and thanks to a legion of corporate sponsors and volunteers, she will have a state-of-the-art vessel equipped with all the latest safety and technological devices. Watson's boat has a GPS tracker and four positioning beacons so that her location is always known. She will have a satellite for phone, Internet and e-mail access, as well as five cameras for video blogging and a planned documentary."
 
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