These guys are one in three million.

We are still in Antigua and hope to head to Guadeloupe next weekend. The problem is that the winds are quite sporty and to head out on a 50 mile run, my first of the season with Brenda in what Chris Parker, our weather router, calls “salty” would not be a great way to set the tone for the coming months.

The sunrise was beautiful yesterday, like nearly every day.

And when the sun peaked above the hills a few moments later…

So, for now we are hanging out and enjoying the sights. And those sights include some of our neighbors, some of which I have written about in the past.

This yacht Moonrise, is owned by Jan Koum, a co-founder of WhatsApp. He was born in 1976 so has plenty of years left to enjoy the fruits of his labors. Moonrise is over 300′ long and a real stunner. With a crew of 32 it is no surprise that it costs upwards of $20m to run her every year.

Of course, these days, even the biggest yachts don’t have enough room to store all their toys so they have a support yacht. This one, Nebula, shadows Moonrise. If Moonrise was big enough to support all the toys aboard the “mother ship” it would be too large to fit in most any harbor. This is quite a yacht in it’s own right and the “hanger” is big enough to accommodate a helicopter without folding the rotor along with all the other toys. This link shows just how elaborate this “tender” is.

I have written about Maltase Falcon in the past. She was commissioned by Tom Perkins, an early venture capital founder behind some of today’s biggest tech companies. Tom passed away and she is now active on the charter circuit. When she was built, she was the most sophisticated sailing yacht ever launched.

It’s worth watching this video about this remarkable vessel. To date, there are only two yachts in the world using this unique rig design.

In spite of being one of the largest sailing yachts in the world, she looks tiny next to some of the other yachts in the marina.

And speaking of unique, this boat, Norn, is owned by Charles Simoni, one of the developers of Microsoft Office. Norn is brand new and bigger than his prior yacht, Scat with many of the same characteristics. Check out this link to the builder’s site for Norn to get a feel for what such a yacht looks like down below. They both have a military look to them. The owner also has the distinction of being the only civilian to go up to the International Space Station twice, as a tourist.

While there are plenty of massive motor yachts to choose from here, I should note this huge sloop, Sarissa, owned by Lachan Murdoch, who runs News Corp. Launched in 2023, she is a luxury racer/cruiser, designed to take him and his family just about anywhere. Check out these photos of her?

This morning has been a very busy day for arrivals of the biggest yachts here in Falmouth harbor. This yacht is called Dreamboat. She is owned by the founder of Home Depot, Arthur Bank. Launched in 2019 she cost a staggering $180M. He also owns two sports teams. Of course he does…

I doubt that many of the materials were purchased from Home Depot but the money surely came from there. Check out this link for photos and a description of this amazing yacht.

Dreamboat has a nice spot suited to sundowners, I’d say.

Of course, you have to have a proper tender on such a yacht. When they get this fancy, they are called limos.

A favorite of mine is Naulin, launched in 1930 and carried King Edward for a tour of the Med before he abdicated the throne. After decades of neglect, she was fully refurbished by James Dyson, the vacuum guy. She was steam powered and now is converted to twin diesels. This link will take you to an interesting brief history. She is over 300′ long and only 35′ wide, a much smaller yacht than a yacht of similar length today. A classy lady, to be sure.

Ok, one more although, not with a particularly creative name. Here comes the Sun, she was once owned by a Russian but no longer. Interestingly, she recently went through a refit and had about 40′ added to her length. Sounds complicated.

Wonder what the “down below” looks like? It’s hard to pick which of these massive yachts to include as there are so many to choose from. However, Here Comes the Sun has a great video tour.

So, enough about the .oo1% gang that seems to be everywhere. How about “a day in the life of the little retired cruisers?”

With that in mind, the other day we rented a car with some friends to do a bit of exploring.

Here’s something that you don’t see everyday, especially aboard mega-yachts. Along the way we had to stop to wait for a herd of goats to get out of the way. It was hilarious to see them trot down the road, parting to get around our car and reforming behind us.

Once the goats cleared, our first stop was the Saturday farmer’s market in St John. It was a crazy experience with vendors set up on every street corner.

I wonder if some of those goats were headed for this meat market? It was alarming to see how fast the guy moved the meat through the band saw blade and how close his fingers came to the blade.

Or, better yet. I wonder what this machete sharpener guy was preparing for?

We are certainly not slumming it aboard Pandora but it’s a bit hard to reconcile how different the lives of those mega yacht owners and the typical Antiguan.

However, even the most extravagant wealth isn’t much use if you can’t enjoy your toys. Back when Putin invaded Ukraine all the Russian owned mega yachts took off with moments to spare lest their boats be impounded. Most of them are now in Turkey or the Middle East where they are safe from sanctions. However, one that didn’t get away, supposedly because they did not have enough fuel aboard, was Alfa Nero.

She is still here two years later, now under the control of the Antigua government and it’s unclear as to what will happen next. Some think that the Antiguan government has bitten off more than they can chew as they are now required to keep the boat in perfect condition, an expensive proposition for a yacht that costs thousands a day just sitting there.

These big kids come and go all the time so you get the feel that being a part of such a club is common. However and to get a feel for how rare the billionaire set is, there is one billionaire on the planet for every three million people, about 2,500 of them. And to say that a billionaire is “one in a million” understates it by a factor of three.

But to be a Russian billionaire right now isn’t what it used to be. While most of the Oligarchs got out of town when Putin invaded Ukraine, feel sorry for the owner of Alfa Nero that wasn’t fast enough on the trigger to leave Antigua and can no longer enjoy his toy. Well, that assumes that he hasn’t got another one stashed somewhere.

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