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Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:  that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too.
“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”

W.H.  Murray

Today, I signed a contract to buy a scuba diving resort on an island that no one ever heard of off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean.

This is, to put it mildly, a big event; a life-changing event for me and my family; a life-changing event for George—the guy who built and owns the place; a life-changing event for the handful of employees who work there; and, most assuredly, a life-changing event for my dog.  This big event was unplanned, poorly researched and barely thought out.                                            

You see, I didn’t mean to.  That is, I had no intention of buying a resort—scuba or otherwise.  It pretty much happened by chance, a string of synchronistic events that took me down a path leading to my wife and I becoming the new owners of Clearwater Paradise Resort and Clearwater Paradise Divers on an island called Guanaja.


For some reason I always have to say it twice.  I signed a contract to buy Clearwater Paradise Resort and Clearwater Paradise Divers on an island called Guanaja.

I told you it was an island you’ve never heard of.  I have told a number of people this piece of news and not one person yet has heard of it.   The conversations have all been quite similar:

“….Ok, now tell me again.  What’s the name of this island?”
“How do you spell it?” they ask, while grabbing their phone.
“G-U-A-N-A-J-A, pronounced guanaja.”
“…hmmm,” as they rapidly tap on their phones.
“It’s one of three islands they call the Bay Islands located about 70 Kilometers off the coast of Honduras.”

I then tell them that they may have heard of one of the other Bay Islands.  It is called Roatan.  Most haven’t, although a few people know it from being a stop for cruise ships, and a few others might know it from watching Caribbean Life.  Walk into a dive shop, however, and they all know Roatan.  And you might—just might—find a diver in the local dive shop that knows Guanaja. 

So what’s so special about this Guanaja place?  You might ask.  The island is downright beautiful and the diving is phenomenal!  In fact, it is so phenomenal one doesn’t need to be an expert to see the phenomenalness.  This is good because I’m not an expert.   I had not been diving in… oh, about 25 years.

Wow, wait a minute, you’ve got to be kidding?  You’re probably thinking. You’re buying a dive resort and you’ve not even been diving in …. oh, about 25 years?  Yes, and not only am I not kidding the conundrum gets better, so much better.

The resort we are buying has 10 rooms and is an all-inclusive resort simply because it has to be.  It is remote—only reachable by boat—meaning it has to have a restaurant (serving 3 meals a day) and bar. Cumulatively, my wife and I have exactly zero years, zero days, zero hours of experience working in a restaurant, zero years, days, or hours experience working in or at a hotel or inn and the only bar drink I know how to mix is a rum and Coke.  And, although I AM a certified diver, 25 years is a long time ago, especially in a sport that heavily relies on technology.

I am 64 years old.  My wife, Laurie, and I have been married for 35 years.  We have 3 children and a dog.  Elizabeth is 25, Nick is 22 and Maria is 20 (our dog, Sally, a golden retriever, is 4).  Elizabeth, as I will explain later, is a major contributor to this mess we’ve gotten ourselves into (must be because she takes after her mom).

Both Laurie and I were born and have lived our entire lives in Kansas City, Missouri (actually just outside of Kansas City but for simplicity it’s just easier to say we’re from Kansas City).  We have done a fair bit of traveling, more than most I’d say, but we’ve lived our lives about as far away from an ocean as one possibly can.

So here I am.  Here we are.  The contract I signed today is the official beginning.  It is a purchase contract that includes a very large down payment.  We do not actually own the resort yet, that will come in a few months once I can liquidate the assets needed to pay for it.  Since the assets are all real estate, it takes some time.  That very large down payment says there is no backing out.   The money is—or was—most of our retirement.  Oh joy!

In this blog, I intend to explain what happened, how we got here and maybe even why.  From there, I will chronicle the journey of the “Smith” family running and owning a dive resort on a rather obscure island in the Caribbean.

My intention is to post a new written blog every weekend with a mid-week post of some pictures or short videos.  The mid-week posts will probably be irregular at first because I still have several months of working my ass off liquidating the real estate here at home.

Next week’s blog will tell the beginning of that synchronistic string of events.  It involves Covid, a misplaced passport, tuk-tuks, a super model and a grumpy daughter who “could use” a vacation.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  I’m calling it ACT III, the final act.  Most plays seem to have three acts, and in all plays the final act is where most of the excitement happens, the climax, resolution.  And, as in all good stories, plays and movies the final act should be one of drama, surprise and intrigue.

So here we go! 

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.


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