Living the Caribbean Dream

Living the Dream

Debbie and John Malthouse began “Living the Roatan Dream” several years ago. They severed their ties to shore, sold their home on Lake Simcoe, Ontario and moved aboard their 42 foot sailing ketch, Sweet Surrender, in 2007.

Since then, they have been full time liveaboards, navigating the eastern seaboard and poking around the islands of the eastern Caribbean, returning to the US and Canada occasionally to visit family and friends.

John enjoyed a stimulating career as a mechanical engineer for a family business. His work saw him travel to all corners of the globe. Debbie ran her own successful horticultural business and worked as a utility employee.

“What brought you to Roatan in the first place and when?” I asked the Malthouses.

“After 14 years together, Debbie and I finally tied the knot a few months ago. We held a quiet ceremony in the boating community of Stuart, Florida, where we were joined by family and friends from Canada. Roatan was our choice of a honeymoon destination. We were invited to stay with friends who live on the island.

We had watched our friends settle in Roatan and knew how much they loved living on the island. We instantly fell in love with the place and the life-style of the friendly bunch of expats we got to know during our stay. Within days, we were calling it our island,” said Deb.

“We both realized that during all the years we sailed the Caribbean, on some level we had been searching for the ideal location to drop our anchor and settle down. Our search was over,” John told me.

“”Did you consider a vacation/retirement home in other countries or Caribbean Islands?” I asked the couple.

“Yes we did,” said John. “But we found Roatan to be the most suitable and upon first impression, one of the cleanest.”

“Did you know Alex or Marci before coming to the island, and if not, how did you find out about About Roatan Real Estate?” I asked.

“We had not met either Alex or Marci. They were recommended to us by friends. We were invited to Alex and his lovely wife, Marilyn’s home for dinner the day after we arrived. We had already an idea that we would possibly relocate to Roatan,” said John.

“Did you consider properties on other parts of the island?” I asked.

“Yes, we did. We spent a week touring every corner of the island but we chose the southern shore at the east end for its protective anchorages, the quieter, laid-back life style, and of course for the deep water slip for our 42 -foot sailboat at the property we bought.

The home came fully furnished, with appliances and everything we would need to begin our island life. In January of 2015, we plan to begin operating Blue Rock Vacations,” answered John.

In keeping with the simplicity of Roatán, Blue Rock Vacations will offer vacationers and fellow cruisers humble and unpretentious accommodations.

The two-bedroom home includes a loft area and a separate 1 bedroom apartment, perfect for rental accommodation.

A 19-foot panga with a 50 horsepower motor was included, complete with a covered boat slip and boat lift. There was a room full of fishing tackle and two kayaks, a tool box full of tools, and cupboards full of dishes, pots, and pans.

We will offer water tours, snorkeling on the reef, fishing excursions, and day sails on our 42-foot ketch. We can arrange other land or sea adventures as well as trips to popular local restaurants“

“How much of the year do you plan to spend here?” I asked the couple.

“We will sail Sweet Surrender from Florida to Roatan this November. It has been a long four months since we closed the deal and we can’t wait to begin life in our new island dream home.

While in Florida last year, John completed the mandatory 720 days off-shore boating. He graduated at the top of his class and received his United States Coast Guard Master Captain License,” said Deb.

“He hopes to fly to the Gulf to work and we will make occasional trips home to visit family and friends. However, we want to spend most of our time here, and hope that our family and friends and come to visit us.”

For more information on Blue Rock Vacations check their website at