Larry Claunch bought this 32-acre island in Fiji because he wanted a place that was secluded for his retirement home.
When he found a private island for sale in Fiji, “it just took my breath away,” said Mr. Claunch, a retired real-estate developer. He bought the roughly 32-acre island for about $1.5 million.
It took him a year to remodel the one-bedroom wooden bungalow on the island, transporting the lumber by boat. He now has a fast boat that can reach the town of Labasa in 1.5 hours, but when he first bought the island, “it was a two- or three-day thing to get groceries,” he said. So he’d supplement his diet with the fruit that grew wild on his property. “I lived many days on coconut and pineapple,” he recalled.
Single at the time, Mr. Claunch divided his time between Oregon and Fiji, spending months at a time on the island. He once lived there for an entire year. “It was very peaceful,” he said. “I never got lonely,” he said, in part because he employs caretakers, two couples who live full-time on the island in their own quarters.
As Fiji became more developed, his island has come to feel less remote. More roads have been built to the villages so getting groceries is easier. And about six years ago, cell service came to his little piece of paradise. Before that, he recalls typing emails on his BlackBerry, then hopping into his seaplane to fly high enough to send them.
Mr. Claunch planned to make the island his primary home, but that changed a few years ago when he fell in love and got married. Now that he and his wife have a 2-year-old daughter, they have decided to sell the island and relocate to Europe to be closer to his wife’s family.
Previously on the market for $4.2 million, the island is slated to be sold at auction by Platinum Luxury Auctions. Originally scheduled for May, the auction has been delayed by the pandemic and will likely take place in June, a spokesman for Platinum said.
Read the full article by Candace Taylor of the Wall Street Journal HERE.