Who Has $45,000 To Spare?

[Another pre-Bill implosion post that’s been waiting to get uploaded… told ya I had a lot of them…]

On a rest day in the Abel Tasman National Park area, I washed my filthy tramping clothes and muddy boots and had a sublime latte from the Pirate Espresso Ship, which is for sale.

The ship was once owned by Jacques Cousteau (really) and for the past four or so years has been a seasonal coffeehouse afloat, snuggled into a marina on Tasman Bay.

Oliver, the laidback owner, has decked the place out with a tasteful collection of plastic swords, Jolly Roger flags and images of Che Guevara who, while not a pirate, seems to fit the decor. He roasts his own coffee beans onboard and you can really taste it… fabulous body, aroma and complexity. He lives onboard and showed me around, including the place where there’s room to put in a small but fully functional kitchen.

When he told me it was for sale, the ship, the coffee brewing paraphenalia and even the cash register, I thought wow, it must be loads of money. Nope. He told me NZ$65,000 for the whole kit and caboodle, somewheres around $45,000 in Amer’kin dollars.

Are you kidding me???

$45,000 in the States would barely buy you a closet and a Mr. Coffee.

He told me about his plans to put in a kitchen, to move the ship to Nelson to take advantage of a longer season, to start selling food, each idea ending in “but I never got around to it.” I got the distinct impression that Oliver, who seemed like a really nice guy, would rather spend his days kayaking and kicking back to Bob Marley’s catalog while smoking something other than beans.

Arr, matey, just think of what a motivated Pastry Pirate could do with that operation! If only I had enough booty in the bank… perhaps I should be truly piratical and just purloin the vessel…

In the meantime, here are some pix of the pirate vessel as well as random Top o’ the South Island shots that didn’t fit in else:


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