Friday, February 03, 2017

movie mogul migration

Two weeks ago, I was driving home to Barra de Navidad at night. When I looked out in the bay, it looked as if a large hunk of Melaque had broken away from shore and was lighting up the bay.

It had to be a boat. A large boat.

I should have stopped. When I returned the next day, the bay looked as if it had been cleared by pirates. Whatever I saw was gone. But, not for long.

My Air Force friend, Robin Olson, had just arrived from his winter home in Arizona. Darrel, Christy, and I decided to drive him a few miles northwest of Barra de Navidad for a day at one of my favorite beaches on Tenacatita Bay.

The bay was what drew me to this area of Mexico. Its long stretches of sand and calm surf makes it almost Caribbean. I came very close to buying a house in La Manzanilla. And, if it had not been for complications centering around the ejido ownership of the land (and the infrastructure restrictions), Mexpatriate would be coming to you from Tenacatita Bay.

My friends Lou and Wynn Moodie had introduced me to a delightful little inn (Chantli Mare Inn by the Sea), where we spent a relaxing afternoon watching the ocean and enjoying some of the best food in the area. In December, the three of us took Mom there. She had a great time. And we thought Robin would enjoy it just as much.

He did. But, as we spread out our dominoes for a marathon session of Mexican train, we noticed something unusual in the bay. Actually, two somethings unusual.

The boat (ship, really) that I had glimpsed in Navidad Bay was now anchored in Tenacatita Bay. By then, I had done a bit of research. The local gossipy message board provided the ship's name -- Rising Sun. As well as the owner's name -- David Geffen of movie and record fame. One of the wealthiest men in Hollywood.

And he would have to be to own what some sites rate as the 11th largest yacht in the world. 454 foot of floating luxury.

Geffen co-owned the yacht with Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle, and bought out Ellison's share. The ship is reportedly worth about $300 million. The most common calculation for the annual cost of running these yachts is one-half of its value.

I will avoid the usual sermonizing that goes along with sightings of celebrities and their toys. After all, Geffen earned his money through his own creativity. He can spend his money as he chooses.

What I will say is that it is a beautiful piece of machinery. I have never been a power boat man. When I get on the waves, I like to be propelled by sails.

As luck would have it, there was another luxury yacht in the bay. You can see it on the left.

It is the Eos -- owned by another movie and entertainment mogul, Barry Diller, the man who helped make Fox Broadcasting a reality. In the photograph, it looks small relative to the Rising Sun. And, it is. One-third smaller at 305 feet.

But, as a three-masted schooner, it is the world's largest privately-owned sailing yacht. As beautiful as the Rising Sun is, it looks almost clunky compared to the sleek lines of the Eos.

Admittedly, it is not the usual fare for flitting across San Diego Bay. But there is a certain romanticism in tall ships. Given the choice, I would have preferred the opportunity to look it over.

That was not going to happen. Barry Diller is very protective of his ship's secrets. Including, its interior design. Though, there are rumors. But they are just that.

Of course, that is not the reason I was not on board. I travel in a different social set than either Diller or Geffen.

But, I do hear Stephen Spielberg's yacht, Seven Seas, is in Puerto Vallarta. Or so says my yacht locator. Maybe my prospects would be better there. He has it up for sale and seldom uses it any more. It is now primarily a charter. At over $1,000,000 a month.

Mexpatriate should be able to pay that out of petty cash -- with all of the money I save with our local cost of living.

After all, we need to keep attracting those movie moguls south. What else are we going to talk about?

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