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June 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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That Kosrae Dive Resort Lottery Winner

from the June, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

You may remember Undercurrent (August 2016) reported that the Beitz family, original founders and owners of the Kosrae Nautilus Resort, which has plenty of great diving, wanted to retire. But instead of putting their property up for sale, they hit on the novel idea of raffling it off. They did, raising more money than they expected, reported by The Guardian to be in the region of $4 million, with more than 75,000 people in 100 different countries buying raffle tickets, Josh Ptasznyk, 26, an Australian tax accountant, became the proud owner for the mere investment of $49. We contacted Ptasznyk to see how he was doing. This is his reply:

Dear Undercurrent readers,

I first arrived on Kosrae in October before returning to Australia to pack up my life. I left my accounting job and moved over in November, so I have been on the island for at least six months now.

Owning a resort is in some ways blissful, while on other days it is challenging; often each day will be a different challenge or opportunity. Most days involve opening up the resort, checking around to see if anything needs to be fixed, closing up, counting the takings for the day, and taking inventory every couple of days to keep track of stock. Every month involves ordering in new supplies of dry goods and frozen stock, loading the containers with stock when goods arrive. Every day I will manage bookings, answer emails and talk with guests and help organize tours.

My life has changed a lot since moving here to Kosrae and taking over the resort. I have learned to scuba dive, getting my PADI open water and in the next few months will start my advanced open water. This time last year I did not see myself diving and rarely visited the beach.

Nowadays I will be out snorkeling with expats on the island every week and regularly go on hikes and dive every couple of weeks. The work life is very different to a 9 to 5 job in Wollongong, Australia, where I lived before, and in a way, I am working 24 hours a day seven days a week; but I really have more control over the time I work and relax.

The main challenge is the remoteness and lack of supply on the island. Most items need to be ordered in from Guam or the USA by ship, which requires me to predict ahead of time what we need. These supplies can on occasion be delayed, leading to shortages on the island. There are also often challenges with filling a freight container between the local small businesses on the island, so on occasion, we are required to buy on the island from larger stores.

The perks include living opposite the beach, being able to go out diving when I want, and the beautiful waters for diving and snorkeling. There is also the lovely scenery, the mountain hikes, and kayaking through the mangroves. The history of the place, including the remains from the WWII occupation and the local culture, is a highlight.

-- Josh

www.kosraenautilus.com

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