The Seafaring Caretaker - A Profile of Captain Jack
Date of Birth: November 19, 1923
Interests: Video photography, travel, and deep water sail boating
Quote: "I'm going to live to be 100, or die trying."
Captain Jack Neiman is a true world traveler.
He got his chance to see the globe the hard way - by participating in
a lot of wars: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War. He spent
a lot of time in the Navy and was able to see a lot of the world while
he was in the service.
After so much activity, Captain Jack took early retirement from the Navy
in 1963 and, at the age of 39, got involved in the field of property caretaking.
Captain Jack started his caretaking career at the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park, in eastern Tennessee, right on the North Carolina border.
He stayed for one summer, working at the hikers' guest house called LeConte
Lodge on top of Old Smoky Mountain along the scenic trail there. He truly
enjoyed that caretaking experience and, after spending so many years at
sea, wanted to settle down into a land-based caretaking lifestyle.
As fate would have it, though, Capt. Jack got sidetracked from caretaking
when he delivered an airplane to Bolivia. He readily took to the Bolivian
culture and didn't want to leave right away.
Five years after his Bolivian adventure, Capt. Jack got back on track
with caretaking when he landed an exceptional job as a caretaker for an
American physician. The doctor's home was built on a warm, paradise island.
The island, Roatan Island, is one of Hondura's three Bay Islands. It is
located about 30 miles north of the Honduran coast, east of the Gulf of
It's a beautiful green island with mountain peaks rising to 700 ft. With
a population of 20,000 at the time Capt. Jack was a caretaker there in
the 1980's, Roatan was an inexpensive tropical Eden. Until recently, most
American retirees settled in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Belize since Roatan
was slightly more difficult to reach and relatively undiscovered.
When the doctor choose to build his home on Roatan, he was looking to
escape from the expense, noise, and crime of the United States.
The doctor found that the Honduran government made it fairly simple
for an American to move to Roatan. There was no duty charge on the first
load of household goods, the first car, and the first boat, though there
was a $1,000 fee for establishing residency.
The doctor's home, a two-bedroom ranch-style house, is located high above
a scenic lagoon with a beautiful view of the ocean. It was very comfortable
for Capt. Jack and his girlfriend, especially after he rewired the whole
house for electricity.
Capt. Jack's main responsibility was just to be a presence at the house
and property to prevent any theft or vandalism and take care of any maintenance
problems. He built his own boat dock down in the lagoon for his 30-ft
SeaRay power boat. He usually received what he needed from the supply
boats that came to the island twice a month. Sometimes he would fly over
to Honduras with his twin engine Cessna or he would take his power boat
across the gulf to the mainland to pick up supplies.
The doctor would come down from America every August and March. That's
when Capt. Jack would take his vacations in his power boat or fly his
plane back to the states for some visiting.
After living there for 11 years, Capt. Jack recently decided to pack
it in and move on. Capt. Jack thought it was time to give up his idyllic
lifestyle and start traveling again. Since leaving Roatan, Capt. Jack
has become a full-time RVer in the States. He's been traveling in a 20'
VW Winnebago - Rialta.
He recently drove from Key West to San Diego with a commercial side trip
back to Honduras. He has an offer to "sit" as a guest ranger at a 175,000
acre military bombing range in Florida for the winter. They will provide
him with full hookups for his RV. He's also tempted to take a corporate
pilot position in Honduras, but isn't sure if the "climate" is right at
Whatever Captain Jack ends up doing, he'll end up making an interesting
and exciting adventure out of it!
Capt. Jack with his "guard" dog by the Doctor's home.
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