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Billionaires and Large Watercraft

Posted 09-12-2014 at 10:36 AM by Blondebaerde
Updated 12-15-2014 at 03:51 PM by Blondebaerde


So on the lighter side, was walking about Lake Union (fairly close to downtown Seattle) on Sunday 9/7/2014. Circumnavigating is about a 6 mile hike. I love urban hikes in the Fall especially, sometimes into Winter when weather cooperates. Edit: someone already created such a Meetup group, RE urban hikes and mass transit, which I have since joined.

There are boat slips to see fun stuff on the Westlake side, plus a seaplane terminal that does a brisk business out to the San Juan Islands (and possibly elsewhere: Kenmore Air). And people living on houseboats, on one side or the other of law(?). That houseboat thing is a bit nebulous to me, legality of living on a "boat" that floats but isn't going anywhere under its own power anytime soon.

Walking along, I noted a giant yacht in one of the super-slips (whatever they call them, those handling very large yachts). The Kogo, Panamanian flag, owned by some French billionaire who is (or was) heavily involved in F1 Racing. Son of some sort of Saudi and French mogol. 70-something meters. 12' draft. Helluva sight. Kogo even has its own website: http://y.co/yacht/kogo/. I looked all that up later.

Some of the more-exclusive clubs are nearby, for Sunday brunch sort of thing. I was a tad underdressed for just popping in. Having neither coat, nor tie. Nor pants, come to think of it.

I found it interesting because this is a world I'll probably never see: billionaire. Millionaire isn't what it used to be; I'll "settle" for that w/o complaint. Costs more to fill up Kogo's fuel tanks than I make in a typical year, at-current, based on her capacity and diesel prices.

Are we ants to billionaires? Do they move exclusively in circles of true power brokers and have little idea the stratification of others? Terms like "Working Class", "Middle Class," "Upper Middle Class", "Wealthy" don't mean all that much to these guys: my annual salary is a rounding-error, if-that, on a billionaire's account statement.

I'm not complaining. I like working, and making a difference by increasing the velocity of time-to-market for my firm's new products. I like the vast bulk of my peers, directs, and executives. There is a certain amount of fulfillment from that, though the trap men find ourselves in is defining who we are via our careers (vs. relationships).

But Saudi magnates and their progeny: they work with other moguls and make macroeconomic policy based on partnership with other OPEC partners, or similar large-scale business. I suspect it's all rather subtle, yet sophisticated, and small changes reverberate to millions of dollars and millions of barrels in production (or the velocity of money, at-minimum).

Kogo had a good look to her. I read online the owner has a daughter who would now be 26. I bet dating her is an exercise in treading carefully. And it would certainly be enjoyable, at least for awhile, to motor that baby (the yacht, not the daughter) around the world and chase warm weather in the South Pacific, Pacific Northwest, and 101 other places depending on whim and season. "Captain, move us to Bora Bora: spring weather in the PacNW simply won't do for my tan". While the crew swabs the deck, and butler fixes me club soda with lime wedges (and plenty of it). Signing chits for fuel and other operations costs is probably the least of my worries.
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