Captain Daly’s Off-The-Grid Eden
Surf you’d punch a dolphin for on an eco-friendly island.
“I was going to the Marshalls in the Indies Trader, and we were anchored in front of this island, and started fantasizing about ‘what ifs,” Captain Martin Daly says of his eco surf resort on Beran Island in the Marshalls.
“The island was so pristine. When I decided that I was going to put roots down, and throw out the anchor permanently there, I decided that if we were going to do something to this pristine island, that we had a great responsibility to have as little impact as possible, because it was such a privilege to use it and to have access to it.”
With the island of his dreams squarely in his crosshairs—which is saying a lot considering how many islands the man has seen in his lifetime—Daly and his team endeavored to build the most environmentally responsible surf resort they could.
There are 100 solar panels, which produce 28 kilowatts of power. There are also two 10-kilowatt wind generators. All of which feeds into a battery system capable of holding 80-kilowatt hours. They also have the capacity to store 180,000 liters of water under the main building.
Thanks to the abundance of wind and sun, the island operates almost completely off the grid.
A combination of wind turbines and solar panels power the Beran Island if Resort.
“We had a blank canvas,” tells Daly. “So, I just used the Internet, and picked everyone’s brains, and tried to just use my common sense to determine what was possible and what was not possible.
“I don’t think that what we’ve got is perfect, but it works,” he continues. “We’ve got wind turbines and solar. The generators hardly run at all anymore. Almost never. I think we run the generators to exercise the batteries and give them boost charges and stuff, or if we don’t have any wind or it’s raining and there’s no sun for a couple of days. Then the generator runs. But, that’s not a common account. I’m really proud of that, that we’re self-sustainable, and that we don’t burn hardly any fuel anymore.”
Daly’s made his way in life on the sea. First as a salvage diver, then, more glamorously, as the boat captain that brought the surf world the Mentawais. But as Indo got overwhelmed, Daly turned his attention to the Pacific, specifically the Marshall Islands.
His new land operation on Beran may seem like a departure from the exploratory boat trips he’s famous for, but it’s all part of his master plan.
“I’m still doing the same boat trips,” he said. “This is more of a base of operations—to have a workshop, a wharf, a place to base the boats. And, while we’re there, we might as well hangout, and it’s pretty pleasant there. So, it’s kind of multifunction. It’s a lodge, but it’s also where I can base all my boats.”
Certainly, Daly still has his secrets in Indo, so why change course so dramatically and look to the Marshalls?
“We did try to do it in Indonesia, and I was never happy with the security of the assets and stuff,” he explains. “I mean, one of the things with boats is that if you get in trouble with a boat, you can always sail to the horizon. And, in Indonesia, I never felt that there was enough security to invest in real estate.”
“And, the Marshalls … I felt that there was the security. Although it’s an independent country, it’s very, very close to the United States. And, they have an American Attorney General and Chief Justice. Not all of the judges are local—to get away from the potential for nepotism. It’s pretty hard in such a small country for someone to convict somebody who’s in their family or their friend’s family. So, yeah. I think it’s got a pretty clean judicial system.”
Finding a clean island and a clean judicial system was just the beginning. Turning a dream into a reality is always considerably harder than it sounds.
Worth it? Effing A.
Martin first conceived of Beran Island in 2010, but it wasn’t until 2015 where he felt like he was at a point where he could stay on the island. The remoteness of the area presented obvious challenges, as did finding the right people to help.
“There’s a couple of guys that gave me a lot of help, surfers of course,” says Daly. “We tapped the expertise of Charlie Cowden at Hanalei Solar on Kauai and Roland Shackleford of Renewable Energy Services on Maui for our clean and extremely robust setup.”
“I mean, it was difficult to do the solar because off grid stuff is tough,” continues Daly. “Everybody knows about how to put stuff on houses in the suburbs on the grid, but it’s very few people that can really, really understand what it takes to be completely off the grid without any sort of power available.”
When it comes to other surf resorts following his lead, as far as Daly is concerned, why wouldn’t they?
“I think the sustainable energy thing is something they could all adopt,” he says. “I just came back from Indo and was really blown away to see that none of the surf resorts that had been built in Sumatra had significant amounts of renewable energy. And, for the price of diesel, generators and everything else, I don’t know. I just don’t see it. It seems like a no brainer.”
And as for the surf, Daly says it’s as good as the Mentawais…and that’s about all he’s saying. You’ll just have to stay on Beran Island to find out.
Could be you!
It’s Surfboard Sponsorship Bingo On The 2024 CT
Who rode who in Hawaii, and what's it mean for the rest of the year?
7 BTS Full Frames From ‘Motel Hell’
"He got flogged on the takeoff and pushed into a underwater cave for a long…
This Week, 272 Surfers Will Battle Through 20 Rounds For 18 Remaining Olympic Spots
Your 2024 ISA World Games preview.
With Two Events Down, What Story Is The CT Leaderboard Telling us?
We plugged past and present Pros, and an official surfing odds setter, for their post-Hawaii…
John Florence Would Have Submitted A Different Pyzel For Stab In The Dark?
Plus, Jon Pyzel reflects on his Episode 03 cameo and predicts our 2024 SITD champ.
A Rare Glimpse Of Caity Simmers And Jordy Smith In The Same Freesurf Edit
Watch the #2 and #4 ranked CT surfers share an Indonesian playground with some Stab…
“The Grom’s In Her Place” — Molly Picklum And Jack Robinson Win 2024 Hurley Pro Sunset
A clean sweep for Australia's gen Z!
Why Did Sawyer Lindblad Get A Paddling Interference Today At Sunset, If Jack Robbo Didn’t In 2019?
A critical analysis of WSL judging past and present.
Brisa Hennessy Has The Best Sunset Rizz, Caity + BLSJ Sample New Sticks
Day three recap of the Hurley Pro.
Stab In The Dark With Kolohe Andino, Episode 3
Five boards face off for two Finals spots and Jon Pyzel infiltrates the set to…
Can We Reverse Engineer The 100-Foot Wave?
We calculated the buoy reading for the surf to reach triple digits.
Stab High Site + World Surfing Reserve Playa Hermosa Is Under Threat
What’s happening in Costa Rica?
Brazil + San Clemente Crumble, Florence Puts The Mandoline To Work
Ewing, Slater and Medina sliced on day two of the Hurley Pro @ Sunset.
Soupy Sunset Skewers Three Wildcards, Jordy Smith Nicks Top Score Donning A Single Bootie
Day one recap of the Hurley Pro.