Living on a sun-kissed island away from urban bustle might seem idyllic, but the idyll comes at a price. Granted, some people are happy to pay.
Two such individuals are Judy and Chris Pozgar, who after a day running the Rib City barbecue restaurant in Grant, commute via boat to their home on VIP island.
VIP island, also known as Vacation Island Paradise and Grant Farm Island, is a five-minute boat ride from the mainland but a couple of thousand miles away spiritually. In their bit of paradise at the north end of this 50-acre spit of land, the Pozgars find peace, quiet and beauty. This slice of heaven, however, can be hellish to get to some days.
In the seven years on the island, Judy Pozgar has experienced her share of hairy boat rides.
One late night after closing the restaurant, she braved five-foot waves on her Boston Whaler. On another occasion, the wind blew her boat — and her purse off the dock, before a crossing. Dense fog necessitated getting bearings strictly by GPS. A rambunctious grandchild fell off Pozgar’s boat on her way to school, was fished out and taken back home for a cleaning before being ferried across again. Adventure awaits, always.
“You have to be a certain type, because it is definitely different,” said Pozgar, who wouldn’t have it any other way.
The routine of daily life can be anything. Rain gear must always be at the ready. Forget Amazon deliveries to your door. Pozgar packages are addressed to Rib City or the Grant Post Office. Delivery of an appliance becomes a Herculean endeavor requiring Chris Pozgar’s pontoon boat-turned-barge. Tradesmen are eager for the Pozgars’ business … until they hear where they live.
Getting around on the Indian River island just east of Grant-Valkaria is by foot, bicycle or golf cart. There are no cars or roadways.
At VIP Island’s north end, 10 or so residents, like the Pozgars, reside full time. The other 60 or so homes are weekend retreats or an Airbnb, picturesquely named The House of the Rising Sun.
Grant Farm Island was developed from the estate of Melbourne resident John L. Smith in the late 1950s. Lots sold for $1,995. (Pozgar laughed when she heard that figure.)
The original plan was for a causeway to connect the island to both the mainland and the beaches, but the plan did not materialize after Brevard County real estate engaged in a major hiccup because of Apollo cutbacks at Kennedy Space Center.
The island is to remain an island.
That is fine for Judy Pozgar.