For 25 years of marriage, most people usually get silver anniversary gifts, but one North Carolina man bought his wife a ton of rusting steel out in the middle of the ocean!
While surfing the web for a home along the Carolina coast, Richard Neal found a government website where an old lighthouse tower was up for auction. Neal submitted a bid and ended up buying it for $85,000.
The old platform has a living deck where every bedroom has an ocean view and the view below the waterline is also spectacular.
Getting to this new home-away-from-home, however, is a bit of a challenge.
The platform is 25 miles off the North Carolina coast.
It was once used to warn of dangerous rock formations where ships could run aground and sink.
"It is a bit of a defining moment when you realize you have to call your wife and tell her what you got for your 25th anniversary is a giant chunk of steel in the middle of the ocean, so I think I was more concerned about that than I was about restoring the tower," Neal said.
The restoration won't be cheap. Neal expects it to cost more than a million dollars to complete all of the necessary repairs.
There is no dock and no elevator to get from sea level to the 80-foot high deck. That's where the adventure begins. Neal uses an electric winch to raise and lower people and equipment to the top.
There is also a helipad and aircraft control tower.
Despite the rustic accommodations, people are already spending $300 each for a two-night visit. The cost of traveling to and from the tower, however, is not included.
Some people have suggested that Neal convert the tower into an exclusive bed and breakfast for the rich and famous.
Neal says he wants to maintain the tower as an excellent fishing and diving destination for generations to come.
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