Island Time


I think that I had forgotten about island time. I used to live in the Caribbean. Nearly twenty years actually, and I was managing businesses during that time. Getting things done in the islands, demands patience, and tenacity and you have to keep on trying, but never, never can you lose your temper or show your impatience, or all will stop, and No progress will be made.

It’s not the bartender, the slowness of the service, the high cost of the drink. That is just local colour. It takes much longer to get that cold beverage here. Slow down and enjoy. Check your New York attitude at the door. Smile and enjoy the warm breeze as you finally sip that cold Pina Colata, in the open air bar, standing there barefooted and watching that awesome sunset, with the reggae beat coming through the huge speakers.

My impatience comes from my waiting here in George Town for some parts to repair the Yamaha outboard. We left Florida, unable to get the outboard serviced until after the New Year, and it had run perfectly during our sea trials. So we decided it was okay to go with it.

As it turns out, the carburetors need to be rebuilt, and the timing belt is stretched and needs to be replaced. The mechanic at George Town told me that we needed parts, and they would have to come from Nassau. The carb kits were in stock and would be here in a week. The timing belt was special order and would take at least 3 weeks.

I’ve done this before- contact some suppliers in Florida and have the parts shipped down here. We should get the timing belt here next week (last week) at the same time the carb kits are here.

And so that was the plan. We left George Town to go to Emerald Bay Marina, about 10 miles away to give Southern Star  a few days on the docks, batteries a good charge, and more importantly, the boat a good fresh water bath and nice detail- Southern Star was to get her boat spa.

We headed off, and took the marina berth. They were over booked due the impending cold front (seem to be coming every 5 days) and so they put us in a 70 foot slip. Nice and easy, lots of room- power and RO water.

The marina is operated by Sandals Resorts, and the Sandals resort is only a few miles from the marina. Too far to walk, and you had to be accompanied by staff if you went in any case. We started walking around the marina complex, looking for the convenience store promised in the guide book; but it is now closed, and the nearest convenience store was 2 ½ miles away, not really very convenient. The marina also offered free Wi-Fi, but it was sooo slooww. The fitness center for the marina guests, only ½ of the machines worked. Island time Mon.

A day pass at Sandals was $160 each person, so we passed. The marina was nice, but not much to do. And a surge started as a northerly swell rolled in. We were happy to get off the dock, and head back to George Town after 3 nights there. We had made a reservation with Minns Watersports to have the outboard work done on the Friday, and so we planned to head back Friday am.

The marina office opened at 0800, but the girl who runs the desk was late, got there at 830.

We were all ready, cables put away, engine running when she finally arrived. The computer took 10 minutes to load up, so the bill could be finalized.

Island time. Not a problem mon. Feeling concerned about getting to George Town late, as soon as we dropped the hook, I called Minns watersports. She was trying to reach me…

She only ordered one carb kit- and we need 3. We need 2 more. She would order the other 2, and they would be here next Wednesday on the boat from Nassau. OK- another week. We can do that. Island time Mon.

About 5:00 I hear my name- Ted Dixon called out on the VHF. Not Southern Star…

I contact Minns watersports on VHF, and learn that Nassau has only 1 more carb kit.  They have to order the other one and it will take about 3 more weeks. I hold my breath. No answer from me. “do you read,over?” she called over the open VHF radio. “Roger, stand by…”

And so it goes. I contacted my parts lady in Florida and she has one carb kit, and will send it to me via Reggie Express, same way the timing belt got here (at pretty considerable expense.) and it should be here on Wed.

And so I wait. The carb kit from Florida should be here in Wed, and the one from Nassau on Wed.

Nothing can go wrong with this. At least the water is warm, and the sand is nice a white. And the rum is good.


Island time….mon.


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