On the Road Again
Trip Start Aug 01, 2005
37Trip End Ongoing
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Before actually leaving Antigua, we sailed back to Jolly Harbor on the west side of the island to stock up at what was the most convenient, nicely stocked grocery shop we've encountered on our voyage so far. After Jolly Harbor, we struck out for Nevis (Nee-vis), a small island to the southeast of St. Kitts. The birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, Nevis was visited by Christopher Columbus in 1493. It probably hasn't changed much.
On Friday morning we went ashore to check in with Customs, there was lovely, live steel band music coming from the dock side. People greeted us with smiles, handed out street maps and information on the taxi service. It wasn't until later that I realized that they probably thought we were from the small cruise ship that was anchored near us... Oh well, I thought the people were very kind and generous.
We took our customary walk, ending up in a field scattered with old cannons and grazing cows.
When we got back to the dingy dock, we hopped in, started the engine and then noticed that the gear shifter was missing. Shoot. Time for another adventure. We retied the dingy and walked back up the dock to where the throngs of taxi drivers were waiting to earn some easy money. The first one to us asked if we wanted a ride anywhere. We said possibly and asked him if he knew where we could find a mechanic for our Yamaha. He said, "Follow me." We walked to the street where he said, "There he is," as he shouted out asking, "Do you know Yamahas?" This fellow, whose name was Dooby (or something like it) said, no he didn't, but he knew where the girlfriend worked of the guy who did know them and we should follow him. Here we were, this Pied Piper sort of line, winding our way to the back of a market. The woman gave him her fellow's phone number and we were on our way back to the taxi to pick up the mechanic. On the way to John's taxi another couple from Florida needed a ride, and seeing as the taxi was air conditioned and we were already inside, we said no problem, mon. (We didn't actually say "mon" but it was close) So we saw a bit of the island compliments of these two Floridians. After dropping them off, we were in search of the mechanic and his engine tools. He figured we could buy a new gear shifter at a store about 3 miles away. We piled back into John's taxi and purchased what we hoped would take care of the problem. Back at the boat we found it didn't fit. Then the mechanic left to try to find something else that would work. We waited at the dock for nearly an hour when he came back all smiles. He said he found something and had to do some "Mac Guiver work", and he hoped it would do the trick.
After some more Mac Guiver work with his knife, in the fading daylight, he said it wouldn't work after all. But, he said he had something at his home that would fix it.
He asked us to meet him at the dock at eight in the morning. John, the taxi dude, said he'd be back at 8:30 am to ride Chris back to the store to return the part that didn't work. Next morning we arrived at the dock at 8:01 and waited. Around 8:55 Chris decided that he'd walk the part back to the store while I waited for the mechanic to show up - which he did about 5 minutes later. I forgot we were on "Island time". But no worries, he had a part that seemed to work and our little outboard was once again in business. We asked him how much for the repair, and he said, "Nothing, or anything you want to give." Chris gave him 40 local dollars (called EC - Eastern Caribbean which would equal around $18 US) and he was very happy.
We found a Catholic church nearby and decided to stay until Sunday Mass. We entered the breezy church with its 12 rows of pews. It was a wonderful Palm Sunday celebration with lots of music. After Mass was over, the priest asked if there were any visitors and if we would please introduce ourselves. There was another gentleman there with his grandson and us. After introductions came a rousing song whose words were this: "Oh we love you, love you, love you (clap, clap) Oh we love you, love you, love you (clap, clap) 2nd verse: same as the first, but twice as fast.