Monday, June 11, 2007

Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: ESE 5-10 knots, scattered rain showers

On the phone today, Karl’s mom informed him that the radio has been shipped to us via FedEx, for a grand cost of $180. Gulp. Neither of us had any idea it would cost that much for a little short-wave radio. If we had, we would have probably made alternate arrangements. Especially frustrating is that we’ve found out that Gypsy Rose has a spare weather radio on their boat, exactly the type that we’re have shipped, that they would have been willing to part with. Now we’re stuck here for two weeks, at least, waiting for a very expensive weather radio when we could have left today.

You win some, you lose some. You only have to make a mistake once--we’ll never do that again, not at least without finding out how much the shipping costs. It’s deeply exasperating, though, because a large majority of our plans for the future have been based around the idea of having stuff shipped from the States, for boat repair, or our personal possessions, whatever. Now we know that we can fly to the States for cheaper than it costs to ship stuff. It’s good news in some ways, but bad news in others--it means we’ll be able to fly home more often, but it also means we really should’ve flown home in this case. For the cost of our shipping and the cell phone calls the other night, Karl could have flown home, visited his parents and his nephews, taken care of his real estate paperwork, picked up tons of junk that we need, and still have gotten back before the radio will arrive. Argh.

That, and the rain, is making it difficult to find the motivation to do anything in town. There are plenty of things we need to get done, or could go look for, but they all seem expensive and time-intensive. Our budget isn’t looking so pretty, either. It’s great that we’re able to live on so little--cans and cabbages and potatoes--but it makes the road down to the Dominican Republic seem grim and expensive. Puerto Rico is still very far away, and either there or the Virgins are the next place we can reliably find work. Even the prospect of job-hunting seems far less exciting when we’re faced with the reality of it. The idea of it sounds grand, but the prospect of hunting around for under-the-table jobs in a country where we don’t know the language seems a Herculean effort indeed.

We’re also still struggling through the inertia of our three weeks at anchor. We’ve settled down into island time, where nothing really seems that high of a priority. It blows my mind how cruisers continue to call Bahamians “lazy,” for whatever reason--they lack the entrepreneurial or agricultural sense of Americans, or they’re not willing to work a forty-hour week, or they don’t keep reliable office hours. Heck, I’m not willing to work a forty-hour week! I came down here to escape the western rat race, to join the relaxed Caribbean lifestyle! What sense does it make to blame Bahamians for doing exactly what we’re doing?

So I’m content to let the rain clouds wash down our decks, to let the FedEx pilots dawdle their way down to Great Exuma, and to enjoy the dolphins playing off our quarter and the calypso music from the Peace and Plenty at night. We’re not accomplishing much, but isn’t that the whole point?

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