Finally, we can leave Charlotte Amalie
We have watched so many comings...............
............................and goings of the various cruise ships.
The most we saw in line was four, some days none at all. One day at four we were walking past the their quayside and the queue to get on board looked like a Stones concert security check
The second installment of the Morrison's AAA Battery Fiasco. All I hoped was whoever Bear engaged to help us was not called Alberto and spoke good English after the last idiot who would have had us buy three new boat batteries for lots of money, that were half the power of ours and too big for our space.
Friday the 26th of February. As soon as the anchor was down we went to Yacht Haven Marina Office to ask if they knew of someone who could help us. They gave us the number for Vince, being a Friday afternoon it was too much to hope he may drop past on his way home for the weekend. He told us to ring on Monday morning as he didn't have appointment diary on him. BUT he could help us he said reassuringly.
Monday the 1st of March dawned and as soon as it was nine o'clock Bear was on the blower. Vince was set to arrive at four. Over the weekend we had busied ourselves with chores, internet cafes and several strawberry daiquiri and bushwacker cocktails - well that makes the internet free then doesn't it and its a good signal from the Green House pub...............
Monday afternoon. Vince and his gadget bag arrives, he is a neatly built South African who had spent his early adulthood in London before moving to America, marrying and settling here on St Thomas. His readings confirmed it was definitely the alternator and the batteries were all well. Unscrewed and in his bag, alternator and smart charger left Beez Neez, Vince said he would give it to his mate to bench test it and repair it - he said confidently.
Tuesday the 2nd no word. Wednesday Vince called to say he would be with us in the morning, all fixed for $200.
Thursday the 4th - Vince says "All righty" quite often. As soon as the fixed gizmo was put on - it produced no power - either not repaired, improperly repaired or blown. I was getting heated at this point and demanded the men buy a new one and stop fannying around or words to that effect. With no reliable internet and too many cocktails to be sensible by the time we do get connected, Vince said he would investigate buying a new one that night when he got home.
Friday the 5th of March. Vince had located what we need from West Marine in the US, but due to the cost and not knowing us, he needed to drop by for $500 toward the cost. Friday night he rang to say it was en route and would take three to four days, UPS was so much cheaper than Fedex and counted weekend days as ordinary he said firmly.
Bear said he would take me to Brewers Drop for the weekend but as we were firmly anchored, the sun wasn't out and it kept spitting with rain, I said we could sip juice and play Backgammon and Upword. There we settled to the task. However we now gamble whilst playing Backgammon. I lost sixty four dollars and fell into a deep pelt that only a good sort out would abate. Bear hid as I filled Baby Beez to overflowing. I felt much better as a result. Bear felt ransacked.
I'm making no comment here as it will turn into a Janet and John moment - that always results in pain for me and as I keep hitting the top of my head for some strange reason, I'm being threatened to have to wear a crash hat as it is.
Monday no word, Tuesday nor Wednesday. Thursday Vince rang to say our box was having a rest in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He wouldn't expect it until Monday morning. Was deep depression setting in. No. We are made of sterner stuff, more Backgammon and Upword but I was placated with an oversize bottle of Rose - funnily enough a small South African number................
Monday the 15th, no word.
Vince calls on Tuesday the 16th to tell us he hasn't got the alternator in his hands, but, he hopes to nail it tomorrow and be round in the late afternoon.
Wednesday the 17th he finally arrives some time in the afternoon with the cardboard box we have so wished to see. Vince tells us the package has been on the island since Thursday the 11th, touring around in the back of the delivery chaps van - sightseeing. The company that sent it had Vince's address down wrong............... All fitted and charging HOORAH. We can make a run for it in the morning, this three weeks has seemed pretty endless at times, but wait Vince hasn't done the bill yet, he will be round with it in the morning.
Thursday the 18th. As usual we are on Caribbean time so by eleven I ask Bear to ring Vince, find out the cost and meet us in Bad Ass, the coffee drinkers internet cafe. No bushwacker today as we try our escape.
Meet the latest, newest fixture on Beez Neez. The white thing is the new alternator and on the left wall, the blue box - it's brain. For the princely sum of $1424 including fitting- add to this the cocktails???- but still cheaper than UK parts only!
To our final sunset the first decent one since we have been here
As Bear was finally getting the anchor up there was a sudden call for me to halt...... Oh No Charlotte Amalie is conspiring to keep us here forever.... Bear had thought we had got snagged in a buoy rope but with a bit of tugging up came a bucket. Off to fill with fuel and water and find the open sea.
ALL IN ALL A VERY PLEASANT PLACE TO GET STUCK