Island Time

Island time is notoriously slow. Everyone jokes about it. Now we can say with utmost confidence that island time is even slower than Westside time.

We spent the last fifteen years on the westside of Grand Rapids and like most city environments it has it’s own culture for timeliness. Some of us adjusted more quickly than others.

Surprisingly Dave, in all his spontaneous energy, struggled the most. He grew up in a family who stuck to the motto, “if you can’t be on time, be early.” Poor, poor soul; it was a rough learning curve. But Dave prevailed and relaxed and within our home we found a system that worked. If we went to an event in our church or community; 5-10 minutes late was normal. If we went to a purely social function for me, we didn’t worry about being on time. BUT, if it was a professional function for Dave, we were on time. Always.

Fast forward and here we are navigating time expectations. Gathering with other cruisers the time is a loose suggestion; all of us can roll with that. Shops closing for 1.5 hours to take a lunch break; we can applaud and adapt. Scheduling solar installation that entailed moving the boat to different docks without confidence that the welders would show up; suddenly, we found ourselves stretching those flexibility muscles again. Regardless of island time, our expectations were, in regards to a professional transaction, that timeliness matters. The learning curve continued despite all the practice we had on the Westside.

Initially, we thought the solar would be installed on Saturday. So the following Thursday when Chris, the German welder, said when he moved to Martinique three years ago he spent the first year supremely frustrated with the lack of efficiency but finally realized it was no way to live and has been much happier since; we were able to recognize the wisdom of that lesson.

Friday, Dave connected the solar panels to the house battery bank. It was a beautiful moment as we watched the amps pour into the battery bank and I dare say it was made all the sweeter by rigmarole that we went through to get it.