07 March 2012

What It Entails...

The last few weeks have seen us going off island more than we usually do in 6 months time! Emergencies such as our daughter admitted first in ICU then staying in hospital, her subsequent return home and countless other reasons called for travelling to the mainland! 

Living on an island with only a ferry to access it has always been something of a challenge. At the beginning it meant preparing for any contingencies/emergencies just on the off chance...With the fire department so far away, it seemed to be an excellent precaution. 

Then it was the careful selection of stock items needing little or no refrigeration as we quickly discover power is never to be taken for granted. A generator was immediately added to our list but we also found out it could only sustain so much... and in dire emergencies we might have to chose betwixt the refrigerator/freezer/heating etc...But so far, so good!

The usual market 'days' became a bi weekly (due to ferry/petrol costs) shopping day which included also picking up/dropping mail on the mainland side, parcels at the distributor's centre, library stops, family/friends visits and time permitting even a quick stop at a charity shoppe...

Preparing a list is by far the biggest challenge! With no island amenities, such a list becomes essential. Never mind that I must often work from memory because someone (not me!) forgets the list on the counter, near the keys, tea flask (an absolute must if you are British and 'traveling off island') and assorted paraphernalia needed for a trip lasting usually from the very first ferry scheduled to its last! 
At 1900 hours we dock on the island side and shut down the ferry...Whilst I am at it, let me also add the ferry runs only part of the day...
By the time I have casually explained this to any outsider, there is most often a moment of silence followed by the usual question 'Why do you live there?'

Actually we chose this life, in part because ex-RAF hubby was stationed on another Pacific island, this one in the South Pacific. Obviously the RAF made it seem easy (or maybe having a batman helped?) 
Sad to say, we have none of the warm weather or the blue lagoons here...

These last two weeks have brought another kind of challenge...Bringing contractors for the leaking roof to be replaced... Most often than not, the address does not feature in their computer directory and you have to convince them this island does exist (a nautical map is always helpful!)

By the time you have established your location, you have to talk them into a ferry schedule which, since it does not run continuously, means they are virtually 'locked in' until the next departure...unless you have a boat...and ours is just a row boat...
It would actually be funny to see their facial expressions (something we are not privy to, being of course on the other side of the telephone line)...
Shall I also add the line often goes 'dead' due (no, not due to feeling faint on their part!) but in part because of the rather blustery weather we have experienced lately? Communication is sporadic regularly throughout the year at any rate due the extensive amount of trees both here and on the peninsula! 
Just in case you are wondering, we have convinced four poor souls to come and gives us an estimate! The first had lived in Fiji for awhile so he is acustomed to this life (albeit he did ask for the nearest coffee shoppe...I brewed promptly a pot!) 
One down, three to go...

I know, I know, they might never come back but we will keep on trying!

So tomorrow is D 'day'! We will be off island, my shopping list is ready (tucked in my pocket book) and God willing, we will be on the evening ferry with all supplies! 
Until the next time...


  1. Enjoy your time ~off island Wow those are some challenges indeed! ~What are you going to call your coffee shop hehehe!!! Let me know I will paint up a sign for you :D keep your chin up & good luck with the estimates ~Love Heather

  2. Living in Maine, we are close to numerous inhabited islands, that have a ferry service. I understand why you live there. My friend spends every summer on a private island with her horses. She's so happy there. Thanks for sharing a piece of island life. I'm still praying for your daughter. ~ Abby


I love to share dreams and always enjoy meeting kindred spirits!
Thank you for stopping by!