Before We Do Though

I had to laugh. After only about fifteen minutes of meeting us, Eg the dockmaster had told Jack to go and relax. ‘Have a drink,’ he said. ‘Sit down. Don’t stress.’

Jack looked back at him.

Eg had just told our captain that he couldn’t give us two electric lines. In fairness, it wasn’t an outrageous request on our part. Most marinas will let you have two electric lines. These guys just didn’t have a set near us that was ready.

Basically, Eg tried to fobb us off. No hard feelings. The bit that was making me laugh was that he didn’t know what he was dealing with. Rather who.

Mr Engine Tinkerer? Whose professional job is to source fixes. Ha! I instantly wanted to take a seat and watch. Call the girls to join in. Who needed Netflix? We didn’t have the wifi code yet anyway. Poor Eg was too busy dealing with this to give us the code yet.

‘It’s imperative we have two lines,’ Jack said calmly. He smiled for extra measure.

The first electric line is for our shore power. After living for a year without mains electricity, we were looking forward to landlubber luxuries. An electric kettle. Hoovering.

The second electric cable – the extra one – is for our air-con system. It draws just over 3,500 watts when all three units are running. We’ve never used it properly except for a two week stay in Trinidad four years ago. Nothing since. Then, on a bit of a whim, we decided to service the units last year. We’d never serviced them before and who knew? Maybe we could use them occasionally as a treat.

Only just before we left, the main pump broke. I’m embarrassed to say I cried. Trini was so hot. We finally bought a new air-con pump a couple of months ago in Barbados, when we knew we were staying here for another season. Jack installed it last week with Stephen, the engineer in Martinique.

This was our first chance to use it. The Cap went down the main pontoon to look for a socket. Uh-oh. First quarantine breach. Walk of shame back to Quest. Still, I could see Eg backing down. ‘It’s not worth the grief’ was written all over his face. Plus, Eg seems pretty nice. A few minutes later, the marina engineer and security man came down our pontoon. 

They did the same – tried to tell Jack it wasn’t worth having two lines. Haha. After a few minutes, they were also trying to source options. The engineer went down a couple of finger pontoons and tapped on an adjacent power socket. ‘I can fix this one,’ he called, ‘but your line won’t be long enough to reach it.’

Jack didn’t skip a beat. ‘It’s ok. I have an extension cable.’

The engineer looked at our miles of cable. He and the security guard got back to work. Jack and I sat on the back of Quest and watched. This was land. Nothing else we could do.

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