Our dinghy is our family car. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always take us all the way to the shops. Some harbors have stores that will deliver your purchases to the dinghy dock. More often, we have had to come up with various creative ways to get important things like frozen meat, cases of beer, bottles of wine, and fresh produce back to the boat.
Mostly, we walk.
This is a lifestyle that pretty much requires walking. We have a cart and I’ve learned how to stack tote bags on top of boxes and tie everything down.
From New Jersey to Grenada, I’ve trucked to stores and laundromats, steering my cart around puddles and over curbs. We tried one of those carts that are basically wheels and a handle on a folding crate and I didn’t like it, the wheels were too small and the crate didn’t allow for oversized items. Instead, we purchased a folding hand cart. Make sure you look for one at Office Max, where they are much cheaper than at <insert marine store here>. It folds up and easily fits in the store’s shopping cart and in Las Luna’s pilot berth storage area.
At left, I’m pushing the cart into it’s slot. And there it is, safely and easily stored.
This photo is laundry day in Hampton, Virginia in 2010
In St. Thomas, we usually walk or take the bus to shop – purchasing only what we can carry on and off the safari style buses. It's important that our packages not take up space that could be used by a paying passenger. It’s not easy to get on and off the bus with two tote bags and a back pack, but it’s possible. We think the taxis are expensive here and use them only if we are out late at night. (We are cruisers and this is St. Thomas, so “late” usually means after nine.)
But here is St. Thomas, I also have another option – Cousin Power. Jeff does the grocery shopping for their household every Sunday – around playing or watching golf. He and Barb Hart-the First live on this end of the island, so when I want to do a major shopping expedition, I just have to coordinate with Jeff. I can take bunches of tote bags and my freezer packs, and leave my purchases in Jeff’s truck while we shop at the next store.
It’s a heck of a lot easier bringing EW’s case of Genesee home in Jeff’s truck. Thanks Jeff.
For those of you planning a visit to St. Thomas, here’s a description of the St.. Thomas safari buses from a tourist website.
'Dollar Rides' or 'Dollar Taxis'
There are taxi drivers that run 'dollar rides' in safari buses. A safari is a truck that has been outfitted with bench seating in the back. It is open air but covered. Not all safari buses are ‘dollar rides’, some are regular taxis. The ‘dollar rides’ do not have signs identifying them as such; (NOTE: but they are usually not as tidy and may have signs of rust and prior fender benders.)however they generally run the same route as the public bus and pull in or close to bus stops. If in doubt ask the driver before boarding. Also ask where they are heading to make sure they are going the route you want to go. They are for the most part un-regulated, and operate mostly to assist with the transportation needs of residents. Some 'dollar ride' drivers charge non-residents regular taxi rates. (NOTE: That has NEVER happened to us. If we are unsure whether the safari is a taxi for tourists or a dollar bus, we’ll just ask the driver, “Is this a dollar bus?” No issues.)
Dollar rides are $1 for short trips like: anywhere in town between the University of the Virgin Islands and the Hospital (Schneider Regional Medical Center), traveling to points between the Hospital and Pricesmart (supermarket), traveling from one point in the country to another (country is used to describe the middle and east end of the island). The fare is $2 for longer cross-island trips like: traveling from the Hospital to Pricesmart and beyond and traveling from Pricemart and beyond to anywhere in town. (NOTE: Country seems to be beyond the hospital stop. There’s a relatively long stretch between that stop and the next one at Cost U Less. Cost U Less is in the country and will require $2.)