Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker.
Turn them out, knaves all three.
- English rhyme, 1830 (a later version used in Mother Goose rhymes)
Pope’s brother Henry and friend John flew to Nassau a few days ago, in anticipation of catching a connecting flight on tiny Flamingo Air to Staniel Cay, an island in the Exumas chain with an airstrip. To their chagrin, we were still languishing in Nassau. We are now three men in a tub (boat without an engine) and me.
We are still only fantasizing about swimming with stingrays and snorkeling over stunning coral reefs. The replacement parts shipped from the U.S. via overnight express—at considerable expense--came with bolts that didn’t fit our engine. Our diesel mechanic, Albert the Wizard of the Bahamas, hired a machine shop to reshape the diameter and threads of the six bolts. The engine MAY actually reappear at our dock in the next 24-48 hours.
Meanwhile, the extra manpower, while a strain on our limited accommodations, is a bonus for morale. More people to share the cooking, cleanup, and cost of beer, whiskey, and lettuce. (...OK, so I was fantasizing about the cleanup....)
More people to take turns watching our gear while swimming on Paradise Island.
The large quantities of sunset cocktails—with rum, the Bahamian favorite--may have also helped!