On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean


Book Reviewed: On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean

Author: Scott B. Williams

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi/Jackson

Copyright Date: 2005

ISBN: 1-57806-746-4, ISBN: 1-57806-747-2

eBook: Kindle Version

Reviewed by: Yackman


Yackman’s Rating: 6 points out of 10


Review: This is a story about a twenty-five year old man, Scott Williams, who is not ready to settle for his life in a nine-to-five corporate job.  On a favorite kayak trip with his brother, Scott hatches a plan to paddle from his home area in Mississippi through the Bahamas and Virgin Islands and on through the Caribbean, eventually reaching South America. 

Like so many romantics before him, Scott quits his job and sells everything he owns to scrape together the money he will need to sustain him for an unspecified length of time.  With no experience in paddling big water, he chooses the wrong kayak.  He immediately blows out a waterproof bulkhead in his plastic boat the first time he gets into big water on the Gulf.  He manages to get to shore before his boat sinks.  Scott realizes that his dream will require a new, more appropriate boat if he is to continue.  The story of how he acquired a new boat in  three short weeks is just one of the ways that the universe was looking out for Scott.  There are many more examples of positive serendipity in this tale. 

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On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean

Scott B. Williams

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Scott never makes it beyond the Virgin Islands, but the stories he tells of the characters he meets and the kindnesses extended by fellow seekers makes for a great story.  There’s no high adventure here.  But the kind of adventure written about in this story is accessible to many of us, if only by degree.

At the end of his Caribbean adventure, Scott tries unsuccessfully to re-integrate into his old life in Mississippi.  He retreats to that old favorite paddling spot where he planned his Caribbean trip, living in the woods for a month while hatching a plan for another adventure.  Eventually he settles down, but to an unconventional life as a boat builder and sailor. 

This is an entertaining book.  It doesn’t demand too much from the reader, which makes it easy to put down and just as easy to pick up again.  Kind of like a level 1 or 2 Sudoku puzzle.

 © Don Yackel 2020