Sunday, January 15, 2012

The alternator

1999 Jimmy alternator

We got to St John and followed the directions that Caravan auto parts gave Jim over the phone. “Coming from the ferry dock go straight ahead until the traffic circle and take the middle road, go by the Church and continue until you find the gas station”. It sounded so close that we decided to walk, and we did. We walked and walked. Feeling as though we were lost, we asked for directions several times and everybody said: “Just around the corner.” In the islands, so far, there is not a straight road. After a couple of hills, 3 curves and several intersections we finally saw the store.

Once inside we waited ten minutes for assistance. The clerk found the alternator, tested it and took the money. This whole process took 15 minutes. It was now 1:40, and the ferry back to St Thomas was at 2:00. There was no way we could walk back in time for the ferry, so we took a taxi and got there just as they were boarding.

During the taxi ride Jim called the mechanic to see if he could pick us up at Red Hook, take us back to the house and change the alternator. The only problem was that there was only room for one person in his van, so I stayed and looked around some of the stores near the ferry dock. 30 minutes later Jim arrived in his newly repaired car.

Two days and 275 dollars later, Jim said: “I'd fixed that in North Carolina in 30 minutes, and it would only cost me 80 dollars, but oh well. We have wheels! ”

By the way, the car also needed new windshield wipers blades, a battery, two tires, freon in the air conditioner and a rear brake caliper.