...................................The Hotel on the Cay
Each day I went to the docks opposite the Hotel on the Cay. There I will enjoy the beautiful scenes that unfold before me; scenes such as the boats floating by, the birds as they get their morning meals, the changing patterns of the tides and the human activities of people going about their business. This was not only relaxing it was very enjoyable.
I can remember the very first morning I went to that dock in the little town of Christiansted. The boat man or the fairy operator (a native of St. Croix) made his way from Island on the Cay and came to where I was sitting and as his custom is, he asked me if I am going over to the island. As the fairy operator he was expected to take the hotel staff as well as guess to and from the little island on which the Hotel was built. This island is about fifty meters from the town of Christiansted.
I politely informed the him I will not be using his service today. He proceeded to take the few passengers who had assembled on the dock to the luxury island. Each day from Monday to Friday I will religiously travel to that very spot. At times the boat operator and I will exchange a glimpse, a nod of the head a passing mumble but rarely did we exchanged a word.
It was Wednesday 26th November 2008, the day before thanksgiving; I went to the dock as was usual, while there, I noticed the same fairy operator performing what was his expected duties, however today he had very unattractive bulky looking vessel.
When the boat operator docked, I bid him good morning then I inquired about the where bouts of the regular vessel. He ignored my greeting as well as the question I asked; as a matter of fact he refused to turn around and acknowledged my presence. I repeated the question, thinking that he did not hear what I said, but this time I did it in a louder tone of voice; once again I did not get a reply or an acknowledgement from the man who was busy doing nothing. A few passengers came and he went about his assignment as normal.
.........The Vessel that is used to take hotel workers and Guess to the island
On his return to the dock where I was still sitting, I repeated the question again, not being as smart as other people are, it was only then I realized that the fairy operator was ignoring me. I just smile at his strange and impolite behavior; as he continued to fiddle with some rope that was attached to the boat.
I do not know what caused my attention return to the ferry and the ferry operator, but when I looked in that direction I noticed the strangest occurrence. I noticed the bow of the boat has swung way from the dock; the fairy operator was dangling from the rail which is affixed to the bow of the boat and both of his feet, up to his knees in the water.
I quickly rushed over to where my impolite friend was experiencing his distress; I momentarily glanced into his eyes which revealed absolute fear, could it be that the fairy operator was unable to swim? The fear in his eyes alerted me of the seriousness of the matter that confronted me. The ferry operator needed my help yet he could not bring himself to ask for it.
I maneuvered myself as to take hold of the helpless ferry operator by securing my hands under his arm pit, even before I have securely griped him he let lose his grip of the boat and I was left to carry the weight of a man that was no less than two hundred and forty (250 lbs) pounds. I tried my very best, utilizing all of the force I could have generated in an effort to hoist the ferry operator onto the dock; but unfortunately not even the adrenaline that such events cause to be excreted into the blood of one in a similar situation did not provided me with the required strength that was necessary to pull this man to safety. With the belief that he was unable to swim, I know I could not allow him to fall into the water. Such would have immediately change the situation, transforming it from a simple slip into a fatality; which may have resulted in the lost of a husband, a father, a brother and a friend to God knows how many people. So I held onto my friend for quite a while, until a Caucasian man who was standing some distance away came to my aid.
Together we tried to get the boat operator back onto the dock but even with the added help this was a difficult task. Then I heard my help start counting, immediately and without any further discussion we both pulled on three. With the coordinated force of my helper and I, we managed to get the fairy operator back onto the docks.
When he was safely on the dock I went back to my seat and resume what I was doing before I went to the ferry operator’s aid. While there; I noticed the man who had just been rescued still sitting in the place and position we left him. For about ten minutes he sat there in silence, not looking left or right but he sat in what appear to be a contemplative mood. Then without any warning, he looked in my direction and said “thank you Sir thanks very much.”
The ferry operator left the docks with a new set of passengers and later returned carrying more passengers from the island. Once again he looked in my direction and said thank you once again.