Sunday, December 30, 2012

Teaching On A Remote Island 2

Perhaps you are wondering how our household and teaching supplies arrive on the Island? Well, they do not come on the Catalina Express, unless we lug them over in suitcases as we travel to and fro the Island. It takes careful planning on our part to get our much needed supplies as they are transported either by a tugboat and barge or flown across the ocean via the US Postal Service, United Parcel Service, and FedEx in a World War II era DC-3 cargo plane (owned by Catalina Flying Boats) that flies into our Island's "Airport In The Sky" on top of a hill.

Mail & UPS Packages Are Delivered Only In Nice Weather

The most common way to bring our "goods" across from the Mainland ("Overtown" for Islanders) is by barge. However, the barge can cost a "pretty penny" as all items are weighed and we are charged by the pound as well as an additional fuel surcharge (with Island gas currently up to $8.00 per gallon.) Either way, it is very expensive to purchase what most people take for granted.

Leaving For Overtown Shopping

This doesn't even take into account the "drama" we have to go through to get our supplies in the first place. It will cost us a $50.00 round trip ticket on the Catalina Express and after reaching the Mainland, we either walk to the parking garage where we keep our "real car" (averaging from $70.00-$85.00 per month for rent) or rent a car for the day at the Catalina Express Terminal.

Thus begins our quest for those necessary supplies. While driving all over looking for them, we are always mindful of our Catalina Express schedule, as we know it takes time to drive them to the barge in Wilmington before our return trip to the Island. Only by careful planning is it possible to arrive in Long Beach at 9:30 A.M. and have everything done by the time the last boat leaves for the Island at 5:45 P.M. Alas, if we don't make it back on time, we are destined to booking a room at a local hotel or pleading with a friend for a place to sleep for the night.

October 2012 Highest Gas Prices in The Nation!
Concerning our basic needs... as mentioned earlier, there is a very tiny Vons Market (with aisles so small you can't pass each other while pushing a shopping cart) on the Island with sales and limited supplies of products similar to the "real" Vons Markets on the Mainland. However, their supplies are very dependent on the weather because if there is a high wind advisory and the barge doesn't run, their supplies will run out. It is  quite common to find Vons has run out of their "bare essentials" such as milk, eggs, and bread. So, the Island residents will have to patiently wait until the weather gets better.

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