Readers here who subscribe to my newsletter will already be aware that there is now a new Kindle Edition of my 2005 book, On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean. This book, which is an account of my solo sea kayaking journey to the Caribbean in 1988-90, was originally published by University Press of Mississippi. The original print edition by that publisher is still available, but I have obtained the ebook rights and so I have released an updated edition with a new cover, added preface and lower price.
If you are interested in this kind of adventure or you enjoy reading nonfiction travel narratives, you might want to check it out. For those of you who enjoy my novels in The Pulse and Darkness After series, this trip provided much of the inspiration and experiences that led to those works of fiction.
What would it be like to sell everything you own and paddle away to the islands? It was a question that Scott B. Williams could only answer by going to find out. Twenty-five years old at the time, he set to paddle alone to the West Indies in a seventeen-foot sea kayak.
His journey took him to the uninhabited islands and wild coastlines that Caribbean tourists don’t see from their resort hotels and cruise ships. His open-ended quest to see how far south he could paddle led him to many unexpected adventures no amount of planning could have prepared him for. Weeks turned into months as he worked his way down the west coast of Florida, through the Bahamas, and on to Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean, his narrative of this journey of a lifetime, describes the wonders of discovery as he makes landfall on pristine cays. Relentless headwinds, dangerous surf, countless beaches declared off-limits to trespassing, and aggressive sharks that ram his kayak and snap him out of his musing remind the adventurer that this paradise is far from perfect. Every day of the journey required constant vigilance to stay alive.
With no one but himself to depend on and often no one even knowing where he was for weeks at a time, Williams learned what it means to be self-reliant and to adjust to “island time.” With just a simple craft and the few belongings that would fit in it, Williams explores pristine cays and beaches rarely accessed by the typical island tourist.