The beginning of the story takes place on a "pinching, frosty" January morning during the bitter, cold winter at the Admiral Benbow Inn, situated on the southwestern English coast. The group of men--including Squire Trelawney, Doctor Livesey and young Jim--headed to Bristol in March, and the ship, Hispaniola, must have set sail later that month. From that point, the time frame is sketchy. It must have taken two months or more to sail from Bristol to the Caribbean (Skeleton Island is presumably based on Dead Man's Chest Island in the British Virgins); and even longer for the return trip, since the survivors were forced to spend time at "the nearest port in Spanish America" to pick up fresh crewmen before returning to England. So, the entire scope of the story must have taken at least seven months (January-August), and quite possibly several months longer.