AN ISLAND getway may not be possible, but the climate here is cooperating to conjure up locally the setting for a Bahamas buffet. Put ''Yellow Bird'' on the phonograph while you telephone a few friends to join you for your island-doings on homeground.

Evoke the feel of the Caribbean with tablecovers and napkins in the dazzling, clear colors of the sea -- blue, turquoise, azure, emerald. Use straw baskets and glass containers for serving. Match the riotous color of a Bahamian bouquet of hibiscus and bougainvillea with a palmetto basket filled with brilliantly colored summer flowers, whatever is blooming in the garden or at the florists'. Remember that pineapple is symbolic of the islands and hospitality, as well, and use it freely. Guests will have to imagine their own stretch of white sand and sea, glittering under brilliant sunlight and a pure blue sky, but you can greet them with a sure sign of island congeniality -- a rum punch.

Fresh fruits and salads and fish are just right for capturing the sunny and unhurried mood of the Bahamas. So are cold meats, a hot chicken dish and marinated fresh vegetables. A colorful and unexpected blending of dishes is entirely in the spirit of an island buffet. Here are some suggestions: RUM CUTT (1 serving)

1 jigger rum

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 teaspoon blackstrap molasses

Mix rum, lime juice and blackstrap molasses. Pour over crushed ice. Looks very "islandy" in a bamboo "glass." ONE PLANTER'S PUNCH (There are many) (1 serving)

1 1/2 jiggers good rum (your choice)

Juice of 1 1/2 small limes

1 teaspoon sugar or grenadine

Orange slice, spear of ripe pineapple, mint leaves (for garnish)

Fill a goblet with shaved ice, pack it down well. Mix liquids and sugar, pour over ice. Garnish with orange slice and a spear of ripe pineapple and mint leaves. COCONUT SLING

(1 serving)

1 ounce gin

Angostura bitters

2 ounces coconut milk

Soda water

Mix gin with 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and coconut milk. Pour over ice cubes in a tall glass; fill glass with soda water. ANOTHER PLANTER'S PUNCH (1 large or 2 small servings)

1 wineglass good rum (2 ponies)

2 jiggers cognac

Juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon

1/2 jigger pineapple juice (fresh preferred)

Orange slices and pineapple spears for garnish

Mix liquids well, pour over ice, garnish with fruit. MELON BALL AND SHRIMP SALAD (6 servings)

2 pounds shrimp

1 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 tablespoons grated onion

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 cups chopped celery

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/3 cup sour cream

1 large honeydew melon

1 large cantaloupe

1 cup coconut

Cook and clean shrimp; place in large bowl. Mix together next seven ingredients. Chill for several hours. Scoop out melon in balls. Stir in shredded coconut, then shrimp. Toss with dressing; serve over salad greens. RUM FRUIT DRESSING (Makes 1 1/2 cups)

Especially good over pineapple, bananas and strawberries.

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup lime juice

1 1/2 tablespoons rum

1 cup oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in blender and blend well. Slowly add oil; blend. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. Chill well before serving. CAY FRUIT DRESSING (6 to 8 servings)

1 egg, beaten

1 cup sugar

Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until boiling. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool and store in jar in refrigerator. FRESH PINEAPPLE BOATS (4 servings)

1 fresh pineapple

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon sugar

Diced, mixed fruits

Trim any brown tips from pineapple top. With a sharp knife cut the pineapple in fourths, starting at the bottom and cutting up through the remaining top. Cut fruit from shell, leaving about 1/4 inch fruit in the shell. Cut core from fruit and slice pineapple into chunks. Sprinkle fruit with lemon juice and sugar and refrigerate 1 hour. Fill pineapple shells with cut pineapple and other choice, fresh fruits. (Pineapple boats may be used for serving cold meat salads; very good for curried chicken salad.) RICE SALAD (4 to 6 servings)

1 cup raw rice

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar

1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped pimento

1/2 cup celery, minced

2 tablespoons grated onion

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook rice. Drain and cool. Mix mayonnaise with curry and vinegar. Combine with pepper, pimento, celery and onion. Stir in rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (For a heartier salad, crabmeat, shrimp or bits of sliced ham may be added.) MUSTARD SAUCE (4 to 6 servings)

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup prepared mustard

2 teaspoons dry white wine

2 to 3 drops hot pepper sauce

Lemon juice, to taste

Worcestershire sauce, to taste

Salt and pepper

Dilute dry mustard in small amount of water. Combine all ingredients, mix well and chill thoroughly. This is excellent with crabmeat and cold meats. CHICKEN ROYAL PALM (4 servings)

8 large chicken breast halves

8 hearts of palm (canned)

1/4 pound butter, softened

Salt and pepper, to taste Hollandaise sauce:

1/4 pound butter

4 egg yolks

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Dash hot pepper sauce

Bone and skin chicken breasts; pound thin. Wrap each half breast around a heart of palm. Spread each with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place in shallow baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile make hollandaise sauce. Melt butter and set aside. In blender put egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and dash of hot pepper sauce. Cover and turn speed on low. Immediately remove cover and pour in butter in a slow, steady, stream. Turn off when sauce has thickened. Sauce may be kept warm in a double boiler. CORNED BEEF (OR BAKED HAM) SALAD (6 servings)

1 1/2 cups leftover corned beef or ham

10-ounce package frozen peas, cooked and chilled

3 cups diced, cooked potatoes

2 tablespoons chopped sweet pickles

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons horseradish

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, parsley (for garnish)

Break or cut corned beef into chunks. In bowl combine beef (or other meat), peas, potatoes and pickles. Stir in mayonnaise, horseradish and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add additional seasonings to taste. Toss. Refrigerate 2 hours. Serve on lettuce leaves, garnished with tomato slices. (Or, fill tomatoes with salad, arrange on serving dish and garnish with parsley.) FISH SALAD (4 to 6 servings)

2 cups cooked, flaked, firm-fleshed fish

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped dill pickles (or sweet pickles, if preferred)

3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

Scant pinch of dry mustard

1/2 cup cooked, drained peas and 1 tomato, chopped (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Enough mayonnaise to lightly bind mixture

Lemon wedges, dill pickles, chopped parsley (for garnish)

Gently mix all ingredients with mayonnaise. Chill well before serving. Garnish with lemon wedges, small dill pickles and a flurry of chopped parsley.