When I arrived in Panama City, I chose to get a hotel for a night – The Continental Hotel being the best value for me at the time. I was so beat after traveling though, that I didn’t get everything in order yesterday – so this morning I extended my stay at the hotel for another night.
The first order of business was getting a local phone number, easily accomplished but it took a bit of trial and error to understand the various prepaid options. All of the options were significantly cheaper than my Verizon bill in the States.
Next order of business was to figure out how to get myself and my insanely large gear bags to the boat. My boat is currently in Puerto Lindo – which is about 2 hours from Panama City. I priced various rental cars, but the cost was a little more that I wanted to pay as I’d need an SUV to move my baggage. I opted for a van/cab to take me there at 11AM tomorrow. He agreed to stop on the way at a supermarket so I could provision. But shortly thereafter Andromeda Yachts called me and offered to take me to my boat, as there is a final repair to be made. Hopefully my bags will fit in their vehicle, guess we’ll see.
Finally I made some calls – canceling my stateside cell service, vehicle insurance, and motorcycle insurance. Then I put travel notifications on all my credit/debit cards. After all of that it was time to head to a fishing tackle store. Abernathy’s was the go-to spot, so I grabbed a cab and headed there. I needed to buy one heavy-duty stand-up pole and get two reels spooled. Abernathy’s didn’t have any heavy monofilament so I was directed to Alta Pesca – across the city. Finally made it there and got the reels spooled. With the reels spooled and my new stand-up rod, I am finally ready to head to my boat. It’ll be nice to get on her.
Good news: I got word that my generator has been repaired, a hatch has been sealed and that they’ve (Andromeda Yachts) changed the oil and all belts on both of my engines.
Bad news: Andromeda Yachts is telling me I need a new water pump on one engine. Both engines were running flawlessly when I left, and they’re telling me they’re both running now, but one needs a water pump. Guess we’ll see tomorrow.
My boat-projects list is already pretty substantial. I need to replace some O-rings in my watermaker, fix some of the headliner that’s falling down inside, install AIS, and install a WiFi antenna. I would really like to install the fans that I bought stateside, but we couldn’t find room in my bags – so they’re waiting for one of my friends to bring them down. There’s a myriad of other smaller tasks as well, any boat owner knows exactly what I’m talking about. Those small projects never seem to go away.
All that said – it’s such a relief to finally be here. I have no idea what I’ll do next or where I’ll go next. But my time is entirely my own, which is a really great feeling. One I’ve been working towards for quite a while.
Now I’ve got to go pull money out of an ATM to pay for some boat repairs. I have a feeling that’s going to be a regular occurrence.