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When our awesome friends were visiting us in Panama, the last day we decided to split up….Hans went to the airport for his flight, David and I went to run errands, and Sara, Trevor and David K went out to do some touristy stuff. We gave the later group our second set of keys – if they ended up beating us back to the boat, they could take the dinghy out and get in. Unfortunately, we forgot to get the keys back before they left that night.
Obviously our friends felt really bad, and David and I discussed what to do about the keys. Could we survive with just one set until June, when we flew back to the states? I was worried that if we tried to ship them to us, we could get stuck somewhere waiting and it would be (relatively) expensive. We decided that we’d give it a try, and had our friends ship the keys to the Galapagos, care of our agent.
And guess what? We just barely got our keys in time to take advantage of a weather window. It’s our first time mailing something to us outside the US (the USVIs don’t count). We had to email back and forth with FedEx’s representatives in Eduador while we were underway from Panama using our sat phone – which irritated me, as I’m a bit protective of our (expensive) sat phone minutes. And of course all the emails were in Spanish, and I had a hard time translating. Using your desktop, gmail will translate messages for you, but the translation comes off not always understandable. And sometimes, when an actual person emailed me, their English left a bit to be desired. Thankfully, I was able to forward emails to Johnny, our agent, and he gave me instructions. This would have been extremely difficult if we didn’t have an agent right now.
I had to go to the bank and pay the customs money via deposit to the Ecuadorian company. The cost was $130, for a set of keys in a small package. Grrr. I don’t even understand what this money goes towards, but at least it’s (probably) not as expensive as re-keying our boat.
We forgot a previous lesson too. In the USVIs, we had a package arrive at the FedEx office, but go out for delivery and not get delivered. It’s a mistake to rely on the delivery person plus whoever is going to sign for your package. Instead, you are better off having the package held at the FedEx office, where you can come pick it up yourself first thing in the morning instead of waiting for delivery.
Sara shipped the keys on March 18th, and we got them on the morning of the 7th, just a few hours before we left the Galapagos.