Our cousins cooked up a scheme to get us to San Jose for a couple of days. This involved Douglas driving to Golfito and staying in our presidential suite aboard Escape Velocity. It’s the first time we had an overnight guest since Nancy and Dave in Panama. He arrived just in time for the World Cup final and we watched it on the big screen next door at Banana Bay, then went for a dinghy ride around the bay.
The next day we drove to San Jose with a lot of touring on the way, including more stone balls and another banana train.
We also visited Marina Pez Velo where we plan to have our new rig installed. It’s in Quepos, a tourist hub because it’s right at the entrance to one of the most popular national parks, and Jack and I immediately got excited to move Escape Velocity up sooner rather than later and enjoy a little more hubbub than Golfito has to offer. Our excitement grew when Jack saw another Manta at the dock and the yard manager called the owner over to meet us. What fun it would be to have Manta friends nearby!
Then we talked to the marina manager about a multi-month dockage rate and our hopes were completely dashed. We knew they were expensive but expected since the marina is still under construction, mostly empty and it’s off season that we’d be able to negotiate a more affordable rate. But Mr. Unbending only offered a break on a “catamaran surcharge” which wasn’t even listed on the rate card. He actually suggested we could save money by hauling the boat out and renting an apartment on land for the duration. You can imagine how expensive they are if paying for storing the boat on the hard plus renting an apartment is cheaper than a 40′ boat slip.
“It’s our home,” I said to him and he just shrugged and said slip availability would depend on upcoming reservations. I asked when those reservations started and he said November. Funny, just about the time we’ll be leaving. We went around in circles for a few minutes but he made it clear he didn’t really care if we came to the marina or not and made no effort to lure us with service or price.
Apparently they’d rather leave the marina mostly empty all summer than fill one small slip for four months at less than full freight. Plus the place is bleak, all concrete with no landscaping or pool or other niceties you expect from a high-end marina. On top of that, Mr. Unbending so annoyed me in his attitude that we’ll be looking into alternatives for getting our work done. Good job attracting customers, Marina Pez Vela!
Still, Quepos and the adjacent town of Manuel Antonio are very tempting destinations, and with plenty of rental car companies and touring options we see how limited we are in remote Golfito. We’ve got some thinking to do.