Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
Thanked 122 Times in 110 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Re: provisioning Panama- Tahiti, Currently in St Martin.
There is an excellent place to provision in Panama City at the Pacific end of the canal. There are a couple of branches of a 'warehouse' style store, like Costco in the US and the name escapes me but everyone will know what I am talking about. They are not close to the anchorages so you will have to take a cab, at least on the way back. Buses are fine but time-consuming.
You need to buy a membership to use the store and it works well if you split the cost of membership with other cruisers, Prices are incredible. One litre boxes of OK Chilean wine are $2 and beer is $9 a case. This place is only worthwhile if you are buying a lot of stuff. We went with a couple from another boat each of us absolutely jammed cabs for the trip back. Buy lots here as you will not get anywhere near the prices elsewhere.
If you are at the marina in Papeete there is a hypermarche that is within walking distance and it may be the best supermarket I have ever seen (huge, French, in the middle of the ocean on a tropical island). Prices are very high though. There is a fine traditional market downtown with excellent produce.
After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.