Cruisers talk together quite a bit about communicating with home. Its an issue. Down here, it can be difficult to find phones that work. Many times the phone systems are down for a day or so at a time, just the day you happen to need to use it. On many of the islands you visit, theres no phone. This can get frustrating, especially if you need to talk to your family or deal with any business or financial issues. Wed been hearing several cruisers talking about getting satellite phones, which have become much more affordable. For several months, we had a Globalstar phone (given to us by the company), which worked beautifully while we were in Mexico and Belize. Unfortunately, we could never get a satellite connection in Guatemala or Honduras. Finally, because of a family situation, we felt we needed to be in touch with home on a regular basis, especially as were headed to the remote San Blas islands off the coast of Panama. So we did some homework and decided to bite the bullet and buy an Iridium satellite phone form Preferred Communications (PO Box 829, Creedmoor, North Carolina 27522; phone 800-300-6020; international 919-528-9330; email firstname.lastname@example.org). We shopped around; this company had the best deal for the phone, and for purchasing bulk minutes of air time in advance at a discount. In addition, I very much liked George Sloan, who understood what we needed, why, and was able to send us the phone and deal with shipping to Honduras, all within a few days. The guys efficient, quick, and a real pro, and were happy to recommend him and his services.