Into the pacific

David & Susan's Adventures
David & Susan Simpson
Sun 21 Feb 2016 16:13

08.54.52N 79.31.48W

 

On Tuesday 9th February we started our transit of the Panama Canal. To do the transit you must have 4 line handlers plus the skipper on board. We had our Irish/German friends Sean & Sabine from Chevaldy, who had transited the canal at the weekend. We also had Andy Collins, who had advertised at Shelter Bay Marina that he was coming to Panama City and would like to do the canal transit. Andy is an experienced sailor who, along with his partner Sian, have their own boat.

 

We were using our own Panama Canal Warps, which we had kept from our 2010 canal transit. We were doing the transit just one day later than we had done in 2010. The canal advisor arrived on board at 4.0pm and we set off shortly after.

 

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Sean & Sabine enjoying a cuddle on the way down to the first lock.

 

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Following some biggish boats to the locks, including the small ferry we would end up tied to.

 

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The South African aluminium boat, Suet Drem, which who had to tie up to the ferry and we tied up to them.

 

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Andy, Sean & Sabine relaxing on the way to the locks. Note the covers over windows etc. We had a window broken in 2010.

 

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It was getting dark by the time we were into the locks. The process of tying up to the ferry was fairly stressful, as it involved a lot of controlling the boat in windy conditions with lots of current. However we had a great crew and there were no great mishaps.

 

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A futuristic boat at anchor in the Gatun lake waiting to do the 2nd half of its’ transit.

 

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A very large container ship leaning over in the strong winds up in Gatun Lake.

 

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Heading down to the Pacific Locks on Wednesday morning, it is nearly 30 miles to the first lock.

 

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Putting protection to the solar panels as we would be using the panama warps on the Wednesday and have ‘monkey fists’ thrown down to the boat, so the shore linemen could pull up our warps to the shore.

 

This process was much better than tying up to the ferry and the 2nd day was very enjoyable.

 

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A Bridge on the way to the locks

 

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Motoring into the first lock, tied up to Suet Drem.

 

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The large boat coming into the lock behind us.

 

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The first lock opening.

 

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You fell pretty small with a large boat at your back.

 

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The warps being released as we head to the next lock.

 

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The last gates opening into the Pacific.

 

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Safely back in the Pacific, ready for our next Pacific adventure!! Thanks to our great crew!!!

 

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A museum, was it a competition for 10 year olds?

 

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The Panama City skyline.

 

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Andy having a swim on the Thursday morning before heading off home. The water is la lot cooler than in the Caribbean!

 

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A visit to Old City Ruins, which date from the 1600’s. The old city was sacked by Henry Morgan and the city was moved to a safer location.

 

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The Bell Tower which was probably the best preserved part of the ruins.

 

We are now doing some further preparation for our trip to the Marquesas, via Las Perlas Islands. Our Fisher Panda Generator is once again away being repaired. We have a meeting on Monday to see if it is practical to fix it or if we need to look at alternatives. We hope to head off in a couple of weeks, depending on the weather.