Shelter Bay Marina
We left Portobelo after breakfast and had an enjoyable, fast sail under headsail only. There was a 2 metre swell running and we had 20 knots of wind from astern, so it was a comfortable ride. With stronger Trade Winds forecast within the next day or so and associated big seas, we were glad to be making the trip now.
We knew it was going to get busy as we neared the entrance to the Panama Canal and it was not long before we saw all manner of ships and container ships lined up outside the breakwater, waiting for permission to enter the harbour. Our Automatic Identification System (AIS) displayed the numerous vessels inside and outside of the breakwater and was very busy indeed; quite alarming at first until we realised most of them were at anchor. Skipper called up the Cristobel Port Authority and was given permission to enter the harbour. Two ships entered ahead of us and we nipped in behind the second one; and we saw a third ship lining up to follow us. Busy, busy waters.
Once inside the breakwater the seas inevitably calmed down and we proceeded to head for Shelter Bay Marina where manager John was waiting to take our lines and by 11.00 a.m. we were enjoying an arrival coffee.
Approaching the Breakwater: On our AIS screen (we are the small blue triangle)
Shelter Bay Marina:
A couple of days after our arrival, the waves are dashing against the breakwater: