World ARC - Day 21 - 29th Jan – Shelter Bay marin a, Colon, Panama
World ARC - Day 21 - 29th Jan – Shelter Bay marina, Colon, Panama
A five hour motor sail, in 8 to 12 knots of breeze down the coast from Clinton, past lush tropical rain forest, with butterflies and birds around Nina, saw us approaching the entrance of the Panama Canal.
We entered in between the outer breakwaters of the canal, with tankers, container ships, car carriers and cargo boats of every configuration anchored and under way around the entrance of the Canal.
First the obligatory call to Christobel signal station on VHF Ch12, to tell them Nina was crossing the entrance. A grunt and a "no problem" meant we were free to cross this extremely busy seaway, then Nina was inside the breakwater, West into the channel,buoys marking the safe channel inside the wall of concrete blocks (wrong way round! the IALA buoyage system in the USA means the lateral markers are green on the way in on the Port side – it's red right returning here.)
Then a shout on Ch72 to ARC rally control. "what would you like?" Steve asked for a cold beer and a visit to the diesel dock.Two out of three wasn't bad. The Diesel had to be paid for in advance, and we made sure we had enough diesel paid for to save a second trip to the marina office. (same as filling up in an American gas station! ridiculous system! Were we going to fill up and run away?).
The marina was full! Boats from all over the world, waiting for transit through the Canal and sorting clearance.Great service from the staff though, we had to get our electricity supply changed on the pontoon to 220V, but I think we are still getting 60Hz not 50 Hz, as the microwave tripped out the circuit board as soon as we switched on, but they changed us from an American 110V supply straight away on the dock.
The next morning saw us provisioning, minibus to the Panamanian supermarket, battling with Spanish and American supplies and Brands, with our lists of UK requirements.Self raising flour?
PG tips tea?
Breakfast Cereals without mass amounts of sugar coating?
We did find decent steak (OK, it was halal), and decent biscuits and cake for the night watches, so no probs......
An inspection of the
engine compartment bilge that night by Lynda revealed four inches
sea water! quelle horreur! novomente??
Today also saw our
Fumigation from the bugs and creepy crawlies, and certification of
cleanliness and glow-in-the-dark anti-insectiness for the