At last we are away!

Rumpelteazer Pacific Crossing
Robert Holbrook
Sun 17 Feb 2008 17:51

09: 22.065 N

079: 57.051 W


We are still in Shelter Bay, and have taken the opportunity of our unexpected sojurn here to take in the scenery.  Max went up to the top of our mast and took a range of pics of the incredible mix of ocean, jungle, marina and Rumpelteazer itself.







We also took a stroll around the now totally derelict accommodation blocks for the former US Fort Sherman Naval Base here at Shelter Bay.




 We did a second BIG shopping spree in the supermarket near Colon on Friday, and have now bought and stowed away most of our heavy goods. 




All we need to buy now is the fresh food – 25 days of meat/fish, veg and fruit for the four of us until we get to the Marquesas – which we will buy when we finally get to Panama City.


In the past three days several important things have happened – parts for our port propeller shaft arrived from the UK on Thursday, we got lifted out of the water (again!) on Friday evening and the Panamanian engineer, Anatolio, worked far into the night putting in the new parts. 



While we were in the dock awaiting lift-out on Friday evening, our dinghy arrived from Panama City.  This had been severely delayed by the rather unpleasant riots and protests which the construction workers (not health workers as we had said last time - apologies to them!) have been organising in Panama City and Colon.  The arrival of the highly specialised delivery vehicle caused us much amusement.


You wait for a bus for hours and hours and …… while we were high and dry and Anatolio still fixing our propeller shaft, a flat-bed truck turned up carrying the tractor tyres and long ropes without which we couldn’t enter the Canal.  Things were really looking up, and the tyres and lines are now safely on board Rumpelteazer.


So then all we needed was a successful testing of the new propeller shaft parts, and a confirmation that we can indeed transit the Canal on Sunday.  We did our ‘sea trials’ yesterday morning and everything is fine.  Huge relief all round.  On our way back to the marina, we also took on board 500 litres of diesel.





Finally, late yesterday afternoon, we put even more pressure on the local shipping agent and got a Canal slot confirmed for Sunday 17th Feb at 1845.   We celebrated by watching 'Casino Royale' (2nd half) in our on-board 'cinema' after a splended dinner of barbecued pork tenderloin.


It’s now Sunday afternoon, 17th February.  At 5pm we set off for the ‘Flats’ off Colon where we meet our Canal Adviser and begin our ‘trip of a lifetime’.