Transit Panama Canal and Panama City

Jan Morten Ruud
Mon 1 Feb 2010 01:01

Dear readers,

After some relaxing days at Shelter Bay Marina in Panama, (except for the normal nightmare of provisioning the boat with food and other needs supplies), we were ready for transiting the Panama Canal. The provisioning was taken to the limits this time when we found a cockroach running around in one of the packs with cokes. The captain ordered, with greate support from Vilde, full deification of all supplies on the pontoon before getting allowance to move the supplies on the boat. There was some murmur from the boys that it was time to replace the captain, but the job was done.

At 14:30 we released the lines from the safe and good berth in Shelter Bay and went to flat F mooring area in the Panama Canal to wait for the advisor to arrive on the boat. After a while the advisor arrived in a large steel pilot boat, that had to be placed alongside Ronja’s blue painted hull. The captain on the pilot boat did a marvelous job and did not touch Ronja at all during the process of transferring the advisor onboard on Ronja.

The World ARC people had it all figured out again. We where timely arranged in nests of tree or two boats tied together. With the advisors supervising and advising the fleet, we moved into the looks. As soon as we got inside the look, lines where thrown from the line handlers on the look which were used to pull in our mooring lines (which were supplied by WARC in advance). Then the water where released into to look and the boats were hoisted up approx. 8 meters pr look. Much could be written about this process, but a short summery is that the advisors were wonderful and the entire process went smooth and flawless. Well up in the Gaton lake, we anchored for the night in 25 meters of water so you better have enough chain. We anchored together with Voyageur which we had some pleasant time with before we went to sleep. We gave them a couple of “anker dram” and we all slept well until the pilot boat put the light on us and honked the horn 06:30 in the morning. The transit trough the lake and canal to Panama City were beautiful, warm and went without any problems at all. Well passed the last look on the way down, we were finally in the Pacific – what a thrill.

WARC had prearranged everything in Marian Flamenco in Panama City , we even got a schedule on how the boats where to enter the marine – we got no. 5 in the queue. Well anchored with Chiao rafted outside us, it was time for “anker dram” .

We had some delightful days in Flamenco marina. The first day there was a welcome dinner with all the boats in the WARC, and it is was as pleasant as usually. The second day we went on a daytrip to the Emarald Indians. After taken a bus for two hours we were taken with some wooden canoes up a river. First to an amazing waterfall where we bathed, and then to their village. It was a remarkable day with a lot of experiences. The third day we did some provisioning for the trip to Las Perlas and further to Salinas / La Libertad in Ecuador. This was also the day the kids was waiting for – the whole WARC group where going on two party busses. The party buss concept can be briefly summarized as: A buss, disco, free bar and l bunch of happy friendly people. It was an instant hit – for all of us. Pictures and more details will be given in the next travel letter. We did manage to leave at 09:00 the day after.


All the best from Ronja