Mon 20 Apr 2009 21:45
09:21.80N 79:57.00W
We are now in the 'process' of transiting the Panama Canal. Waiting for
the official to measure and 'check' Winny he will give us the OK to pay
money and then we get a date for a transit.
A worrying day yesterday went quite smoothly, there is alot of traffic at
the canal entrance which officially starts just outside the breakwater for
Puerto Cristobal and we had to get from the East side to the West then
through the entrance amongst the large freighters etc. Our worst moment
was when we were due to contact the Signal Station (equivalent of air
traffic control) and we could not raise them. Perhaps we have a dodgy
connection or the arial is playing up but closing in was nervy without
contact. Eventually we did contact them and we were told to proceed but
keep out of the way!! We followed a line of three ships through in a long
swell, didn't expect to surf into the harbour but that's just about what
we did. Safely inside we made our way to the marina here at Shelter Bay.
Difficult to believe here that there is 'weather' and all that shipping
just a mile or so away.
There are some folks on the dock here who seem to be stuck for months or
years not quite managing to break away from Panama so we are hoping to get
moving again soon. Meanwhile it's another big clean up and restock the
larder before our next crew arrive. John and Gary are due on Wednesday
and we are aiming to start the transit on Friday. Our agent Stanley came
aboard yesterday and is getting us organised, a local mobile phone for
ease of contact is the next 'toy' so we should see him with that later.
No 1 has bravely gone alone on the shuttle bus to the shopping
mall/supermarket this morning, I'm sure she'll be chatting and gleaning
more information from the other passengers en route. Meanwhile I am
listening to the Signal Station, fascinating, but I think all small boats
will start this afternoon so will get an idea of the proceedure for us