No 1's transit blog

Tue 28 Apr 2009 22:11
The tension had been building ever since we arrived in Shelter Bay Marina in Colon! The knot tying had been rehearsed over and over again (never to be put into practice in my case). The likely lads had arrived from the UK and had done a splendid job of helping us prepare Winny for her transit, & John and I had done the provisioning for the next 5 months ( a job I hope not to have to do again in a hurry).
Then the day dawned, after days of rain and thunderstorms we were blessed with a blue sky. The call came on the radio 'Winya Wynah - Cristobel Signal Station' I took the radio nerves all of a quiver and replied, times noted we dashed off for a speedy lunch and to finish the last minute preparations.
Prior to this adventure I had never dreamt of going through the Panama Canal,and now it was all happening, emotions were running high - I was excited, nervous, apprehensive... I also had not expected that we would go through the first 3 locks at night, which added to the drama and atmosphere. It was all over too quickly, but very smoothly thanks to our
 hot team
 There are many gaps in my memory of that first transit, as I went from the galley ( you have to keep the advisor happy at all times with plenty of food and drinks as you go) to the winch, missing completely the final gates opening!
As the new day dawned I was looking forward to the transit, and our sail through the lake. But things were not to run a smooth course as you will have read in the Skipper's blog, when we had to leave our faithful anchor behind!
Ricky today's advisor turned out to be lovely chap, with a good sense of humour, who tried to keep the Skipper happy and positive whilst we tried to retrieve our anchor, he even put himself over the bow to attach a line to a tug to try and pull us free! But all to no avail.
Once we were detached and on the move he told us what we needed to do. I shouted out the orders (yes most of you know I am the bossy one)! and I took the helm.
Fortunately for me Ricky has a 7 year old daughter who loves animation so we hit it off straightaway! Winny and I raced along at 7.5 knots, until I was relieved of my position and sent back to the Galley!
The rest as they say is history - see Skipper's blog - and now all we need is a couple of hundred feet of chain for our new anchor and we can set sail again and continue on our voyage.