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Old 10-11-2011, 19:06   #1
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Flexible Dates - Panama Canal

Hello All!

I am an expeienced and licenced Marine Navigation Officer, looking for a vessel to line handle for in the Panama Canal. I would then like to sail, as a guest or as crew to the Galapagos, Equador. I am a very experienced, having transited Welland Canal and Saint Lawrence Seaway lock systems well over 100 times.

I will be travelling with a friend with plenty of pleasure boat experience, whom I have trained myself. There is the possibility that another girl will be joining us, with limited experience.

I have great references and a valid license. Being from Canada, we have chosen to take a hiatus from our jobs to celebrate the New Year and our 30th birthdays in South America, so our dates are somewhat flexible.

We are open to other itineraries as long as they offer things that we can cross off our bucket list and offer adventure! We are available for upto five months.

Kind Regards!

CSB
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Old 11-11-2011, 13:51   #2
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Re: Flexible Dates - Panama Canal

Most cruisers here (Panama) get help line handling either from the local VHF net, or have family/friends fly in for the experience. Many (like us - full time cruisers) line handle a few times for friends before going through the canal just for the experience (and fun) and BEFORE taking our boat through... it's pretty easy and a lot of fun too. Most sailboats (going north) end up spending the night in the lake side tied to a mooring.
Be sure to get current boat, captain, crew, etc...information and photos of the boat before making a commitment...some have been at anchor quite awhile and always "looking for crew" to go to somewhere - Galapagos, Ecuador, etc... Whether you'd want to sail anywhere offshore with them is another matter.
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Old 11-11-2011, 14:39   #3
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Re: Flexible Dates - Panama Canal

Thanks for the advice! The old addage, "the safest boat, is the one you are on", does not apply to every situation.

Being a boat nerd, I would be content just to line handle for a few trips for the experience and photo opportunites. If something more comes out of it, even better. We were going to fly, but that sounds a little boring, so I thought I'd look into some alternatives. I'm not really sure what to expect, but know we would make a responsible, fun and competent crew and a great addition to the right team.

I'll make sure to be in Panama a good week before we hope to go anywhere, for some due diligence.

Any other tips and advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 15-11-2011, 07:04   #4
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Re: Flexible Dates - Panama Canal

You can crew/line handle either from the Panama City side, or from Shelter Bay marina (Colon). It's an $80 taxi ride one way. You could call Shelter Bay marina and ask to post your info on the board, and/or bring a VHF Handheld radio to contact the morning net (Ch74). It's now the beginning of the season for many boats to travel the canal, so best get your passport ready and checking flights.

I can tell you, a week in Panama is not nearly enough to see the Las Perlas Islands(35 miles away) or Taboga Island (7 miles away - or just a 1 hour ferry ride to Taboga from the Causeway). The diving and snorkeling is world-class around the islands and filled with history...even Captain Morgan was here to pillage and plunder!
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Old 20-11-2011, 23:23   #5
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Thank you! It all sounds amazing, I'll definitely be sure to arrive plenty early to do some sight-seeing. I have done quite a bit of diving in Belize and Honduras, but never had the chance to make it any further south! Can't wait
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