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Old 30-03-2010, 05:25   #1
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Florida to Panama

Our goal is to sail away from Florida in the 2nd to 3rd week of April. Unfortunately a couple of anticipated problems came up, and we are behind. We had hoped to go through the Bahamas one last time. It is looking like a straight shot to the canal.

When I left Ca. for Mexico I stopped at the Mexican consulate, and did my paperwork. When we left Florida for the Bahamas there was no paperwork done for departure of the U.S., and non for leaving the Bahamas. Can someone give me an answer for my intended trip? My thinking is I need to visit a Panamanian consulate since the U.S gives no departure paperwork? Where am I wrong here?........i2f
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Old 30-03-2010, 11:36   #2
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Hi i2f,

Just sail down to Colon and go to Shelter Bay Marina. I'll get you in contact with an agent that will fix it all for you quick & cheap. There's no real need for US clearance papers. When you make an intermediate stop, be sure to enter & clear there and get a zarpe (clearance document).

I wouldn't go via Mexico... I don't really understand if you're planning that or not. Work your way east through the Bahamas and shoot through the Windward Passage east of Cuba and down to Panama. You can stop in Jamaica if you want.
Boats that arrive from that direction all had nice, fast and comfy passages and the weather is perfect. End of May the rainy season starts here so I would transit the canal before that.

cu soon!
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Old 30-03-2010, 13:33   #3
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Thanks Nick,

That was my plan getting to Panama. By going east of Cuba, and stopping in Jamaica if we were tired. It's just the 2 of us. We were thinking of just a wee bit north on the bank. Through Nurse Channel in the Jumientos & down to Jamaica. If the wind is light getting some southing in before we turn for Panama. Look for us in the beginning of May. Should we favor one side of the channel, or the other when passing through the Windward Passage? I am thinking if anything closer to Haiti?.......i2f
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Old 30-03-2010, 14:57   #4
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I would stay away from Guantanamo Bay for sure ;-) I don't have a chart handy but I wouldn't enter Cuban nor Haitian waters if possible because you are US flagged I guess.

If you stop in Jamaica, go to Port Antonio in the NE.

I might be back in the San Blas when you arrive here. Ask other cruisers in the marina for Tito to help you out with clearing customs & immigration. His local cell phone number is 6463-5009. You can also use him as agent for the canal transit which I would recommend.

ciao!
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Old 31-03-2010, 07:36   #5
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Thanks again,

If things go smoothly, and we make good time. We will do a detour in the San Blas. Any recommendations there for a short visit?.........i2f
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Old 31-03-2010, 09:30   #6
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Thanks again,

If things go smoothly, and we make good time. We will do a detour in the San Blas. Any recommendations there for a short visit?.........i2f
Depends on if you have a good guide (Bauhaus is the best one). Most charts I've seen were no good. My C-map ed.3 2006 is good though plus the Bauhaus guide has good charts.

I think it doesn't make sense to transit the canal without visiting the San Blas. You won't find much better anywhere else in the world.

From Jamaica, you should make your landfall as far east as you want to go in the San Blas so that you only have down hill sailing after that. The best landfall would be Isla Pinos all the way east. But if you really don't have time and just want a quick sample of paradise you should enter Canal Holandes, turn east under the lee of Cayos Holandes and find your way to what is called the "swimming pool" in the East Cayos Holandes. A little Dutch pirate history in Panama ;-) After that, west to the East Lemon Keys (Cayos Limon) and Chichime then exit San Blas for Portobelo and Colon.

If you do decide to slow down and enjoy instead of rush: Isla Pinos, Achuputu, Snug Harbor, Coco Banderos, Green Island and on to Cayos Holandes from there. That one is still just a sampler because there are thousands of anchorages but at least you get to see Kuna Yala outside the cruise ship area where it is still like 200 years ago.

You must have the Bauhaus guide for that 2nd, longer option as there are no charts for that area (they show "not surveyed") and river outflow hides the reefs from visibility in parts.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 31-03-2010, 10:26   #7
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lol,

I recognize many of the names from reading the charts 2 nights ago. As always time will tell me what to do.As they say man makes plans, and the Gods LAUGH!........i2f
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Old 31-03-2010, 17:29   #8
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Bauhaus' Panama Cruising Guide will help you get good GPS positions of destinations. I would ask folks at Shelter Bay (there are cruisers there who have extensive experience in San Blas) for the way points to make the coastal trip from Colon to the San Blas Islands. It makes a big difference in the comfort of the trip. Some of the approaches to Chichime and to the Swimming Pool areas have GPS coordinates that folks pass around that can be very very helpful.
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Old 31-03-2010, 19:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
Thanks Nick,

That was my plan getting to Panama. By going east of Cuba, and stopping in Jamaica if we were tired. It's just the 2 of us. We were thinking of just a wee bit north on the bank. Through Nurse Channel in the Jumientos & down to Jamaica. If the wind is light getting some southing in before we turn for Panama. Look for us in the beginning of May. Should we favor one side of the channel, or the other when passing through the Windward Passage? I am thinking if anything closer to Haiti?.......i2f
No problem to stay close to Cuba, its an international shipping lane with north and south traffic lanes marked on your chart. In anything but north winds you will be needing to turn the corner as soon as possible. I recommend Port Antonio as a rest stop. Very nice place unlike most of Jamaica. Hopefully you will get a late cold front to get you to the windward passage. The sooner you leave the better but I am sure you know that. I could have missed the San Blas but guess I am spoiled by the Bahamas. Most people love it though.
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Old 31-03-2010, 19:32   #10
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I will be missing the Bahamas dearly. We had the fortune of spending 4 seasons going in & out of them. Yes, we are hoping for a last northern wind to get us to the Windward passage.......i2f
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Old 31-03-2010, 21:00   #11
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I am puzzled because the San Blas is so much better than the Bahama's!! That is, if you do not need the nightlife and casino's in Nassau...

ciao!
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:25   #12
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Nick,

It's because I haven't had the chance to see San Blas yet. Our time has come to extend our sailing area as we move back to Ca. Then our goal is to sail to the Philippines where I can retire, explore 7,107 islands, and return my wife to her family......i2f
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:14   #13
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... our goal is to sail to the Philippines where I can retire, explore 7,107 islands, and return my wife to her family......i2f
Im (almost ) certain you didnt intend that the way it might sound to some; but it reminds me of the old Harry Belafonte song.

ANGELIQUE-O ~ by Irving Louis Burgie Sr.

Angelique-O, Angelique-O, you mama's got to take you back,
Angelique-O, Angelique-O, teach you all the things you lack ...




You never got time to sweep the dirt
You mama's got to take you back,
You never got time to wash a shirt,
You mama's got to take you back,
You never got time to cut and peel
You mama's got to take you back,
You think you can make it on sex appeal
You mama's got to take you back,

Mama's got to take you back,
Teach you all the things you lack,
When she sends you back to me
We'll live together in harmony

You never learn how to make a stew
You mama's got to take you back,
Your biscuits, Lord, I can hardly chew,
You mama's got to take you back,
De pants I'm wearing is full of holes
You mama's got to take you back,
While you're runnin' around in a big mink stole,
You mama's got to take you back,

Mama's got to take you back,
Teach you all the things you lack,
When she sends you back to me
We'll live together in harmony

Best of luck in your westward trek!
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:58   #14
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Well,

When I return her she will have some heavy baggage........ME
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Old 24-04-2010, 20:28   #15
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When I did that trip I had to have exit zarpe from Jamaica or no entry allowed to Panama. 1991.
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