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Old 13-02-2016, 11:51   #16
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Re: No Turning Back Now - Panama to Australia Tasmania

First, I am sooo envious you are able to do such a trip. If only my wife would be open to this! I have transited the canal three times, twice on private vessels owned by other people. The first time, the owner did all of the paperwork. We had to go to multiple locations that are not close together. This required the better part of a day and a taxi for the entire time. It took I think about five or six days to get everything done. And we had to find our own crew, get our own tires for fenders, and acquire our own lines. Those things are not necessarily difficult as there are boaters at the canal who will crew through a transit before doing their own.

The second time, the owner used an agent. I don't recall his name but he came recommended. He was terrible at returning calls but in the end did provide all paperwork, lines and fenders, though by then we had all of the crew arranged.

Bottom line is that for approximately $500 you can save a bit of work. If I was transiting in my own boat, I would hire an agent but do more research on which one to use and get multiple recommendations.

The Shelter Bay Marina on the Caribbean side of the canal is a spot of luxury before heading west into vast distances of ocean. They have a swimming pool, spa, nice showers, a restaurant and a small marine hardware store as well as providing shuttles into Colon (which is a pit but does have some provisions).

Food: Wow, if you are in Martinique, take the opportunity to buy anything canned that is gourmet or a treat. (Look for canned butter, too.) It will be your last opportunity at those prices. As others have said, Panama City on the Pacific side of the canal has great provisioning. When you hire a taxi, find one who speaks your language, then ask for a fixed price to give you a city tour as well as take you shopping. Marine stores and groceries are all close to each other and taxis are reasonable.

The Galapagos had marginal provisions. Butter was rancid though they still sold it. No bread was available except chemical filled Bimbo bread. (As a quick aside, we stowed a loaf of Bimbo bread and forgot about it. When we discovered it three months later, it looked just like the day we bought it. What do they put in it to accomplish that in the tropics!?! No, we did NOT eat it.)

In the Marquesas, you can again find anything your heart desires. . .but at a hefty price. We payed about double what we would have at home, but at least you could get whatever you wanted! It was refreshing after the Galapagos which had poor quality, third world goods.

I have not done the milk run from Tahiti to Australia. . .it is still on the bucket list.

Enjoy your adventure!!!
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Old 13-02-2016, 16:47   #17
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Re: No Turning Back Now - Panama to Australia Tasmania

The Miss,

It is only a small part of provisioning, but I would like to add to the post above that we have used Danish, New Zealand, and Australian tinned butter. It stays good for years (have used it with no complaints at 3 yrs since purchase). Highly recommended.

Ann
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Old 13-02-2016, 18:08   #18
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Re: No Turning Back Now - Panama to Australia Tasmania

Yes, canned butter is great. If only we'd known to buy it sooner.

Need crew?

Cheers,
Chuck
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Old 13-02-2016, 18:30   #19
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Re: No Turning Back Now - Panama to Australia Tasmania

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The South Pacific is the best cruising ground in the world, so don't rush through it.
That must be so: we arrived here in 1990, haven't left yet. Does that qualify as "not rushing"??

Obviously, I agree with Don...

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Old 14-02-2016, 00:09   #20
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Re: No Turning Back Now - Panama to Australia Tasmania

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The Miss,

It is only a small part of provisioning, but I would like to add to the post above that we have used Danish, New Zealand, and Australian tinned butter. It stays good for years (have used it with no complaints at 3 yrs since purchase). Highly recommended.

Ann
"Canned butter"! 🤔 Ive never heard of it. Where do you get it in Australia? 😳
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Old 14-02-2016, 01:30   #21
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Re: No Turning Back Now - Panama to Australia Tasmania

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"Canned butter"! �� Ive never heard of it. Where do you get it in Australia? ��
RC, we don't know anywhere in Oz, though it is likely somewhere! We usually find it in third world venues where lots of folks do not have household refrigeration. Vanuatu for sure, and I think I saw some in New Cal this past winter.

Jim

PSFunny story: we were in NZ, home of Anchor brand canned butter. Asked around, and were told we could get it directly from the source, a big creamery (?) just out of Whangerei. So, we borrowedd a car and set out, hunting butter. Must have missed a turnoff, for it seemed further than our local pal had said, but eventually we found a huge industrial establishment with a big "Anchor" sign out front. Big car park, high fences, etc, but we found our way into the building. Out back, big tank trucks were coming and going, likely full of milk. We wandered through a largely unpopulated office building, and were finally accosted by a chap, who directed us to a reception area, and there we encountered a receptionist. Told her we wanted some canned butter, and got a kinda puzzled look. So we explained again that we wanted butter in tins. She brightened up and said that she could sell us a tank car full, and would that do? She had no idea that they sold it in 450 gram tins; in fact we were at their main processing plant, and they didn't put it in little tins there. In the long run we found the right place and were able to purchase what we wanted.

Anyhow RC, you aren't the only one who has not heard of this good product!
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Old 14-02-2016, 03:33   #22
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Re: No Turning Back Now - Panama to Australia Tasmania

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"Canned butter"! 🤔 Ive never heard of it. Where do you get it in Australia? 😳
Here you go and not far from you https://www.foodtraders.com.au/eggs-...-zealand/15739

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Old 14-02-2016, 03:45   #23
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Re: No Turning Back Now - Panama to Australia Tasmania

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Here you go and not far from you https://www.foodtraders.com.au/eggs-...-zealand/15739

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Unfortunately, dont post to Australia. i tried to purchase one already
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Old 14-02-2016, 03:56   #24
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Re: No Turning Back Now - Panama to Australia Tasmania

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Unfortunately, dont post to Australia. i tried to purchase one already
Err.. they are in Melbourne Australia and you are in Australia so I reckon they might post to you
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Old 14-02-2016, 04:01   #25
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Re: No Turning Back Now - Panama to Australia Tasmania

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Err.. they are in Melbourne Australia and you are in Australia so I reckon they might post to you
Doh! So they are

But they still dont post

Im planning on another attempt at sailing over to melbourne in April. Ill pop in and get some then. And look through many of their other unusual items.
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Old 23-02-2016, 21:23   #26
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Re: No Turning Back Now - Panama to Australia Tasmania

Hi There, in regards to the sailing, it is not unusual to cop south westerlies for a few days after leaving Panama, once across the Equator it all tends to turn around, south easterlies and really good current.
I reckon if you have just sailed the Atlantic you are probably prepared for the Pacific, it is a pretty amazing thing to do. Make sure you have a good spinacker and even a spare one. When we ripped ours it was a pain in the bum on a cat. We left Panama in June, we also used Tito to do all our paperwork, he was great.
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