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Old 20-07-2013, 11:21   #1
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About To Jump Oceans

Well we're sitting in a slip at Shelter Bay Marina. At 4:30pm Panama time we pick up our 'advisor' at The Flats anchorage and should enter the Gatun Locks at about 5pm.
We've got line handlers on board, 125ft lines, and 14 black tires hanging off Wind Wanderer, robbing her of any kind of dignity...

We've heard all the horror stories but obviously most boats go through just fine... we're one of those

Sandy is cooking up a storm and it smells like her gourmet chili will be the staple diet for all the hungry mouths on board.

Tonight we sleep on Gatun Lake and tomorrow we motor across it and down the locks to the Pacific Ocean ... a big milestone.

If anyone is interested, or bored, Panama Canal has cameras that go off every 30 seconds and if you happen to be looking at around 5pm Panama time you may catch a glimpse of a bunch of black tires heading through the Gatun Locks. http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html

So long Atlantic... Hello Pacific

Vic
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Old 20-07-2013, 11:33   #2
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

Congrats Vic!
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Old 20-07-2013, 11:44   #3
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

awesome!!!





are you going to jump off from there or come a lil north first.....is kinda a shaky time for sailing on our ocean....gotta do it between its temper tantrums...
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Old 20-07-2013, 11:45   #4
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

Alright. The next stage of the adventure begins. Do post a report on how the transit goes.

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 20-07-2013, 11:48   #5
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

to bad i am too far north to meet ye!

happy sails and awesome !!!
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Old 20-07-2013, 12:54   #6
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

Hi, Vic,

Congratulations, and Enjoy!

Ann
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Old 20-07-2013, 13:21   #7
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

Thanks for all the good wishes.
We'll report back here from the other side.

Vic
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Old 20-07-2013, 13:29   #8
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

Hey have fun!!!!!

Its a great trip

Watch for crocs
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Old 20-07-2013, 13:44   #9
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Hey have fun!!!!!

Its a great trip

Watch for crocs
We're planning to cool off in Gatun Lake tonight...
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Old 20-07-2013, 15:24   #10
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Congrats!! What a great achievement!

I'm hoping we are in your shoes next year!

Please do post about the transit.

Robyn
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Old 20-07-2013, 15:38   #11
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

G'day, Mate. Congrats & safe passage. As David put it: "Got out of town on a boat, going to Southern islands. Sailing a reach before a following sea.
She was making for the trades on the outside, and the downhill run to Papeete". Cheers
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Old 20-07-2013, 16:15   #12
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pirate Re: About To Jump Oceans

Hey Vic... good one..
You'll likely tie up to the bouys of to the port of the exit like we did.. the local lads who were helping us through all jumped in with soap while we were knocking up the grub...
Jump in the same time as them... makes the odds more in your favour..
You solo or rafted up..?
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Old 21-07-2013, 20:06   #13
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

At last we're rocking gently at Las Brisas anchorage, Pacific side.
It's been an eventful couple of days and didn't get off to a brilliant start.

We had 3 line handlers organized and the day before we were due to leave 2 of them, a couple, decided they wanted to do something else, in spite of them making a commitment, agreeing a price etc. I hope they get no seeums in their underwear.
Fortunately the one left, Leo, has been through the canal 20 times and soon managed to rustle up some replacements. A guy who'd been through once before, and a woman (fitness instructor) who'd never been on a boat and her 15 year old son.
We ended up being a merry bunch in spite of language problems and everything worked out fine.

We left Shelter Bay with perfect bad timing...
With about an hour to get to The Flats to meet our 'advisor', we saw a massive dark cloud approaching. I made the call to get out of the slip before it got any closer so we wouldn't risk being stuck there when we should be at the Flats.
Lines off and gently backing out when we got slammed by 15-20 on the beam. Full keel, 30 tons and no bow thruster. No way to get head to wind which was what we needed for our exit. So we went with the wind further into the finger docks to where I figured I'd hold her stern to wind and fend off if we had to while I looked for a plan B. There were 2 empty slips and we got bow in and a line over a cleat. Stern came around as the wind started easing, backed out again, got head to wind and motored out with just inches to spare.

We figured the canal couldn't throw us any more curve balls than that.

We ended up rafted with a 35ft power boat. Being 65ft LOA we were told we'd be the controlling vessel. Well, they had 3X300 hp outboards and a serious bow thruster. We ended up very easily working together and we managed the 3 locks to Gatun Lake without a hitch, apart from a learner advisor on their boat being hit on the head by a monkey fist and having to be put off in the second lock That power boat was the 'dinghy' to a superyacht they were on their way back to meet. We tied up to a massive mooring buoy for the night. Medicinal rum and beer leeched into the lake via the crew...

6:30 am our new advisor arrived and we set off across the lake at a steady 6 kts. We got to Pierre Miguel lock at about 10.30 and tied side on to Pacific Princess, one of their big tour vessels. It had a nasty 'toerail' that stuck out at least 6 inches and would have done some nasty damage to our brightwork if it hadn't been for Sandy and the others doing some nifty fender work.

We had to tie and untie to Pacific Princess at each lock going down.

Dropped off the advisor and headed to Balboa YC where we planned to hire a mooring for a night to offload hired tires and lines but they said they had nothing available. All the empty ones we could see must have been invisible to them.

We headed to Las Brisas and found a fairly thriving community of cruisers anchored here.

Mission accomplished

Vic

PS. we didn't use an agent and appear to have saved a small fortune.
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Old 21-07-2013, 20:12   #14
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

welcome to pacific....happy sails!!
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Old 22-07-2013, 06:26   #15
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Re: About To Jump Oceans

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welcome to pacific....happy sails!!
Thanks Zee
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