20th Jun 2012 - 21st Jun 2012 - My First Pacific Crossing
Panama Canal Passage completed
Canal Passage Date: 20/06 to 21/06- 34Nm
The canal passage was done in 2 stages, first you transit from Colon to Gaton lakes via the 3 locks, this was an awesome experience as we were rafted to another smaller yacht and I had to manoeuvre us both within the locks. Each lock takes about 10 minutes to fill then you motor into the next while still rafted to the other yacht. We then motored into the lake and spent the night moored to the world larges mooring buoy.
The next mooring we were joined by our passage advisor for the trip across the lakes and down the canal to Panama City. The trip across the lakes was easy and we just followed the main shipping channel, however we arrived at the downwards gates some 1 hour ahead of schedule and had to bob around waiting for our turn to go through. The downwards passage through the locks is really straight forward as there are no whirl pools or strange currents to deal with. Once clear of the 3 gates we proceeded to the Balboa yacht club’s fuel dock and dropped off our line handlers, fenders (plastic wrapped tyres) and large mooring lines...
We then sailed around to a nice bay near the Flamenco yacht club and anchored for the night. The next morning we rang a local taxi driver and arranged for him to pick us up and take us to get some more charts, engine spares and of course more food and drinks.