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Disco Buoy
04/22/2012, 09 15.590'N:79 54.752'W, Gatun Lake

What happens on the buoy, stays on the buoy.

Transit Today???
04/21/2012, Panama Canal

FYI, it is Saturday April 21, and we are presently scheduled to go through today. As we learned last weekend, this can change. Last I heard, there were six boats scheduled to go through today. But I learned that last night an advisor didn't show up (again). So one of yesterdays boats was bumped and which may lead to one of today's boats getting bumped. Plus, who knows if all of the advisors will show up. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Our presently scheduled time to meet our advisor is 6pm. Which would put us in the Gatun Locks between 7 and 9 pm. There is a Gatun Locks web cam if you want to keep an eye out for us!

We would then go through the downward locks (Pedro Miguel Locks and then the Miraflores Locks) tomorrow.

FYI, I will do a bit more of a recap of Panama and the San Blas, with some more pictures, before too long (heh heh).

04/21/2012 | Jenny /
Yay! We'll be watching for you!
04/21/2012 | Jenny /
Awesome picture, btw.
04/22/2012 | Auntie E
Whoopee!! Saw you at Mira Flores locks!
05/05/2012 | Dave and Laurie
Wow! What an adventure. We are really enjoying following your travels. Wishing you safe travels!
No Transit Today, More time for the jungle wildlife
04/15/2012, Shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama

Our transit date was cancelled, in what appears to be very typical panamanian fashion--short notice and bad illogical explanations. After we made arrangements for line handlers. After we got the boat prepared. After all the shopping for the transit was done. After we paid for the being in the marina in order to be ready (we would have left and gone other places otherwise). We are not the only ones. It seems to happen all too regularly. It is simply a badly run operation when it comes to the small boats. Though, word on the street is that it is not as badly run as the Suez.... The cruisers from Europe with experience in the lock systems there seem to get particularly upset. There are many locks in europe with bigger rises and falls, and which carry big ships, but which are simply well managed.

Sooo we wait. Fortunately there is lots of wildlife. We have seen monkeys (including the critically endangered black spider monkey), crocodiles, ant superhighways, sloths, lots of birds and insects, some sort of blue winged moth, vultures and various hawk or eagle like birds of prey. The picture is of about a 4-5 ft crocodile swimming about 5 feet in front of our boat in the marina at Shelter Bay.

New Photo Galleries
04/09/2012, Shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama

We are sitting in shelter bay marina now. Shelter Bay is the only marina on the Caribbean side of the Canal. Great place because all yachts heading to the Pacific converge here. The photo is of Morning Glory loaded with fenders and tires, ready to transit.

I will be doing a bit of catching up on the blog as we prepare to go through the Canal. Presently our transit date is set for April 15th. In the mean time, I have just added a number of NEW PHOTO GALLERIES--please take a look :)

04/11/2012 | Richard
I am finally catching up and am amazed to see how far you have gone since I last heard from you. I am soooo envious but so excited for you.
04/15/2012 | Wil & Jenny /
We're watching for you on the Panama Canal webcams! If you get this in time, can you let us know what time you're starting your transit? Or maybe you're already on your way thru. So exciting!!
04/02/2012, 09 33.257'N:79 39.721'W, Panama Canal

After Isla Linton, we next stopped at Portobello, and last stop before the Canal Zone. The central american gold shipping capital for the Spaniards. Finally captured by the pirate Captain Morgan, and then later by the British Admiral Edward Vernon (also famous for the name of George Washington's Estate--Mount Vernon). Vernon's capture of Portobello destroyed the economy which didn't recover until the Panama Canal was built. The forts and Custom's house for the gold are impressive.

Isla Linton
04/01/2012, 09 36.690'N:79 35.214'W, Panama Canal

Isla Linton was our first stop upon leaving Kuna Yala. There is a research station on this Island, and it is home to some Black Spider Monkeys which are a very endagered species. We were lucky enough to get a nice picture of one.

Just a short stop on the way to the Canal zone.

03/24/2012, 09 35.010'N:78 40.386'W, Banedup, Eastern Holandes Cays, Kuna Yala

Today we moved from the Naguarchirdup to Banedup in the eastern Holandes Cays. Just kicken' back and loungin' today. The kids are off building sandcastles. I think I'll take a nap.

04/01/2012 | Donna
What a gorgeous place! It's been stormy and cold in Ohio these past several days. The weather looks beautiful there.
04/05/2012 | Wil
Wake up! We can't see. No more naps.

Can't wait for details and pictures. Travel safe.

Dugout Sailing
03/22/2012, 09 32.75'N:78 53.63'W, Naguarchirdup, Kuna Yala

We are presenlty located south east of the island of Nagaurchirdup in Kuna Yala. This small group of islands is also known as the Lemmons. We arrived yesterday early in the afternoon following a short sail from Porvenir. As it was Stephen's 13th birthday yesterday Amy made cake and we announced to the anchorage that we were having a party at 4:30 in the afternoon. 18 people showed up! Including 9 kids from various parts of the world--all cruising as we are. This is one of the great things about cruising :). The boys played Stephen's new version of risk -- RISK 2210 A.D. The girls hung out talking on the bow and playing games too. The adults sat in the cockpit hoping a few drinks would numb the sensitivity of our eardrums sufficiently.

The photo is of Stephen and Rivers sailing in a dugout canoe on Tuesday. On Tuesday we met Nestor--a native Kuna indian from the island of Nalunega. He invited us to his home, gave us a tour of his island, fed us a lunch of chicken and plantains, and took the kids sailing in his ulu (dugout canoe). He also brought us to a very interesting museum that was created and is maintained by a Kuna artist. Through paintings and carvings and other works of art he describes the Kuna way of life, its history, and its belief system. A very impressive experience, and our best field trip for the kids to date!

Thank you Nestor!!

03/23/2012 | Auntie Elin
It's really fun to read all your comments - helps us picture what you are experiencing. Love following you on the Current Position setting of your blog. Took me a while to find the Panama Canal on the satellite photos - I had assumed it was a straight canal (shows my little knowledge!). Love to all and take care.
03/23/2012 | Karen
HappyBirthday Stephen!! Rivers - Abigail says hi! Ab's classroom is now following your blog - they REALLY want you to get to the Galapagos Island!! XO Karen
03/25/2012 | Chris Tucker
YAHOO...Panama! Very nice guys. I look forward to hearing about your experience in the canal. Be well - s/v Dharma from Hope Town
04/04/2012 | A J Koltermann
Regarding your son's birthday shindig: Only on a cat can that many people be in 3 groups. spread around the boat, comortably. Fair winds
Kuna Yala
03/20/2012, Porvenir, Panama

We are still anchored off of Porvenir. We plan to explore a couple of islands hear near porvenir, this morning: Wichubhuala and maybe Nalunega. Then we will move off to the West Lemmon Cays a short hop of 3 or so miles. Stephen's birthday is tomorrow (13--a Teenager!!). He doesn't know it yet, but tomorrow's stop may be the only place in Kuna Yala that has wifi--so that is why we are heading there :).

This place is absolutely gorgeous--small palm tree covered islands. Many have Kuna Indian's living on them leading a traditional life -- we have been approached by dugout canoes with langusta, fish and bread, as well as the beautiful Molas that they make. The bread is delicious. And we have already bought a couple of Molas.

We are still recovering a bit from the trip down--which overall was easy. Except we slowed down and changed our course to sort of a banana shape to the west of the rhumb line in order to avoid heavier weather within a couple hundred miles of the Colombian coast and its ever present low pressure system. We did the on the advice of the famous Herb Hilgenberg who we spoke to on the SSB at 19:30 UTC each day on 12359 Khz. Unfortunately this meant we made landfall at 8pm--and since it was pitch black and there was about an 8-9ft swell running, we stood off overnight. This turned a 3 day trip into a 4 day trip. Yuck!! We actually left Jamaica late in the morning so we wouldn't get in to early and have to stand-off....sigh.... Oh Well.

Thanks to all who are leaving comments!! We really enjoy seeing who is keeping track of us. Note we will likely be without wifi access for a few weeks--this is all going through satellite. But we do see who is leaving comments through the satellite connection. We may have wifi tomorrow as I mentioned above--but its anybody's guess whether we actually will have any access...

03/20/2012 | Joel
Glad you made it and hopefully it's a good resting point for a couple weeks. Enjoy!
03/21/2012 | Grandma & Grandpa
Happy, happy birthday to our precious Stephen! Love Grandpa and Grandma H
03/21/2012 | Joel
I hope you have a good day today and get to have some fun being the King for a Day. - Uncle Joel and Kay
Kuna Yala
03/19/2012, 09 33.37'N:78 56.88'W, Porvenir, Panama

We made it. All safe and sound at anchor of the island of Porvenir in Kuna Yala. The San Blas Islands are known as Kuna Yala to the Kuna Indians that live here. The Kuna Indians still live a traditional way of life, and Kuna Yala has been set aside for them. It is great to be here. We have already bought some Molas and some Kuna Bread (which is a coconut bread).

Also we caught a large Mahi yesterday. 25lbs. It was the biggest fight we've ever had, and I was surprised it was only a 25lb mahi. It nearly spooled our Penn 113. And the drag was literally smoking. I burned my hand on it.

We will be eating well :)

03/19/2012 | Mom and Dad
Woo Hoo! Elin and I have found the Panama Canal on the Google Earth map. Rest up! Mom and Dad

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