FROM ONE OCEAN TO ANOTHER
02 February 2013 | 09 22'N:79 57'W, PANAMA
FINALLY, A CONFIRMED TRANSIT DATE: FEB. 8
For our transit we leave from Colon on the Atlantic side and move to the locks where we will be lifted 85 ft. in three steps to Gatun Lake. After crossing the 31 mile lake, we will be dropped 31 ft. in a single step to Pedro Miguel and then enter Miraflores Lake. A mile further south, a double lockage and the final drop of 54 ft to the Pacific Ocean.
The water necessary to lock a ship through comes from Gatum Lake, a lake created by damming the River Chagres. This fresh water is funneled to the locks via a gravity system. Ships transiting the Canal use 52 million gallons of water in transiting through.
Moonbeam has been officially measured (photo above), fees paid and the boat is ready. One day before, we will be set up with the necessary 8 protection tires and the lines. Requirements for any yacht "locking through" is one skipper, one Panamanian "advisor", and 4 people for line handling the 150 ft one inch diameter lines. Handlers, 2 on each side, to make sure the boat is tied properly to the lock walls or to next boat.
Prior to Moonbeam's transit, Ken and Nancy have signed on as line handlers today on a Beneteau 46. Mike has also been able to pick up a handler's job on a very interesting boat that has been 'round the world and then he is flying home from Panama City on Feb 5. We will miss him, but glad that he has an opportunity to do a transit. Ken and Nancy return to Moonbeam by bus.