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MOONBEAM: Circumnavigation 2013 - 2015

Who: Capt Ken and Lil Bardon
Port: Marco Island, FL, USA
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Current Position

FEB-MAR - Thailand, get boat ready for shipping to the Med

APR - boat in Marmaris, Turkey

MAY - sail from Turkey to Crete

JUNE - sail the Greek Isles, thru the Corinth Canal and up the Adriatic

JUL-OCT - Croatia, Italy, France, Monaco, Spain, Gibraltar

OCT-NOV - cross the Atlantic to BVI’s

NOV - Thanksgiving in the BVI’s

DEC - ?????


EARLY APRIL: depart New Zealand for Brisbane, Australia

MID APRIL - EARLY JULY cruise North towards Cairns along the Great Barrier Reef

JULY - OCTOBER cruise islands of Indonesia to Bali

MID OCTOBER - NOVEMBER sail from Bali to Thailand with a stop on Singapore



JAN 13 - depart Marco Island for Panama

MAR 11 - Panama - Marquesas

LATE APR - Marquesas - Tahiti

MID MAY - Cruise Pacific Islands

MID JUN/JUL/AUG - Tahiti - Fiji via Cook, Samoa, Tonga Islands

MID AUG - Cruise Fiji Islands

MID SEPT - Fiji - New Zealand

OCT INTO 2014 - Moonbeam in New Zealand
02/02/2013, 09 22'N:79 57'W, PANAMA


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.

02/02/2013 | Marian
Will be looking forward to more posts on the canal-ing. Stay happy. Marian
02/02/2013 | Alan
Way to go crew. It sounds like everything is moving ahead faster that we thought. We will try to watch you as you pass on through.
02/02/2013 | Betty Bishop
If you can give us an approximate time of departure on 2/7/13, we can watch you pass thru live on Hope you have an uneventful passing.
02/03/2013 | Milly
Great idea, Ken -- man known for good ideas -- for the two of you to sign on as line handlers. Great writing, Nancy, thank you. I can picture the complex gauntlet for next Friday. Exciting. Milly
02/03/2013 | Don Dalbec
Once you get into the first lock your hull will be getting a free cleaning as it will be fresh lake water with a little agitation included ! Last time I went thru , about 10yrs. ago , there was still a very small almost unnoticeable presence of "our" military in small high speed armed patrol craft . Think the US still has some say with "protecting" the canel but not the actual operations nor management ? Have a great transit ! Don D
02/03/2013 | John (PERIDOT)
Congratulations Thanks for including us! Look forward to learning more! John
02/03/2013 | Bob
Ken, that's a very quick booking for transit. Congrats on journey so far. Been watching all the way, much envy from NY, I'm either freezing or sitting on a plane thinking of Moonbeams crew living the dream. Best form Bob and a dry docked Minaxi.
02/04/2013 | David B
Very, very cool. I never knew the degree of complexity involved. Have fun!
01/31/2013, 09 22'N:79 57'W, PANAMA


When the Americans departed, left behind were many of the support buildings for the canal's management, houses, a solar field and more. Still standing, they are derelict and gradually falling apart.

Before the Americans, there were Colombians and Spaniards. But the land really belongs to the original peoples of many thousands years ago. Indigenous peoples of various linguist groups living here for thousands of years before the Spanish arrived with their looted gold and silver from Peru in the sixteenth century.

Later in 1821, a wave of revolutionary forces transferred Panama to custody of the Columbian government. Attempts by the Panamanians to secede all failed until the U.S. arrived with a plan for a canal and gave support to the secessionists. A number of successful skirmishes resulted in Pres. Teddy Roosevelt recognizing the Republic of Panama. It was 1903. The following year a treaty was signed, giving America the right to control a strip of land along the canal's route, in perpetuity.

It took ten years to build, but in August 1914, the canal opened. Unrest and discontent between the two countries persisted as the U.S. held onto the Canal Zone, a country within a country. In 1977 a new treaty was signed transferring the canal to Panama in 22 years. On December 31, 1999, the canal and its administration were permanently handed over to Panama.

01/31/2013 | Linda
Thanks for the photo. I was there in 1997. Things were well maintained and smooth at the canal. Noriega was under arrest and many of the buildings in downtown Panama City were deserted - probably built with drug money in the boom before the arrest and never occupied. The Cuna Indians,who appliqué the beautiful molas, were in the towns to sell their wares and very poor. It was similar to what Michael and I saw in the 1970s with indigenous tribes in Central America. I'm curious how you find Panama City. Hope you get to transit the canal next weekend. Not too bad of a wait!
01/29/2013, 09 22'N:79 57'W, SHELTER BAY MARINA

Any trip that begins with 4 straight days of perfect sailing and ends with 4 happy crew members is a great ride. We especially want to thank all of those that have been following our trip on the blog with comments and emails. While we can't respond to all of them, we do read them and appreciate greatly the support. KEEP THEM COMING.

The picture above is of the 4 happy crew members. Lee, Nancy, Ken and Michael.

01/29/2013 | Ed wigutoff
Congrats!!! Great sail. Thanks for keeping all of us posted. Feel like I am with you.
01/29/2013 | Jim Piwowarczyk
Enjoying each post and pic! Best to you on your continuing voyage.
Naples, FL
01/29/2013 | Rebecca DeVries
Congrats!!! You all look great!
01/29/2013 | Ruth B
Great to see you -- and you don't look any worse for wear. Keep up the good spirit, photos and blog. Cheers.
01/29/2013 | Fred Shinn
Nancy, as the Ernie Pyle of the Moonbeam you did a great job. Congrats to all four of the crew on a job well done. Stilll many adventures ahead.
01/30/2013 | Jim Drinane
60 degrees in NYC today - who needs Panama?
01/30/2013 | Randy Studer
I crossed the Atlantic in my 37 foot Tayana many years ago. Following your trip brings back many great memories. Good luck to all of you.
01/30/2013 | Tara K.
Thank you for bloggin your journey. I luv reading your updates :) Happy sailing!
01/30/2013 | Vicki
Congratulations! We have been following along and have been enjoying your adventure. Quite an accomplishment, and yet more to come. Le Compte Ory this Sat. Will think of you.
01/30/2013 | Ruth B
Please stay away from fishing for Marlin in Panama -- see recent internet story
01/31/2013 | David B
I like the history lesson. I guess you will be in Panama for awhile. Enjoy
01/31/2013 | Pat & Marv
Congrats! Everyone is smiling.......all good.
Nancy, really enjoying the history lesson...keep the info coming.
Be safe!
02/02/2013 | Jim Ball
Congrats! What a great adventure, thanks for sharing with your LHS alumni. Good Luck!
Jim Ball LHS'52
02/05/2013 | Lisa Ligon
I am loving virtually traveling with you on this great adventure! Very exciting seeing the photos and hearing he stories from your journey. Keep them coming!

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