Halfway throughWind NN5@10kn, isolated showers
15-Jan-2012, Motoring towards Pedro Miguel Lock
We had a very smooth transit "upwards" through the three stages of the Gatun Lock last night. Carlos, our advisor, boarded right on time at 1730 and we entered the first stage of the lock around 1930 after some waiting in front of the gates. We went through the lock tied alongside a 70ft sport fishing boat from Lousianna. They would tie up to one side of the lock and we would then tie up alongside them, repeating the process for every stage of the lock. Everything worked very smoothly - thanks to our advisor, crew and the helpful hands on the sport fisher. Unfortunately, they (the sport fisher crew) had to watch their football team loose the Super Bowl semi finals against San Francisco during the tthird stage of the lock... We went out into Gatun Lake around 2030, tied up to a mooring, disembarked our advisor to a pilot launch and had nice and relaxed dinner. We spent a short night until "Astro", today's advisor, boarded around 0630 this morning. We're now under way towards the Pedro MIguel Lock, where we are scheduled to go through at 1215 local time today, which should have us go through the Miraflores Lock around 1300 today. Stay tuned....
Standing by...Wind NNW@15kn, scattered showers
14-Jan-2012, Flats Anchorage, off the Atlantic side Canal entrance
We left Shelter Bay at 1400 today and are now anchored in the "Flats". Our Advisor arrival ETA has been confirmed for 1730 local time so we expect to arrive at Gatun Locks around 1900 local time. The webcam URL for the lock is http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html. If you do see us going through the lock please take a screen shot ;-)
Ready for the Canal13-Jan-2012, Shelter Bay Marina, Panama
Eric, our very helpful agent for the Canal transit, dropped off our four "Panama lines" (125 ft each as required by Canal regulations) and 12 tires today (these will serve as sturdy fenders). He also informed us that our "Advisor" (a small craft pilot for the canal transit) would join us at 1730 local time tomorrow (Sat, 14JAN) in the "Flats Anchorage", just outside the Canal entrance. We plan to leave Shelter Bay around 1300h tomorrow and make our way to the Flats to wait for the Advisor there. We should then make our way through the three stages of the Gatun lock which should take us up 26 meters tomorrow night. We will then anchor/moor in Gatun Lake where a new Advisor will join us early on Sunday morning to accompany us on the "way down" through the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks. If all goes well, we should reach the Pacific side early afternoon on Sunday. We plan to pick up a mooring at the Balboa Yacht Club there.
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