Hi everyone.....just putting this up now....its raw and Guds will edit and add pictures later, so come back for the "enhanced" version maybe late today or tomorrow morning!
Well we have all been busy working on the boat and enjoying Shelter Bay Marina area and visiting the Panama Canal visitor center to see where we are going to transit through hopefully on Monday night.
Soon after Garrick and Adrian arrived we got to work on all the boat chores and repairs. The new main halyard has been installed, but unfortunately West Marine sent Garrick 10mm rope instead of the 12mm rope we ordered and paid for, so we have to work through trying to get West Marine to either refund us the money and we send them back the 10mm rope (a real pain) and then attempt to buy 12mm rope in Panama City some place. That may be challenging given we only have one day in Panama City. We do have the old main halyard aboard now, so if needed have that as a last resort.
Guds and Garrick went into town yesterday to shop and top off the provisions we already have aboard, so that we hopefully don’t have to do any major shopping again for a while. Adrian and I worked on the boat trying to make more space while they were gone, and generally started preparing the boat for the canal transit.
Apparently you should be able to see us transit the canal on the live web cam feed below….you will need to choose the "Gatun Locks" live feed as those are the locks on the Caribbean side we will transit through on Monday early evening. Here is the feed links I think (try all 3) otherwise just google “Gatun Locks live webcam feed…you will/should see a ship and some where behind it you may see our tiny boat ;) :
Here is our exact transit time (remember these are local Panama time which is 1 hour behind Florida EST):
Pilot boarding time 3.15pm on 23rd
Arriving Gatun locks 4.45pm on 23rd (5.45pm Florida live web feed)
Clearing Gatun locks 6.05pm on 23rd (7.05pm Florida time)
Anchoring Gatun lake 6.30pm on 23rd
The plan as it stands is we leave the marina tomorrow, get fuel at 2pm, head to near the canal entrance, anchor and wait for both a line handler and canal adviser. When they board at 3.15pm, the adviser is the person that tells us exactly where to go and helps navigate us up through the locks and into the lake. Once through we anchor in the lake on Monday night, and then head across the lake with a new adviser on Tuesday day and head for the down locks called the Miraflores Locks, and into the Pacific Ocean!!!! I still can’t believe it’s happening!!!! We also got the invoice for our canal transit today….$2,160 eekkkkk…but I guess compared to the average ship one way transit bill of $400,000 we are a drop in the bucket!!!! That plus the $2,100 we already had to pay for the Galapagos entry permits and suddenly we start being VERY careful with our limited money saved up…..oh well…..you only live once ;)
After that we likely will spend one night near Panama City, before heading off out to the Los Perla’s Islands, just south of Panama City. We will use that time at anchor to clean the bottom of the hull, and get mentally prepared for the 8 day voyage to Galapagos Islands. Our plan is to spend a week there….hopefully may get some internet access there to do a blog update and catch up on emails. From there it’s a 3 week, 3000 mile crossing to Marquees Islands…..;)
To catch you up on some videos here are a few for enjoyment….
1st one is from us diving the “Windjammer” ship wreck off the Dry Tortugas”
2nd is our tour two days ago of the Panama Canal visitors center at the Gatun Locks…look how close the ship is to the side of the concrete lock wall!!!!
3rd is another of Ben & Gaby in “school field trip” at the canal locks.
That’s about it for now….off to try and get our drone working…..its been in the box since we purchased it, maybe fit some new boat speakers we have aboard, and fit a new compass ;)
Thanks for everyone’s good wishes, for following us, and for all the comments/news!!!!
All the best from the new and improved team Cool Runnings….now playing with a bigger expanded and better team!!!!
Ps….our beer consumption seems to have DRASTICALLY increased with Adrian and Garrick aboard ….not sure we can carry all the beer we “need” to make it the next few weeks, so may begin rationing once underway ;)