Blog Post 19 by Jon Sanders: Panama Canal, but not for long.
I am still at Shelter Bay Marina Colon, the Atlantic end of the Panama Canal, but not for long.
Shelter Bay is the natural meeting place of lots cruising yachts. Their tall masts and rows and rows of furling headsails. Mostly American and European. They are a friendly bunch.
They wait, they wait and wait for their slot to transit Panama.
There is plenty of space to pass through. It is the limited number of advisors (obligatory on board), i.e.: pilots, that holds things up. In fact, it is obligatory to have a minimum of six on board.
The Skipper, called Captain in Panama; the Advisor (Pilot); and four Linesmen, to pay out and haul in the four dedicated long ropes provided by the linesmen or agent. The Linesmen can be your own crew, and it’s probably a good idea to have one or two professional Linesmen.
The locks are intended for ships. The big ships. The water comes in and out quickly with turbulence.
Rick, my Linesman – did I write “my”, more likely Paul’s Linesman – advised me
our transit is on next Monday, 22nd May ‘17…