At last the preparations for our transit are complete. We have completed the mountain of paperwork, been visited by officials, been officially measured, procured long lines, masses of tires as fenders and we’re ready to transit the Panama Canal, a real landmark in every respect for ocean sailors as it takes us from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. We were in company with friends on Myrdinn and Meta, and more friends line-handling for us. Having taken on our pilot, we head for the Gatun locks, where we rise 85 feet in a raft of 3 yachts, tucked behind a freighter. We spend a night on the beautiful Gatun Lake and spend half of the next day motoring across the lake towards the Miraflores locks. Passing through the Gaillard Cut we feel humbled as we consider the tens of thousands of lives that were lost to create this amazing feat of engineering but all too soon we’re in the Miraflores lock, waving to webcams as we drop down to the Pacific ocean and as we pass under the Bridges of the Americas we’ve arrived in the Pacific. I felt a sense of anticlimax, and relief as we do not experience any of the damage that so many cruising folk love to talk about. 8,000 miles to go to NZ!
Date(s): February 2007. Album by Gerard Coulson. Photos by Gerard Coulson. 1 - 81 of 81 Total. 18 Visits.
Myrdinn takes on her pilot
and now we line up
Our little convery heads for the Gatun locks
Nina, one of our linehandlers
See, it really is a croc!
We make up a raft
Ben takes our line
and the kids are quite excited!
traffic behind us
Ben talks to the chief pilot
We enter the first lock
and in front is our larger companion
Our pilot, Roy, looks on
Panama Canal Transit 50
Here we go
The Myrdinn kids
Ben receives a monkey's fist and attaches a shore line
Nina and Angus
Panama Canal Transit 64
Clarabella turns her transom on the Caribbean
Panama Canal Transit 68
The gates close
Panama Canal Transit 74
Ernst on Myrdinn
Panama Canal Transit 78
And up we go
Eric and I chat about how it's going
Sarah and Roger
Our view astern, now that we've risen
Nina keeps the kids happy
Panama Canal Transit 96
After the first set of locks we moor for the night in the Gatun Lake, alongside a huge buoy
Early next morning
The brothers enjoy a cuppa
Panama Canal Transit 108
Ruth plays Top Trumps with Tom
Rebecca reads a book
and Nina knits
We head off across the Gatun lake
Throught Banana Cut, following the route of an old railway!
We slowly catch up Myrdinn
Panama Canal Transit 124
Panama Canal Transit 133
This is how we look as we push past
and here comes Meta
Panama Canal Transit 137
Our pilot for this day, Victor, spent his time chatting on our VHF radio and reading kids books and not much else
Some traffic going the other way
Passing down the Gaillard Cut, where many thousands of lives were lost in its making
More oncimg traffic
Panama Canal Transit 151
Which would you rather be on!
The ineffectual Victor
Our raft approaches the first of the down-locks
Panama Canal Transit 157
Ruth and Angus, line-handling for Meta
Ben and Me
Ben and Nina
Panama Canal Transit 167
One mile to the Miraflores locks
Panama Canal Transit 173
Margrita from Myrdinn locks down on us!
Panama Canal Transit 175
and this is how we look!
Getting ready for our first glimpse of the Pacific
and here it is! The PACIFIC
Victor does not too impressed however
Ben tidies lines up as we approach the Bridges of The Americas which joins North and South America
A tired but happy Dad cuddles his kids
Panama Canal Transit 186
Monica looking glamorous for the Pacific!
The Bridge of the Americas, and we enter the Pacific