Entering Gutan lock 0430.
The time is finally here! We are in position at 0300 to begin the canal transit. Our schedule was bumped up 2 hours earlier at the last minute. All times from last post will be two hours earlier. See you in Pacific!!
Our time is set for the transit of the Panama Canal! We will begin the trip early tomorrow morning. At the bottom of this post is a tentative schedule for the day including an estimated time of arrival at each lock. The day begins in Cristobal, where we will take on a Canal Pilot that will guide us through. After the pilot boards we will make our way to the first of three locks. The locks are used to raise the boat up from sea level, 85 feet to the level of the Gatun lake. We will then transit across the lake and arrive at the Pedro Miguel Locks. This is where we begin the lowering back down to sea level. After exiting the final Miraflores lock we will dock at the Flamenco Marina. The total transit time is is about 13 hours start to Finish.
During this this trip, we will be using two Garmin 360 VIRB cameras to document the journey in 4K. We will post this to the blog in a day or so once we get it edited. If anyone is interested to try to catch a live view of Warbird in one of the locks, you can check out the link below.
Keep in mind, the live cameras have been known to be unreliable at times. I will post our progress with 30 minute ETA’s to the locks.
Panama Canal Map
Panama Canal Profile
“Bridge of the Americas” This will mark our arrival to the Pacific Ocean!!!
Warbird Panama Canal Transit Schedule
0500 hrs pilot boarding time
0630 hrs ETA Gatun locks
0756 hrs ETD Gatun locks
1421 hrs ETA Pedro Miguel locks
1501 hrs ETD Pedro Miguel locks
1541 hrs ETA Miraflores last locks
1651 hrs Clearing Miraflores locks
1800 hrs Alongside at Flamenco
Here is a local monkey flying tree to tree outside of the Shelter Bay Marina.
Today the crew spent a few hours making sure all of Warbird’s inventory of dive gear is ready for some heavy use in the Galapagos. Once in the out islands it’s not like we can visit the neighborhood dive shop if we forgot something. In addition to our normal personal gear, the boat is equipped with a Brownies compressor built in so we have the ability to refill tanks in-between dives. On the transom we have a “hookah” rig with an electric 100′ reel to enable up to four divers to dive off the boat tankless. I know preparation of all the gear is raising the anticipation of some spectacular world class diving!
In preparation for the canal transit the crew inflated all of our fenders that will be used to protect Warbird in the canal locks.
Here is a short clip of maintenance being performed on the Alpha Laval aboard Warbird.
Today we completed the first portion off our trip. After 168 hours of continuous cruising, we reached our first destination in Colon Panama. Warbird pulled into Shelter Bay Marine this morning just after sunrise. It is always a good feeling to get your feet on dry land after a long trip. As far as marinas go, Shelter Bay is probably not going to win any awards. The main reason yachts stay here is due to its close proximity to the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal. The marina is filled with boats of all types that are crossing between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It usually takes a few days until boats are scheduled to actually make the crossing. In the mean time, we will enjoy the new scenery and knock a thick layer of salt off of Warbird.
By Captain John
During long trips spanning multiple days at sea the boat has to be manned 24 hours a day. The crew take shifts in the pilothouse on “watch.” While on watch we are monitoring all machinery, making sure the boat stays on course, and watching out for opposing traffic. One of the perks of watch is a front row seat to watch the sun rise, then fall and fade on the other end. In this day and age of smart phones, many times crew members will have their phone in hand trying to capture the moment to save for the future. In reality the videos or photos never quite convey the experience of the real thing. Being out at sea helps to reminds us to slow down and enjoy the view!