08 - In Panama

Ready for the Canal

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.

Nicky's Page

Nicky now has his own section on Namani's homepage. The links on the left of the homepage now include "Nicky's Page". Under this heading you can find a short introduction "about Nicky, by Nicky" and some of Nicky's school work. We'll see what else Nicky will come up with...

Sneak Preview

Got a sneak preview of the Canal transit over the past two days on Astarté with Barbara and Michael, and Sue and Lenny from Windancer. A very interesting and fun experience, also very helpful to get a better idea of what to expect for our own transit. Namani was officially measured on Thursday and our transit date has now been set for 14JAN. We have enough boat projects lined up to keep us busy until then...

Shelter Bay

Arrived in Shelter Bay (across from Colon at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal) today, after a nice sail from Portobelo and after weaving our way through the cargo ships anchored off the Canal entrance.

Markus will have dry-run through the Canal tomorrow and Thursday as a line handler on Astarté. We still plan on going through during the first half of January. Very nice to be here now - makes the Canal transit feel very real and imminent... stay tuned...

The Tip-Top Restaurant

Now that we have an internet connection, a little flashback to our last evening in Port Antonio, Jamaica. Our friend Bill had just arrived from the US and we wanted to have a farewell dinner at our favorite food place in Port Antonio, the Tip-Top Restaurant (unique - you have to check it out if you're ever there). By the time we got there however, Owen, the chef, was just closing up the kitchen for the day. Based on a conversation we had earlier he had expected us a day earlier and was planning on leaving early this night.

Back to Civilization

We weighed anchor in Porvenir yesterday (20DEC) at daybreak, after checking out of the San Blas Islands there the day before. A fast (by our standards) 55nm later we dropped the hook in Portobelo, about 20nm NE of Colon. We had originally planned to stay in the San Blas a few days longer, but with seas building across the entire Caribbean and us slowly running out of supplies, yesterday seemed like the right day to move.