Awaiting Canal Transfer
The site has not been updated since September why it is clearly time to get on with it. We have been back in Sweden for work and business.
Our first picture is of a Pelican (again) when the bird actually sat on our pull pit sleeping with the beak under the wing and woke up when the camera got close, amazing is it not?
We stayed in Puerto Linton for two weeks before we turned south to Shelter Bay Marina inside the Breakwater. However, before we took off we ordered a new intermediate stay from the Chandlery at Linton Marina to replace the one which broke earlier on our way to the ABC Islands. Surprisingly they ordered the stay from Miami, USA, when the marina did not have a pressing tool. Anyway, we got the stay although we picked it up much later in December.
On the way south (25 nm) we anchored during the night just south of the island Naranjo Abajo in 4-5 m depth. We recommend the place when other, anchoring, yachts are rare. It is silent and very peaceful.
The day after we had 8 miles left to Shelter Bay, on our approach and outside the breakwater we called Cristobal Signal Station on channel 12 to get clearance to pass to entrance. Its important to watch out for big ships coming from the canal as well as being on their way in to the canal. As we all know, big ships always come first!
We arrived to the marina in October and our plan was to stay until it was time to go through the canal which will happen on January 10. Safely berthed we went back home for work and other important matters that needed to be taken care of in Sweden.
The marina is a good place to be. We were warmly welcomed and
got a nice berth with the bow towards the prevailing wind and with European electrical standard of 230 V. Nice and helpful staff, good order in the office and many facilities such as a nice restaurant, pool, gym, a small chandlery, laundry possibilities and a small mini market. The quality of the fresh water is surprisingly high and perfectly drinkable. Moreover, the water is free as long one did not use more than 35 gallons a day which is a lot. Overall the marina price is somewhat higher than we are used to but on the other hand the facilities were good. There is also a free shuttle bus to Colon Monday-Saturday for real shopping.
Back in Panama from Sweden we waited for our daughter to join us for a trip to the San Blas Islands which took place over Christmas. San Blas with the coconut islands is lovely although the trade wind constantly blowing made it important to find shelter from the swell behind an island when at anchor.Back to Shelter Bay. Note that the marina is located right on the edge of a protected jungle (National park) area full of wild life and guarded by soldiers.
Even the marina is visited by crocodiles (Cayman crocks). One was far too big to be allowed why that crock was moved to the other side of Panama. The smaller ones, well the one that swam past Peach occasionally, was between 1.5-2 m.
We did some nature walks and spotted monkeys and birds. We also knew about a sloth and in which tree he/she normally stayed but unfortunately we never saw the animal. The jungle close by had 3 types of monkeys, howler monkey, capuchin monkey and spider monkey. We were lucky to see Capuchin monkeys and the very beautiful Toucan bird.
Our preparations for the canal transfer was to call and agent, Erick Galvez, who will take care of all paperwork and provide us with 3 line-handlers, 40 m lines and fenders. The total cost for the transfer of Peach is approx. 1700 $. You can take care of all of this yourself but we considered it worthwhile with an agent which was recommended to us. Included in all this is also an advisor who come on board before the transfer and join us during the passage.
The New Year celebration took place on Peach in shorts, and in skirt for Karin, with good food and in good company of each other.
Best whishes for a lovely year 2019 from the crew on Peach!