Rey's mascot posed for a photo with me.

Panama Canal Transit Preparations

Sugar Shack arrives to Shelter Bay Marina again after being gone for 3 weeks.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Bocas del Toro and the Rio Chagres, but we need to make ready for our transit.  We have a huge laundry list of things to do before we receive our friends and transit the canal.

We were assigned the same slip at the T-head of C-dock which provides a great breeze through the boat.  We secured the boat and connected up to water and shore power.   I hopped off to pay the marina and collect one of our deliveries.  Marine Warehouse delivered our Engel Cooler and spare alternator a few days ago and we needed to retrieve it.  I baked a batch of chocolate/peanut butter cookies and started an “art project.”  The sail-loft allows you to put your boat name on their building so I spray painted a red box.  Later I will paint “Sugar Shack” in white paint inside the red box.  While I was busy, Matt washed the boat with fresh water and filled the water tanks, emptied the trash, and showed Wayne around the marina.

Across from our boat, the marina “pet” was hanging out.  Yep, that is a 6′ crock and he is real!

Crocodile pet that hangs out at Shelter Bay Marina

Crocodile pet that hangs out at Shelter Bay Marina

We managed to get a few boat projects done, baked brownies, made pizza dough, made arrangements to get our propane tank filled and scheduled a taxi to take us provisioning.  It was a gorgeous day at the marina with light winds, blue skies, and a tempered sun.

Promptly at 1700, we showered and headed toward happy hour to see some of our friends and get some chow.

The next day, Victor our taxi driver picked us up and took us to Super 99, Rey’s, and the outdoor fresh market.  We did some damage at Super 99 picking up the majority of our food and drinks for our guests, then hit the fresh market for a 20 lb pork shoulder and fresh fruits and veggies.

Rey's mascot posed for a photo with me.

Rey’s mascot posed for a photo with me.

20 lb pork shoulder from fresh markets.

20 lb pork shoulder from fresh markets.

It took us awhile to put everything away.  Matt had the butcher chop the 20 lb pork shoulder into 3 sections so it was more manageable.  It still took him about 45 minutes to clean, cut, and vacu-seal everything up.  I am so looking forward to some yummy pulled pork!

We finished up last minute cleaning, scrubbing, and stowing just in time for our friends arrival.  Stacy and Gene arrived first.  They are staying on “Uno Mas” and will be line handlers during their transit of the panama canal.  We are hoping to nest with them during the transit.

Stacy arrives to Shelter Bay.

Stacy arrives to Shelter Bay.

Heather and Michael arrived late in the afternoon and I nearly fell off the dock running to hug them.  It is so awesome sharing our home with our landlubber friends.

The next day, we all went on a little hike near the marina with our friends from “Uno Mas.”  Mark led us around as he and Angie had found the trail.

Shelter Bay Marina used to be an old military base so there are a lot of dilapidated buildings around to explore.

IMAGE: Top shows us exploring two old buildings and artists showcasing amazing graffiti; bottom is an old gun turret and track where they transported ammunition.

Hike around SBM

Hike around SBM

Me walking to the SBM trail.

Me walking to the SBM trail.

IMAGE: Heather is so strong, she helped move a fallen tree. And lower right photo shows Michael swinging through the jungle thus earning his “Tarzan” nickname for the trip.

Hike around SBM.

Hike around SBM.

We received an email from our agent, Erick that we were scheduled for a 0500 transit time.  It was rather surprising as the majority of the transits from the Atlantic to the Pacific are 1600, not 0500.  Not a big deal really, but it means we would be doing the entire transit in one day as opposed to two days with a night in Lake Gatun.  We planned on celebrating being in the lake and going for a dip, but we will have to make other plans.

Matt readied the boat by removing our front life lines, removing our jib sheets, and placing our bean bags over our forward hatches (to protect them from the flying monkey fists).

Heather and Michael helped me finish my art project.  And if I must say, it looks spectacular!

Sugar Shack branded the sail loft wall.

Sugar Shack branded the sail loft wall.

After we returned to the boat we discovered that several things were delivered:

  • Fenders and lines for the transit
  • Generator that we expected a week ago
  • Propane bottle filled and ready to go

With all the deliveries made and most of the prep work done, we headed to the pool for some R&R.

Stacy and Gene headed back to “Uno Mas” while Heather, Michael, Wayne, Matt and I had a nice dinner on shore.  To bed early as we have a 0400 wake up call.

2 thoughts on “Panama Canal Transit Preparations

  1. Laura Curtin

    Is this when we say “Safe Passage?”
    I love following your posts! Tell Stacey I said hi, too!

  2. Christine Post author

    Hi Laura, yes, that is when you say “safe passage.” Stacy is back in California…the blog is about 7 weeks behind us now

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