The new month brings new beginnings for the World ARC
2023-24 fleet. With the Panama Canal negotiated and conquered, the fleet find
themselves in the pearly waters of the Pacific Ocean. With a significant tidal
range of up to 16 feet, skippers are remembering how to anchor in ebbing and
flowing depths which many haven’t experienced since departing Europe several
Having been separated by land and locks for a few short
days, the World ARC 2023 Circumnavigation fleet of twenty-six are together
again. At the first Rally operations brief in Saint Lucia the fleet were made
aware of two potential scenarios for transiting the canal. Scenario 1
would have had all boats enter the locks in a nest if three behind a container
ship; however, to the fleet and Rally Control’s great delight, the fleet were
notified in Columbia that we were able to transit the canal with Scenario 2.
This allowed the fleet to cross the canal with two special lockage’s, and one nest
of two that shared with a cargo ship.
Each special lockage meant four nests of three boats entered
the locks without sharing with larger vessels. It is an enormous privilege for
the Canal authorities to have permitted this; it provided a truly unique
experience for all of those involved. Due to canal rules that vessels over 65ft
must transit with a Pilot on board, two of the WARC23 fleet transited with the
conventional approach of following a larger cargo ship in and out. Having taken
lots of photos and videos, the fleet completed their journey by motoring under
the Bridge of the Americas to make their way into the marina.
The fleets stop in La Playita marina meant a quick turnaround
to provision, explore Panama City and welcome new crew. During this time WCC
organised an optional half day tour. Steeped in history both past and present,
there is a great deal of momentary moments to absorb and contemplate. Panama
has certainly had its ups and downs, some very recent, which makes for an
interesting place to explore. Who knew many of the street art has significant
meaning and tells stories of conflict and passion for the people of Panama. The
tour was taken by Clemente who has worked with the World ARC for many years.
Living through the more recent historical moments he is full of knowledge and has
a passion for sharing and recounting what and how Panama has become the City
you see today.
The boats are now ladened up with food and beverages and have
begun to file into Cacique Beach in the Las Perlas islands for the final part
of the programme for Panama. Tonight the fleet will enjoy a fun BBQ on the
beach; prize giving; and skippers brief for entry to Galápagos.
Panama has treated the fleet so generously; our
affiliated agents; marina staff; tour guides and everyone else the fleet have
met on route have been as hospitable as ever - making all ventures an enormous
The fleet will cross the start line to the Galapagos at
1100hrs on Wednesday – the adventure of the Caribbean Sea is complete, the
adventure of the Pacific Ocean is about to begin!