Jadamama - Jadamama blog - Gatun Lake update
A lot happened in the last couple of days as we prepared the hull for the Galapagos and did a few repairs and of course we had to watch the rugby ! Shelter Bay marina has a fantastic yard where they make up for the absence of a large chandlery with some really diligent and experienced technicians. We were all involved in cleaning off any foreign bodies or dirt from the hull to make sure we don’t breach the biosphere rules and we will have another final clean in the Islas Perlas before we finally leave Panama. It was a great opportunity to really get our hands on the boat as we had all come together in a bit of a rush in Saint Lucia and were only addressing the obvious challenges as they arose.
We left the marina around 5pm and motored to the lock area through all the large ships anchored and moving around Christobal harbour. The initial phase of hanging around the lock in quite a confined area and then rafting up and squeezing into the lock was a bit intense but well managed by the pilot advisors we each had on board. They were busy and engaged the whole time in the lock area as we learned how to drive and steer in a raft of three boats. It took about an hour and a half to get through the three locks but there are line handlers on the quay who make sure we remain well controlled. We arrived up at the Gatun Lake around 20.30 at which point a ravenous crew and pilot advisor needed to be fed in shifts as we prepared to moor up for the night.
We are waiting now for our next pilot adviser up in the Gatun Lake tied up to a large mooring ball that we are sharing with Tam Lin and Manuia. We all came here together in a raft through the first three locks of from the Atlantic side and are now waiting for a pilot advisor to take us across the lake and down the other side to the Pacific through the Miraflores locks. As you can see in the video, we came up during the night after a delay at the marina and then again at the initial lock but then everything moves at its own pace here and you just have to go with it.