A team of Navy seals are here doing jungle training. That is the only connection to US military that abandoned
serves these days
as far as we can tell. I saw a couple of
the seals running on the old fort air strip runway late this afternoon. Guess the physical activity of jungle
training all day was not enough physical exercise for these guys. These guys are in unbelievably fantastic physical
condition. Later this evening they will
probably be in the marina bar as they have been a few other nights this week,
but we will not be going in there to visit with them. Fort
Now a small lesson on the
As I have mentioned in earlier postings, the large ships that transit the canal completely fill the width of the canal, leaving only about 6-inches clearance on either side of the ship to the canal walls. A ship this size is called a Pana-Max. A Pana-Max is a container ship built to maximum size to pass through the canal. They are close to 900 feet long and 105 feet wide with 40 foot containers stacked up to six high on the deck. Most of the ones we have seen have had containers stacked four high covering the total deck space. That is a lot of containers! When the
Instead of line-handlers such as are used onboard yachts such as ours, large commercial vessels have the services of a “mule” each side fore and aft, which keeps the ship positioned safely in the lock while it fills or empties. A mule is a small locomotive on train tracks alongside each side of the canal and down the meridian between the 2 channels of the canal. It is a misconception that the mules act as tugs (as described on our recent photos) – ships and yachts are always controlled by their own engines. This is why we absolutely do not want to be positioned behind a large ship when we transit the canal. The prop wash tosses small yachts like ours about like a wine cork in a flushed toilet.
This rainy season (May through November) is what fills
Here is a bar-bet tidbit. Which end of the
The entrance to Rio Chagres is tricky with reefs and shoals, and sits under
BTW, the only thing that transits the
One last thing on this subject: why in the world did Jimmy Carter give away the
January 26, 2008 Saturday
Yesterday we took the express bus to
Without going into all the boring details, our 20-pound aluminum propane tank was damaged when the marina sent it out to be refilled a couple of weeks ago. The refill place broke the valve and could not replace the valve. We could not find a replacement tank, but the marina manager said that we could buy a 20-pound aluminum propane tank at this location of Tropigas.
Wrong!!! Again. Only thing available to purchase was a 20-pound steel propane tank, which will be rusted out in no time. But we bought it anyway because we need cooking gas. Tropigas does sell 25-pound aluminum tanks, but those were too tall to fit into our gas locker.
This morning Stuart on IMAGINE helped Bill replace the valve on our damaged original aluminum tank. Do not know why that shop could not get this job done. So we sold the full steel propane tank to another cruiser who will be heading off toward
Thirty boats from the Blue Water Round-the-World Rally are now in Shelter Bay Marina.
Most everyone in this rally is from somewhere in
We reserved a slip at a marina in Bocas del Toro. People have warned us how bad the noseeums are there. Since I am so very sensitive to noseeum bites, we figured we should go to a marina where we can run the air-conditioners instead of leaving the boat hatches open to breezes and bugs. If the bugs are not bad when we get there, then we can always check out of the marina and do some anchorage exploring of the area. Weather prediction as of now is good for passage Tuesday and Wednesday. We requested the marina obtain our zarpe from
January 28, 2008 Monday
Bill had ordered two 1-gig strips of extra-low-profile DDR RAM for our main computer. Since he added the AIS, our Maxsea is very sluggish. We are hoping that this additional RAM brings it back to faster speed when dealing with the charts. The fact that the AIS is identifying more than 100 boats at a time here by the Panama Canal is probably eating up a lot of the memory, so more RAM should help. Unfortunately, the only place Bill could find that sold extra-low-profile DDR would not ship via FedEx, which is the courier service recommended by the marina. The RAM could only be shipped via UPS. We have tracked it online and know that it arrived in