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World ARC fleet through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific!

by World Cruising Club 9 Feb 06:45 GMT
The World ARC fleet crossed the Panama Canal © World Cruising

The World ARC fleet has successfully crossed the Panama Canal!

The last week and a half has been a busy one for the fleet, they were separated into four different transits groups. Each group starting on a different day, they would leave the marina at around 1330 and one by one the were required to radio San Cristobal control station for authorisation to cross the main shipping canal. Once crossed the group either anchored on stayed stationary at "the flats" while they waited for the advisers to board their boats.

They then started to motor towards the first set of locks and would raft just before going into them. After an amazing experience inside the locks the skippers moored their boats onto huge mooring buoys in Gaton Lake, the highest point above sea level the boats were ever going to be moored. They spent the night there, many celebrating the crossing of the first set of locks, and excited to head to the second set the next day.

The fleet were nicely woken up early the next morning by unbelievable loud howling just on the shore of Gaton Lake, howling monkeys were there every morning greeting the World ARC fleet to an early morning. The advisers would be on the boats between 0700-0800 and would tell the fleet to head on towards the second set of locks as it was a five hour motor across the lake with unbelievable views and incredibly big ships passing by.

The second pair of locks were easier to go through as the boats were just easing their lines on their way down. Once the gates opened the fleet made their way in the Pacific ocean with the spectacular sight of passing under the Bridge of the Americas, a first time for many of the boats.

They made their was to La Playita marina where the night of the 4th of February a dinner took place at a Lebanese restaurant where the fleet was greeted by belly dancers while dinning. This was the last chance the fleet had to say well done to the ARC Panama fleet who was leaving us. Congratulations and good luck to the 4 ARC Panama yachts Kindred Spirit, Orion, Exocet Strike and Wiki.

The World ARC fleet is currently on the island of Contadora in Las Perlas enjoying the lovely beaches and stunning weather Panama I offering.