130214 Week 1 Onboard Andante - Fort Sherman - Preparation for our passage 

140208 10 Onboard Andante  Mayhemn

It is hard to believe but we are fast approaching the end of our first week onboard Andante. We have been busy throughout the week getting acquainted with the layout of Andante, shopping for provisions, preparing meals for the passage, installing solar panels and checking her from top to bottom. Liv and Hans had done a lot of work prior to our arrival so it has been relatively easy although the days still seem to disappear rapidly.

140209 1 Walking Fort Sherman

The marina at Fort Sherman is located within the grounds of what was once  a former US Army base used apparently for jungle warfare training and as a defence base for the Atlantic section of the canal. It was handed back to Panama in 1999. Only a handful of buildings remain in operation, the rest are slowly decaying and returning to the jungle - literally. 

140210 5 Walking Fort Sherman - 140210 3 Walking Fort Sherman - White-headed Capuchin

We took the opportunity each morning to walk for around an hour towards the Parque Nacional San Lorenzo. Andrew and I had no expectation of seeing wildlife here - that was an experience we were expecting to have to wait for until Galapagos. What a surprise when each morning we were treated to something from within the foliage - cheeky Capuchin monkeys that challenged my photography skills of focus, Howler Monkeys that had we not known what they were would have made you put your running shoes on, Toucans and oversized rats called Central American Agouti. Definitely the highlight was a toss between seeing a Toucan and on another morning a Sloth. 

140213 4 Oropendola Nests

Today being our final morning we took the short walk around Kennedy Loop - here stairways disappear into the foliage and the palm trees have nests hanging from them like chandeliers made by the Oropendola Birds. 

Panama Canal Transit 

Today at 3pm we begin our transit of the Panama Canal. Below is the schedule we have been given by the agent who has organised passage. Each yacht must have four line handlers onboard as well as the skipper of the vessel - we will have a local line handler join us just prior to us entering the lock. 

Pilot boarding time            1615/13th February 

Arriving Gatun locks          1746/13th
Clearing Gatun locks         1905/13th

Anchor Gatun Lake
Resuming transit                0700/14th
Completing transit             1651/14th

From the canal we will head to Balboa Yacht Club where we hope to secure a mooring bouy and with Hans and Liv as guides have a few days of touring Panama. 

Cameras in the Canal

As we transit the Canal it is possible to see the passing yachts and ships through the below links. 

gatun high res camera looking toward caribbean

low res looking toward Gatun Lake

high res camera of miraflores locks looking toward lake

low res camer of miraflorida locks looking toward lake

(Click for more photos from our stay in Fort Sherman and the wildlife we captured)

© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain