It’s confirmed! Unless something changes, we pick up our canal adviser (kind of like a harbor pilot for small boats) tomorrow at 5pm est. At which point we head towards the Gatun locks for the start of our transit. From talking to other boaters who have made the trip we should be starting in the first lock around 7pm. (right about the time the Seahawks are scoring their first touchdown) No idea what the lighting is like, but this may be an online photo opp. It takes about an hour to make it through the locks. (There are three of them here ) From there we go to a mooring in Gatun lake to spend the night.
If it’s like other transits, we get our next adviser before 7am and head on through the canal. If all goes well we will reach the Miraflores locks (the other one with a web cam) between 2 and 4pm. I have no idea what kind of cell reception we will have in the canal, but I can try to post updates on the 4-Strange-Byrds Facebook page.
In addition to the three of us and our adviser, we will have an international crew helping us with our lines. (four line handlers our required) We will have a couple from the UK, a gentleman from Belgium and Maribelle from here in Panama will be on board.
We are all full of nervous excitement on the eve of this trip. No one on board except the adviser will have made the trip before.
What’s also very exciting about the transit is that afterwards we’ll be in the Pacific Ocean again after so many years. Almost like coming home except that we’ll be about 40 degrees latitude further south.