World Voyage 7

Laying Off Balboa

Once through the Panama Canal we moored the Picton Castle off the Balboa Yacht Club just as dark descended (as it does so swiftly in the tropics, almost like switching out a light) and torrential rains drenched us. Few went ashore that night, but some did after a short discussion on wisdom and personal safety.

The facility caters to smaller vessels, of which we would be the largest. There is a big 200 meter long cement pier over the shallow mud flats with a large steel barge at the end where the strong industrial launches operate. It seems quite a few supply boats work from this pier as well. Having the launch service was a boon allowing us to, among other things, use our own boats uninterrupted to get the ship’s topsides painted white again, between torrential downpours.

But we would have much to do here in Panama before setting sail for the deep South Pacific. Food provisioning, fill the freezers, supplies for Pitcairn Island and beyond, deck supplies, engine room supplies, fuel (8 tons or 2,000 gallons), trade goods. Get these all stowed. And of course we need to run around and see something of Panama, a pretty amazing land. And we had already seen the Canal in the best possible way!