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TheHarpers 09-06-2019 07:00 PM

Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
We're planning to make a passage through the Panama Canal into the Gulf of Mexico next year any where from November 2020 to February 2021 depending on preparations. We will want to go in tandem or group and wonder how, when the time comes, to find others going that way. Also, anyone who's made the passage, if you care to share your experience we're open to hearing about it.

MarkofSeaLife 09-07-2019 04:29 AM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
I dont know how many boats do that trip. The best places to get together would be in Panama City and Colon on the Caribbean side of the Canal.

It will be a great series of voyages :)

Nushka 09-07-2019 08:33 AM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
We love sailing at the Gulf of Mexico, it's pretty close to where we live and the scenes are beautiful there, also it's quite calm

TheHarpers 09-07-2019 01:20 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
Thanks for the encouragement--we've only sailed the west coast and looking forward to new adventures.

TheHarpers 09-07-2019 01:24 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
Trying to put my dad's mind at ease--he thinks we're going to get kidnapped by pirates when we exit the canal and go through the Caribbean. No amount of talking to him convinces him that we will be able to hook up with other boaters for the voyage.

MarkofSeaLife 09-07-2019 03:39 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TheHarpers (Post 2051624752)
Trying to put my dad's mind at ease--he thinks we're going to get kidnapped by pirates when we exit the canal and go through the Caribbean. No amount of talking to him convinces him that we will be able to hook up with other boaters for the voyage.

Don't let your life be slowed down by others.

After you do this trip he will shutup.... Until the next trip.

Seriously, if I ever listened to my Mum, any of my family or friends, I would never have left home 12 years ago.

They are fat and dying and I am having the time of my life. You have the same choice.


Sorry to be blunt.



Mark

RegisteredUser 09-07-2019 04:02 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
Point boat towards jamaica.
There are 4 main reef banks to avoid going n/s...roncador, serrana, serranilla and baja nuevo. This route will keep you east of them all.
Once clear of baja nuevo, turn nw to caymans.
Resupply rum there
Then shoot yucatan channel, taking left fork of the current into the gulf.
Youre never near nicaragua or honduras, the problem areas

TheHarpers 09-08-2019 02:54 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
You make it sound so easy! Thank you for the words of comfort. We have a year to plan and strategize and all the shared experience is much appreciated.

TheHarpers 09-08-2019 03:20 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
Thanks for being blunt--I needed to hear that.

[email protected] 10-14-2019 12:46 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
A couple quick questions.

If you are on the West Coast, why the rush to get through the Canal to the Gulf? I ask because we are on basically the same path, having moved from San Diego to Dallas. But everyone told us not to rush the trip. The Sea of Cortez is one of the greatest cruising areas of the world. And it would suck to just whip right by on your way. So we are spending a couple seasons in Mexico, primarily SOC, before heading farther south.

Are you sure on your timing? In particular the time of year. Heading south from CA before November would not be advised. But leaving as late as February might cause issues once you get through the Canal. You might just be getting into the Gulf in time for hurricane season.

One additional thought. We are heading south to Cabo / La Paz in a few weeks as part of the Baja Haha. If you dont know what that is, definitely look it up. This is the 26th year and has over 155 boats heading south together. From there, there is another group called the Panama Posse. They may be a good group to hook up with to at least get you down to Panama. From there you can hook up with others going through.

I brought our boat through the Canal the other way, after picking her up in St. Martin. Was an amazing trip that I highly recommend and am looking forward to doing again. Marinas on both ends are full of boats waiting their turn through, with lots of opportunities to meet and group up with people.

Good luck. If you have any additional questions, or want to chat, send me a note.

Stuart Robertson
S/V Rum Away

TheHarpers 10-14-2019 09:51 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
Hi Stuart, wish we were able to make the Baja HaHa and meet up with you guys but won't make it this year-- we've just bought a 46 Peterson Formosa and have some work to do--this is the boat we plan to take through the Panama. We're familiar with the Baja Haha but not the Panama Posse--sounds like a group we need to meet. I have so many questions, most of them probably not the right ones, I don't know where to begin. Like provisioning and what is a realistic, ballpark figure of the cost to make the trip. Do we need to buy disposable cell phones from each port to avoid extreme roaming charges? How many ports do you make going down to Panama? And, how many days past the last port in the Gulf to the Texas coast? Pirates. My elderly dad is scared we're going to be captured by pirates and held for ransom and want all his money. Seriously, he reads about the drug cartel on the Caribbean side of the Panama and thinks it's not safe. I've read different sides of the "carry a gun on board or not carry a gun on board." So, I'm all over the place. We first need to get this boat put back together and outfit with the electronics needed. But, we are going to make this trip. May have to keep it a secret from dad until we land in Texas! Any and all insights and advice will be graciously received. Fair winds to all.

capta 10-14-2019 11:17 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
Since you can't carry firearms and the "pirates" can, I don't see how travelling with a few other boats, especially under sail, is going to do much more than attract more attention. I sure wouldn't want to be sailing with a few other boats at night, especially if you were worried enough about being seen that you might want to run un-lit?
It might work to meet up in various anchorages, but each of us sail at different speeds and weather changes, so all meeting up as agreed can be problematic.
I doubt there's any way to get a worried family member to stop, but really, you can't live your dreams within the confines of someone else's fear, can you?
I think the piracy thing is so blown out of proportion, at least here in the Eastern Caribbean, it's hardly worth a side note in voyage planning. If you think it unsafe to go somewhere, then just by-pass it, group or no group.

outbound 10-15-2019 09:49 AM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
Think having folks group up and convoy for the jump from Grenada to Trinidad has helped. The authorities even encourage it. Several of our friends do it this way staying well east of the rhumb line. Now a days the cruising net out of the southern Grenada bays helps hook people together.
Still wise to save all your cheap worn out poly in a large bag and buy some if necessary. Have heard first hand stories itís effective.

Have a professional captain friend deliver a brand new very large bene from SF to BVI. Says it was the worst trip ever. So hard on the boat tens of thousands in refit. Says going Caribbean to pacific is easy but going east is way hard.

overthehorizon 10-24-2019 04:50 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
"Have a professional captain friend deliver a brand new very large bene from SF to BVI. Says it was the worst trip ever. So hard on the boat tens of thousands in refit. Says going Caribbean to pacific is easy but going east is way hard."[/QUOTE]

Panama to BVI....nearly impossible, so hard on the wind, current pushing west, will beat up the best of boats, if they can make it at all. Far easier heading off towards Jamaica, as mentioned above, or Belize.

lilipad 10-25-2019 05:14 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
We are leaving for Panama from San Diego and are headed for Cayman Islands. Has anyone made this trip?

RegisteredUser 10-25-2019 05:54 PM

Re: Through the Panama Canal to Texas 2020-2021
 
If you havent been there before, think about doing some of the sea of cortez along the way.


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