log

ENTRIES

FULL LOG

Safaga,  Egypt
5/22/00

Israel
4/12/00

Red Sea Rising
4/12/00

A Trip to Cairo
3/28/00

Safaga to Port Suez
3/26-28/00

Safaga, Egypt
3/22/00

Red Sea Rising
3/14/00

To Safaga
3/13/00

Ethiopia
3/6-10/00

Djibouti
3/3-13/00

Arrival in Djibouti
3/4/00

 Birthday
2/25/00

Boat Cooking
2/23/00

 Bear off!, bear off!
2/29/00

"No speak English"
2/27/00

Arabian Sea
2/23/00

Bananas!
4/17-18/00

Valentine's
2/16/00

Leg to Djibouti
2/15/00

Laguna Beach
2/8/00

Maldives
2/5/00

Island of Male
1/28/00

More Sri Lanka
1/26/00

Impressions
1/21/00

Sandra Dale Cook
1/15/00

©SEAGEM.COM

 

SEAGEM LOG
February 23, 1999

"Canal Transit and Tour of Colon"

Captain's BriefingAfter the captain's briefing  yesterday Tom Williams took Bruce, Kent and I into town to pick up some fruit and to take a little tour of Colon, a once proud city in deplorable decay and poverty.  Grand buildings are in ruin and next to a freshly painted and clean church are some of the saddest slums I have ever seen.  We have been told Colon should improve whroof viewen they start bringing the cruise ships in to the port.  We went to the roof of Tom's hotel, The Washington,  looked at the city, the entrance to the harbor, and also looked into the casino.  We then headed back to the Yacht Club dock where Charlie picked us, and our purchases up, and took us back to the boat in the inflatable.  We knew there was a lot to do to get ready for the first day of the passage. We had to get all the fenders and lines ready plus covering the solar panels to protect them from the "monkey fists" which are attached to the heaving lines and thrown to the boats from the canal walls so that your lines can be attached and carried back to the walls.

raft We knew an advisor would be put on board and the boats designated to be rafted together. The order in which we were to enter the chamber was outlined and a printout was given to all the boats.  An advisor or pilot would be put on each yacht to  direct the maneuvering.  Sea Gem was placed in the center of our raft of three boats due to our engine horsepower and the maneuverability  we have with two engines.  The advisors are Panamanian, the boat on our starboard, HorHornblower IInblower II, and the boat on our port is a German flagged vessel.  Intricate maneuvers in three languages is a challenge but  things went smoothly for each lock due to the pilots, their constant vigilance and their knowledge of exactly what needs to be done at each moment.  The outside boats work the canal lines.  The interior boat supplies propulsion and control .  The first day was a little nerve racking  due to not knowing exactly what to expect.  We had a strong wind which made maneuvering more our advisordifficult and were thankful we knew that Hornblower II and her crew were very able sailors.  After a day of travel we anchored in Lake Gatun for the night and took advantage of a swim in fresh water to refresh ourselves.  The breeze died and we gave in and cranked the generator and  slept with the A/C running.   The pilots are put on the boats each morning and picked up at the end of the day by launch.  Our pilot was not only competent but a nice guy as well.  

We only had one minor mishap and that is when one of the lines to the wall became jammed and had to be cut after another line was put on to replace it.  When all is over and the only casualty is a line it seems a pretty successful transit.  The whole day was punctuated with trips to the computer to check for e-mail from home to fill us in on the progress of the birth of our grand-daughter.