Jon Sanders blog – still at Shelter Bay Marina but with news of transit of Panama Canal

Jon Sanders is half-way through his 10th circumnavigation of the world. 

Still at Shelter Bay Marina Colon. Atlantic end of the Panama Canal. But not for long.

Shelter Bay is the natural meeting place of lots cruising yachts. Their tall masts and rows and rows of furling headsails. Most American and European. Friendly bunch.

They wait. They wait and wait, for their slot to transit Panama.

There is plenty of space to pass through. It is the limited number of advisors (obligatory on board). I.E. Pilots.

In fact it is obligatory to have 6 minimum on board.

The Skipper called Captain in Panama. The advisor (pilot). Four linesmen – to pay out and haul in the four dedicated long ropes provided by the linesmen or agent.

Linesmen can be your own crew. Probably a good idea to have one or two professional linesmen.

The locks are intended for ships. Big ships. The water comes in and out quickly with turbulence.

Rick my linesman. Did I write “my”. More likely Paul’s linesman. Advised our transit is on next Monday 22 May 17.

Paul and Shiralee are booked on the Boeing 737 the day before from SXM (St Martin/ Maartin).

Rick will pick them up from Panama City.


Rhys Brindley and Trevor Youngberg who sailed the Kim Swarbrick designed Swarbrick 27 named “Liberdade” from Fremantle (Perth) Western Australia to SXM Caribbean. Kim designed the 27 when 19 years of age, 45 years back. Liberdade is 40 years. And for that matter Rhys 23 and Trevor 24.

At SXM Rhys got a 28 meter yacht delivery to Portugal.

Trevor sailed Liberdade single handed to Bermuda.

Took him 7 days. Said he needed to motor the last two days.

Near arrival, at 3am, his engine cut out. He discovered fuel blockage in fuel line.

The environmental sulphur free diesel attracts water, which grows bacteria. Makes a black jelly type sludge.

It’s important to put a spoonful of anti bacteria BIOCIDE in every 20 litres (5 gallons) diesel. Plus it’s helpful to keep your tank full when not in use.

So Trevor Youngmountain (oops berg) arrived in Bermuda from Perth Western Australia.

If one was to burn a hole thru the Perth southern suburb Rockingham. Go on through the middle of the Earth and out the other side of the planet. One would come out in Bermuda. The antipodal point. (The other side of the orange).

Needless to write, 6am in Perth is 6pm in Bermuda.

Back here at Shelter Bay Marina there are 7 Australian yachts and 3 from New Zealand.

Much of the rest cannot tell the difference between the Australian flag and the New Zealand Flag.

Who cares. We can.

New Zealanders tend to think Australia is only West Island anyway.

Regards all


Jeanneau JY60
M.O.S.S Australia
NAV at Home
West Systems
M.O.S.S Australia
Race Yachts
Cyclops Marine