March 2017

First Taste of the Pacific: Panama Canal, Equator and the Galapagos

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Was definitely a busy few weeks aboard Inspiration.  After pampering the boat in Colon (Shelter Bay) in advance of the Pacific Ocean crossing, we went through the canal.  A 2-day experience where we went trough the Gatun and Miraflores locks and sailed the Gatun lake in between.  These locks were one of the greatest engineering works ever to be undertaken when they opened in 1914.

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The gates separating the chambers in each flight of locks must hold back a considerable weight of water, and must be both reliable and strong enough to withstand accidents, as the failure of a gate could unleash a catastrophic flood of water downstream.  These gates are of enormous size, ranging from 47 to 82 ft (14.33 to 24.99 m) high, depending on position, and are 7 ft (2.13 m) thick.

Once safely arrived in the Pacific, and after crossing the famous bridge of the Americas, we stopped in Balboa for a couple of days waiting for good winds to take us to the Galapagos via the Perlas islands.

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Did not take long before we caught a yellow fin tuna, then two, and a third one !

Decent winds took us to the Equator at a good speed.  Great downwind run, and the current helped too.

But the wind then died and we had to motor up between the Equator and the Galapagos.

The Galapagos are definitely worth seeing.  And these islands are a perfect place to rest before sailing on to the Marquesas.

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