“Sherrell, this isn't a hike. It's a death march.”

Our Slog (Ships Log) with a Satelite View

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All that work

Posted on Tuesday Mar 17, 2009

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We've been busy. Before going through the canal. Before my mom's visit. We busted our butts. New batteries, a new solar panal, patched our sails, worked on our engine and the grand project of them all: REFRIGERATION!
Yes after 6 years of warm drinks we now have a fridge. After some research and talking to other cruisers we opted for the Engel fridge/freezer. It is a nice compact unit that can either be a refridgerator or a freezer. We ripped out the old ice box which was fiberglass and crappy foam insulation:
Then I painted the inside with white enamle paint, which turned out to be disco gold, not white.

We added some radiated heat insulation to the walls.

Then I got busy building walls and a floor and adding thick foam insulation. We also added a formica finish.

Then finally some paint, wiring and we popped the Engel into place. Getting it to fit properly was a HUGE headache, but in the end it turned out great. There is a HOT side and a COLD side. The hot side is vented and the cold side is insulated. This allows us to put other items like bread or things that just need to be kept cool all around the outside space of the Engel. That gives us more room for drinks and other things in the fridge.

Hard to beat cold beer in 90 degree weather. And so far the solar panels are keeping up with the power demands as the Engel only needs about 15 amp-hours a day, with us turning it off at night. It's been great!

Went through the Panama Canal

Posted on Tuesday Mar 17, 2009

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Ok, so we didn't go on Sarana (because we don't want to go that direction), but we did go through the canal. Small boats like us sailboats need extra crew to handle lines going through the Panama Canal. Other sailors usually volunteer to help those boats in return for some food and getting some money for a cab ride back. We went through with MOONDANCER X and it was a pretty cool experience. It is amazing they built this canal 100 years ago and it is working like clock work. Here were are going up 25 feet in the first set of chambers at the Mira Flores Locks. The total rise with 3 sets of locks is almost 60 feet above sea level. Notice the bubbling current that can cause a lot of turbulence and problems for us small boats. Here in this chamber we are side-tied to a tug. Check out the tourists checking us out:

There is a lot of traffic in the canal in fact the WORLD just passed us by:

It was a great trip and Nancy and Tony on MOONDANCER were great. They feed us and kept us going with snacks. We were fortunate to have an advisor who was very good. He managed to squeeze us into the locks ahead of a couple of ships and thanks to his efforts we were able to complete the transit in one day...one very long day.