Transiting the Panama Canal (Sailing La Vagabonde)

Hey everyone!

We sailed to Panama and prepared for our transit through the Panama Canal! We got stuck into the paper work with our agent Eric (whom we highly recommend) and we were soon scheduled to go through in just a few days time. We made the most of the convenience of being at a marina and did the biggest food shop of our lives in preparation for the 20 – 30 day’er from the Galapagos to the Marquesas, which will be coming up soon. Eeeeeek. I need to see a damn sloth before we leave Panama or I’ll cry.

Thanks all for the love and support!
Riley & Elayna

Comments 21

  1. Ahhh this was exciting. I already saw it yesterday hahaha cause I was out of patience to see how everything went for you guys. Glad it’s all good and I hope the crossing was out of problems. Fair winds guys and waiting for the next videos.

  2. Having been a sailor for most of my life, your lifestyle is a dream for a large majority of our breed. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to follow your dream on video. You mentioned in this video that you learned a new way to set your sheets that gave you an extra knot while cruising. This would be useful to know. If you ever come to South Africa I’d love to meet up with you guys and show you our fab country.

  3. La Vag seems to be starting a nice transit, with good organization. You guys seem to really get along with the locals everywhere you go.

    Last summer I was helmsman as part of two transit crews for the Welland Canal near Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada.

    For the June transit our sailboat ended up behind some kids who pissed off the lockmasters on the VHF, and we ended up entering at 0000, transiting overnight. Tough, because they throw down 1/2″ poly rope which is almost invisible in the sodium lights. Seven locks, each with lifts of more than forty feet. You had more substantial lines, and a “pilot” on board. So they gave you your money’s worth. And they seem very friendly.

    My second trip was on a power yacht with only one working motor. We had the canal all to ourselves, in daylight. Very unusual, bit it made for a very fast transit, under six hours.

    Having fun watching your adventures. Keep up the neat videos. Maybe I’ll get you some questions on your navigation later on, when you have more leisure.

    Cheers, Riley and Elayna!!

  4. Another great vid guys! you make it look easy to transit the canal, that’s for sure. you didn’t catch any sloth’s but did you eye any Howler monkeys? they use to be so thick down there they would keep up at night sometimes. when we flew over the canopy (heli) they would sometimes seem like brown flowers in the trees they were numerous.

    Anyway, that was many moons ago when the US owned the canal…

    got to ask if your headed straight to Marquesas’ or planning a trip up north first?

    can’t wait to see the rest of the canal transit. brings back a lot of memories when I was 20ish and less cynical about the world…

    Fair Winds to you.

  5. Great video as always and I am looking forward to the rest of your transit of the canal…My own vessel “Morning Star” who I have owned and lived aboard for 19 years made the same transit thru the Panama Canal back in 1987, except she was going the opposite way. I still have the papers and cards that the original owners who built her left on the boat….In those days it only cost a total of $150.00. Hard to believe how times have changed….I do hope and pray for you continued journey and keep those videos coming….As always God bless you both…fair winds…..Dave.

  6. Joy joy joy…. Your videos have given such a wonderful source of dream, wonder, escape and the privilege of viewing some of the beautiful locations of the earth.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. i will take the ASA 101, 103, and 104 in May and hope to charter a sail boat in the Caribbean 2017. Thank you.

  7. Have you guys considered carrying a satellite tracking device like the SPOT? Nice safety feature but it would also give some continuous live information for this site, to see what was afoot in real time.

  8. I really enjoy your videos. May God bless you and keep you safe on your journey across the pacific.
    “God hung the stars in the sky—the Dipper, Orion, the Pleiades, and the stars of the south.” (Job 9:9)

  9. Hi Guys, great vid as ever. Hope the locks went smoothly and, of course, that you got some of it on video.
    Glad I didn’t have to carry all that shopping back to La Vag’!!
    Fair winds

  10. Could you possibly make a video about the main /head sail sheet adjustment , that Jeff showed you. Also what you had done before so we can also learn.

  11. Guys you make it look easy and always seem to keep calm when things don’t always fall into place as planned. Great qualities for yachting. I would be really interested to learn about the sheeting adjustment to which you referred. Share an extra knot with us Riley. Looking forward to the next ep.


  12. It is amazing to have an up close personal understanding on what it is like to go thru the Panama Canal. Thanks for that. Can’t wait to see the next video. We launch in two weeks up here in the North. Your stories keep us excited about boating in the off season.

  13. Ohh just great watching your start of the Panama canal
    I have been waiting for that
    You may be meeting a couple of danish guys in the Pacific
    they are traveling almost same rout as you
    all their adventures have been shown on Danish television for the past two seasons
    watch Youtube “Kurs imod fjerne kyster”
    All the best until next episode

  14. vi ho scoperto per caso…e dopo aver visto tutte le vostre puntate dal vostro primo viaggio vi seguo sempre..!!!!siete veramente fantastici… vostro viaggio è il mio sogno nel cassetto…che spero prima o poi di aprire…….siete uno spot per il mare BUON VENTO (Gianluca PISA ITALIA )

  15. Elayna, what is the song starting at 12:29 into this episode (35)? I love the tune, and would like to hear the rest of it, but I can’t figure out what it is.


    1. Post

      Hey Tom! We credit all of our artists in the description of all our YouTube videos. Cheers, Riley

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