(February 9 to 10, 2020) We enlisted an agent to aid us in the panama canal crossing paperwork. The process was painless on our side, just a bit expensive, but it was worth it. We also hired four Panamanian line handlers as we felt more comfortable using people who had done this many times rather than enlisting the help of other yachties who may or may not know what they are doing.
We left the Atlantic side Marina (Shelter Bay) at noon. Our canal adviser came on board around 2 pm. After passing three locks in Atlantic Side, our Atlantic side adviser left. Four line handlers stayed overnight on our boat in Gatun Lake. The next day, at 7am, we got a new adviser on board. Everything was very easy up until the last lock on the Pacific side where we experienced a very strong current caused by the freighter behind us moving into the lock. Other than that, we crossed the canal with no issue.
About 30 hours after leaving the Atlantic Side Marina, we were moored at Balboa Yacht Club for a night. As usual, it seemed I over-prepared on food. We have lots of leftovers in the freezer. We are finally in the Pacific!