As well as three transits on a cruise ship and five days spent on board an ACP tugboat, we have completed 23 transits on yachts (21 South and two North):

Stray Catz – Dancia – Tamata – Kuhela – Ondular Histoire d’EauVenatorPerseverance – FantaSea – Ceilydh – Shayler – Pilgrim – Just Dreamin’ – PapillonMiss KayoBlack BillyBucephalus – ZaoSunsail B1160B3112 – B1204 – B3235 – B6098

Click on the link or the picture to see the diary and photos:

2015 01 Stray Catz
2015 02 Dancia
2015 03 Tamata
2015 04 Kuhela
2015 05 Ondular
2016 06 Histoire D'Eau
2016 07 Venator
2016 09 FantaSea

Testimonials from Yacht Transits

Just Dreamin’ (Feb 2017) Blog

“We were quite fortunate to have Russ and Diane as they really made the trip. They were very knowledgeable about the entire process; they’re even writing a book on the subject. Their knowledge really helped address our concerns and calm our nerves about going through the canal as this was our first time through any canal, let alone the Panama Canal. They also regaled us with interesting factoids and stories about the canal. They were better than tour guides.”

Ceilydh (Oct 2016) Blog

“Diane and Russ were joining us for their 10th yacht trip through the Canal. We were super fortunate to get Diane and Russ (who run the Mad About Panama website), not only only are they self-confessed Canal geeks, but they were great company.”

“Russ and Diane were expert line handlers and we felt really fortunate to have them aboard. They’ve seen all the things that could go wrong and offered tips as we went.”

Ondular (Sep 2015) Blog

“We got really lucky and got in touch with Russell and Diane, a lovely couple, he’s Australian and she’s Kiwi but they now live in Panama city and have done the canal transit around 5 times. They brought a friend with them and they were such great help. All we had to pay, was their bus fare and feed them while they were with us. It made such a big difference to have such nice and knowledgeable people with us, as it made everything run smoother.”

Kuhela (Feb 2015) Blog

“Russell and Diane have lived in Panama now for a few months and often help boats to go through from one side to the other, this would be their sixth trip through and great to have some experienced crew .”

Tamata (Feb 2015) Blog

“Between the notice boards and the database we found three motivated, knowledgeable, and personable people to help us out. Calling them amateurs would be a discredit, though. All of them had extensive boating experience in general and had been through the canal as line handlers multiple times. Russell and Diane had been living in Panama City less than a year, but transiting the canal had quickly become something of a hobby for them, an opportunity to combine their many local passions. They told us they were just fascinated by the whole thing and we relied on their knowledge at every step of the way. Not only did they fill us in on what would be happening at each point, they also served as personal tour guides, pointing out parts of the canal with historical significance, highlighting current expansion projects and relating canal myths, facts, and stories throughout the day.”

“Amateurs are not guaranteed to have experience, but professionals are not guaranteed to care.”

Stray Catz (Feb 2015) Blog

“We rafted up to another boat from the USA as we entered the locks. The up locks are much more challenging than the down lock, but the line handlers on Stray Catz (all volunteers) did an excellent job. The line handlers on the other boat two of which were professionals didn’t do as well. At one point the lines got loose and that meant Stray Catz was heading toward the big ugly concrete wall. They got the line under control and all was well, but lets just say there was some yelling on their boat and some scrambling with fenders on ours.”

“Our volunteer line handlers, Kylan, Russel, Diane, Arnold and Vincent were fantastic. Thanks to all of them for keeping Stray Catz scratch and dent free. All did a wonderful job and were great company.”