Transiting the Panama Canal On A Sailboat!

TheRVgeeks Miscellaneous 29 Comments

It’s probably no surprise that as full-time RVers, we suffer from wanderlust that extends well beyond the road. So when the opportunity to go flying, sailing and visiting with great friends comes together all at once, that’s about as good as it gets.

We’re re-connecting with Jason & Nikki Wynn, better known as Gone With The Wynns, flying down to join them in Panama to crew aboard their sailing catamaran as they transit the Panama Canal. If you’ve followed them for very long, you know we met when they were fellow full-time RVers, but they’re now full-time sailors.

We were so excited to be crewing on S/V Curiosity for this exciting part of their epic voyage. We’ve always wanted to experience the Panama Canal, but figured it would be on a cruise ship rather than a small private boat.

Nikki & Jason’s videos are stellar, with great editing and cinematography. Instead of trying to match them here (how could we?!) we’re sharing a different view of the canal, reflecting our personal primary interest: the layout, mechanics and operation of the locks and what’s involved in going through them. When all is said and done, we’re geeks at heart, which made experiencing this engineering marvel in action the prime attraction for us.

We hope this adds to the story that the Wynns are sharing, and gives you another angle and more detail on what the transit is like.

We know this isn’t our usual RV-related content, but those of you interested enough to watch our video will surely want to see Nikki & Jason’s, too:

Thanks so much to Jason, Nikki, and Jason’s Mom, Mary, for all the hospitality. For even more detail about the canal transit, be sure to check out the Wynns’ blog post. We had an absolute blast. Follow their continuing adventures at GoneWithTheWynns.com.


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Comments 29

  1. Pingback: Friday morning coffee reads - Ken Booth

  2. WOW! Excellent video. You gave a whole different perspective of the crossing than Gone With The Wynns who I’ve been following for quite a few years. Were those drone shots? Thank you for sharing your experience of the crossing.

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      Hi Roger! Thanks so much. Those were indeed drone shots! We watched in awe as Nikki piloted that little Mavic Pro so far away we couldn’t possible see it any more. We all crowded around the display screen as she maneuvered for the best shots and video. She’s amazing!

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  3. Great video guys. I could feel Peter’s excitement and John’s awe.

    I have to admit that sailing through locks that are over a hundred years old would be bucket-list-worthy for anybody who has ever been on or near the oceans. Your time lapse shots whetted my appetite do do it one day.

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  4. Hello, I follow you four faithfully. Except, now I have weakened my interest because the Wynn’s content is nearly 3 months behind. Please explain the purpose and need for the delay. Thx Barry R

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      Hi Barry! We understand being disappointed that Nikki & Jason’s videos take considerable time between filming and release. But we’ve seen first-hand why. Despite the way it may appear on camera, they work their butts off on SO many things, lots of which aren’t even related to videos. Even in the short inside look we got at life on a sailboat, it amazed us just how time- and labor-intensive everything is. Just getting some groceries and taking out the trash can be an all-day event!

      They’re also eager to document as much as they can, which means they get backed up on content. And their production values do come at a cost. They make it look easy, but the planning, shooting and editing of such richly evocative videos is incredibly involved. Just like our favorite TV shows take time from shooting to becoming available to watch, their videos do as well. We’re always happy that our patience is repaid with such fine quality.

  5. …been following you ‘four’ (and the kitty, too) for some time. Always something to learn…a real motivation for us as we begin our year-long journey in a few months.

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  6. Wow guys, that brings back memories. We went from a sailboat to a motor home. We did two crossings in the canal the first one was pure fear of the unknown. Is an agent still the best bet to get your transit set up? There was the Panama Canal Yacht Club on the Atlantic side which is no more. we used to stay there, but the club is gone now. One of our favorite places was Bocas Del Toro. We almost became expats and live there as citizens. All you needed was to prove you had a steady income of 500 a month. You could live easily on that in Bocas.

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      LOL! We can see why your first experience transiting the canal would be a hair-raiser, David! There’s a LOT of pieces to the puzzle… and, without a doubt, the word-of-mouth on it can be intimidating. Agents are still something that a lot of cruisers recommend… but Nikki & Jason didn’t use one (you can read all about their planning for the transit here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/no-agent-transit-panama-canal ), and everything went off without a hitch. Honestly… all of our impressions of the transit, after the fact, were definitely that it was way easier than everyone had made it sound like it was going to be. Could have been because of our canal advisor, Roy. He was AWESOME! Just all around a nice guy and did a great job making us feel comfortable with what to expect AND offering all sorts of great info about the canal as we transited. If we’d had someone else, who wasn’t as nice, we may have had a different experience.

      Haven’t been to Bocas ourselves… but the Wynns spent a fair amount of time there, so we’ve seen all of their videos. Looks wonderful, and we can see why it would have been appealing to consider moving there!

      Glad we could help bring back memories of your sailing days!

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      Thanks, Dennis! We had a blast crossing the canal transit off our bucket list… and still keep pinching ourselves that we got to do it on a private boat, with great friends!

  7. Looks like a blast. Be safe. Another bucket list thing I want to do. The closest I ever got was Garage Saling (see what I did there?)

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      It sure was, Neil! Can’t thank Nikki & Jason enough for inviting us to participate. Total bucket list item for us, too! We sure miss them now that we’re back on our Land Yacht (see what we did there?)! 😉

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