PANAMANIACS | PANAMA CANAL TRANSIT
COMPLETED | Feb 17 – 24 2018
Our Panama Canal Transit has now finished
No experience needed, a passion for adventure a must!
Have you ever wanted to go through the Panama Canal? We’ll ascend 85 feet through the Gatun locks to Gatun Lake, a freshwater marvel where you can hear the monkeys calling from the trees all night. We’ll sail through the deadly Culebra Cut, across the continental divide, then back down 85 feet to the Pacific Ocean through the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks. The actual transit of the canal takes less than a day, but due to the vagaries of traffic scheduling, we need to alot a full week to get through. There will be plenty of time to explore Panama using Sea Dragon as a base from the Atlantic or Pacific sides before or after we transit..
- Cost: $975 (just canal transit)
- Date: Feb 17 – 24, 2018
- Depart: Shelter Bay, Colon, Panama
- Arrive: La Playita, Panama City, Panama
- Length: 8 days, 7 nights
- Focus: Adventure Sailing | Sailing
- Skills | Canal experience
ERIC LOSS & SHANLEY MCENTEE – SKIPPER & FIRST MATE
Eric Loss and Shanley McEntee have been with Pangaea Exploration since 2012. They have extensive experience working with scientific and non-profit research groups and enjoy running educational adventures for school groups. Eric and Shanley have taken Sea Dragon through the Panama Canal, up the St. Lawrence Seaway to Chicago, and to the Baltic, the Caribbean, and West Africa.
Shanley, born in 1987, grew up surfing and swimming in the Pacific in Del Mar, California. Throughout her youth, she worked with the Surfrider Foundation to protect California’s coastlines. She has a BA in Environmental Policy and Marine Science from Western Washington University. Her love and curiosity for the sea also extends underwater, where she is a PADI Rescue Diver.
After college she learned to sail, combining her passion for science, the environment, and the sea by spending several months aboard Sea|Mester’s schooners Ocean Star and Argo. Soon after she earned her Ocean Yachtmaster license. Shanley is the medical officer onboard Sea Dragon while on expedition and, alongside Eric, runs and maintains her both on and off program.
Eric, born in 1985, grew up in Laguna Beach, California. During his youth, he sailed dinghies, raced CFJ’s, Larks, and C420’s, and taught sailing to children in Dana Point, California. As a member of the Sea Scouts, Eric gained experience sailing and repairing cruising sailboats, 80’ to 130’ schooners, ketches, and brigs, locally and on several ocean crossings. He also earned the Sea Scout Quartermaster Award.
After graduating from Bowdoin College, Eric became a PADI Divemaster while working for ActionQuest and Sea|Mester, developing his teaching skills as he progressed from running summer programs on 50’ yachts to skippering an 88’ and 113’ throughout the Eastern Caribbean and across the Atlantic. In 2011, Eric took a break from professional sailing to buy and refit Odyssey, an Islander 36, to attempt a non-stop solo circumnavigation. Eight months later, he returned to Los Angeles, having sailed past the Great Capes of the Southern Oceans and back up the Pacific to his home port.
When not aboard Sea Dragon, Eric and Shanley have sailed throughout the Caribbean, across the Atlantic, and to the Arctic Circle aboard their own Pouvreau 42 Cutter, Fleur Australe.
IONA TAYLOR – DECKHAND
Iona’s love of the water began with competing at club level in a variety of dinghies and racing for Cardiff university at team racing competitions in fireflies.
She spends her free time teaching adults and young children how to dinghy sail. Iona ventured into yachting via the Tall Ships Youth Trust with whom she has been volunteering for for the past 8 years. No stranger to challenge 72’s she joins us this spring to work as deckhand aboard Sea Dragon.
In a professional role Iona works as a junior doctor and is hoping to go into pre-hospital/ expedition medicine via a career as an A&E physician. She is currently taking this year out to enjoy some time sailing and recover from two years as a hospital junior doctor.”
Having just completed the ARC, Iona has discovered a new love for ocean sailing. And is very excited to be crossing the panama canal and the pacific ocean, a passage she has always seen as a life goal for her.
She joins us to practice heavy weather helming in big seas (should it occur) and would like to get to grips with celestial navigation and prepare herself for completing her yachtmaster qualification later this year.
JENNIFER PATE – MISSION LEADER
Jen is a seasoned sailor with Pangaea, and joins us aboard Sea Dragon as Mission Leader for this leg.
When not working for Panexplore, she runs a community interest film company and leads/participates in expeditions as well as social and environmental responsibility projects. Living in Canada she also runs a sustainable outdoor recreation park called Windmill Lake.
She has been a filmmaker, Mission Coordinator and Mission Leader on a series of international sailing voyages raising awareness of plastic in marine and freshwater environments. She works to promote social and environmental change through her newest initiative Love Your Greats.
FINNIAN MOORE – PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER
Finnian Moore is a seasoned filmmaker, and has been working in the industry for over 10 years. His most recent work has been directing and producing two seasons of The Ayala Show, a live music programme broadcast on Irish TV. He has also worked shooting music videos, and documentaries all over the world, including in Mexico, Venezuela, Zambia, Switzerland, Canada, and the US. He has filmed videos for the legendary Gilbert O’Sullivan, Grammy Award Winning Horacio Palencia, and Mercury Prize Nominee Sam Lee. Finnian has filmed in many difficult situations, including riots, rainforests, the open ocean, and in studios from London to LA. He now runs his own production company Mind Motion Media with my sister Ayala, and brother-in-law Juan.
Fortunate enough to have travelled far and wide in his lifetime; his many expeditions, a background in Biological science and the desire to get into natural filmmaking rendered Fin fascinated with articulating the human condition, information about dangers facing the environment, and human culture in compelling ways.
Film makers who inspire him the most are Werner Herzog, Peter Weir, Steve McQueen, Alejandro González Iñárritu, David Attenbourough, David Lynch, Paolo Sorrentino, Paul Thomas Anderson… The list could go on.
Fin joins Sea Dragon and his old film buddy Jen to document our passage from Grenada to Panama. He will be recording what we do on Sea Dragon, the issues we currently have in our Oceans and how we demonstrate ecological living on board and promote sustainable behaviours.
ALLY NOBLES – GUEST CREW
With previous experience on Sea Dragon, (Writing at Sea 2015) and our Adventure Sail from St Lucia to Key West in 2017. We welcome back this avid sailing enthusiast for this trip down the canal.
A native New Orleanian, Ally Nobles has extensive experience sailing the gulf coast, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, American and British Virgin Islands, Grenada and the Grenadines. She is a certified NAUI Open Water Scuba Diver who has explored the ocean reefs of Bora Bora, Bequia, SVG, Tortola, BVI, Costa Rica and Florida.
Her passion for sailing is matched by her love of music, travel, photography, and poetry. An accomplished jazz pianist and vocalist, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory in 2013 and recently completed her thesis for a Master’s of Fine Arts in Poetry. Ally is happiest when she is sailing, reading, and exploring new lands.
JEFFREY HARPER – GUEST CREW
A well seasoned sailor, Jeff is at home on the water, in any capacity and holds multiple ASA cerficates. Having chartered cruisers and powerboats in the Caribbean, sailed the islands over many years and sailed around the waters of the US East Coast, he trades in this captains hat and joins us aboard Sea Dragon to gain experience and to crew a bigger boat. Joining us for not one leg, but staying with us from Grenada to Panama, Jeff will experience first hand what Sea Dragon is capable of, why we promote suitable living aboard her, how we can interact with our surroundings with minimal impact, and the impact single use plastics has had on our Oceans.
GREGORY HARPER – GUEST CREW
A well seasoned sailor, Greg is at home on the water, having sailed for pleasure for many years. He joins us aboard Sea Dragon to build on his already vast experience, to crew a bigger boat and to transit the Panama Canal, which has been on his list of things to do for a while. Greg will experience first hand, the delicacies of canal transit, rafting, and the pleasure of slow travel. He will also get to see what Sea Dragon is capable of once we clear the canal, why we promote suitable living aboard her, how we can interact with our surroundings with minimal impact, and the impact single use plastics has had on our Oceans.
RANDY HESSONG – GUEST CREW
Randy joins Sea Dragon as seasoned and passionate recreational sailor. Having completed his IYT International Bareboat Skippers & ICC/VHF Radio certifications, he comes aboard to renew and expand his sailing skills.
Vocationally Randy is an Environmental engineer (contaminant/groundwater cleanup) and material testing laboratory supervisor. Having worked in this field for the last decade or two, he finds himself looking at a sabbatical or possible change in direction.
Previously a volunteer trail crew supervisor, wilderness trail worker and now an avid Nordic skier and mountaineer, Randy is used to working with what ever the environment throws at him, not that we are expecting anything on this pleasant passage. So being at the call of the wind and waves will hold no surprises. We look forward to showing Randy life aboard a sustainable vessel, what we do to try and lessen the impact we have on the environment around us, and to see first hand the issues facing our blue waters.
AMY MUNRO – GUEST CREW
Amy is no stranger to the water and the issues our oceans face, an Oceanography graduate from the University of Southampton she grew up in a sailing family, racing on the Solent and the East coast of England. She has experience from a range of campaigns that include running a World Record-Breaking Transatlantic Solo Row through to Offshore Research Assistant for EcoOcean and Environmental Ocean Team. She has also been involved in workshops to promote public awareness of environmental issues and ocean conservation and been lucky enough to be part of dive teams researching health of coral reefs in Fiji.
Amy joins Sea Dragon and her crew during her precious time off, as Sustainability officer for Land Rover BAR. A role in which she is responsible for collecting and tracking data from her team’s (11th Hour Racing) activities, such as sailing events, waste, water and electricity consumption, in order to reduce the environmental impact the team has on its surrounding environment.
A competent sailor, Amy holds her STCW95, VHF, Powerboat level 2 certifications, and is looking to slow the pace down a little, by joining us on this cruise down the ‘canal’ to enjoy some time off and to improve her boat handling skills, and do any voluntary/community/ocean health work along the way.
William Gammon – GUEST CREW
Away from his professional career as an Insurance broker, Billy an experienced and very seasoned boat owner and sailor, has sailed the coast of Maine and offshore to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. His sailing log also records passages from Peru to Galapagos, the completion of a leg of Around the Americas aboard Ocean Watch, offshore deliveries and a North Sea transit. Leisure time sees Billy bareboat chartering and sailing everything from Tortola to Grenada, Belize, Florida Keys to Islamorada and then on to Dry Tortugas. He joins us aboard Sea Dragon on this passage to gain first hand experience transiting the Panama Canal. We look forward to Billy joining us for this relaxed, slow sail, and to showing him the wonders that make up transiting the canal.
February 17:: Crew join Sea Dragon in Shelter Bay, Colon, at 1400 – swimming, dinner, safety briefings, intros, move in
February 18: Depart for Canal (canal scheduling allowing)
February 19-22: Underway through Canal
February 23: Arrive La Playita, Panama City, Panama, clear customs, and Immigration, maybe go for a swim?
February 24: Crew can depart by 0900
– 7 nights accommodation on Sea Dragon
– All meals, snacks, and drinks on board
– Sailing Instruction
– Safety equipment and foul weather gear
Contribution does not include:
– Transportation to and from Panama
– Transportation to and from the boat
– Additional nights spent ashore
– Personal expenses while in port
All crew members will require a passport from their home country that will allow them to travel to and from Panama. Please look into the specific type of visa you need: www.travel.state.gov/visa.