Monday, 2 March 2009

Panama Canal Yacht Club closing 1st April.

The end of an era and from all accounts not a happy one.

This report on the SSCA site and this one paint an unpleasant tale of bullying and illegal tactics. What a shame. It has been rumoured for many years that PCYC's life was limited and it appears that the day of reckoning has finally come.

Goodness only knows what will happen to the boats that queue up on The Flats to go through the canal. There will be nowhere to land and leave your dinghy safely.The alternative of Shelter Bay Marina is extremely expensive and an inconvenient distance from the town of Colon where all paperwork and provisioning has to take place. No doubt somebody, somewhere is making a pretty penny out of this.

We have happy memories of the service and camaraderie at PCYC. It is one of those 'holy grail' places on the cruisers list. Full of real ocean going sailors, characters and genuinely interesting people. When we first arrived there 3 years ago I was stunned that we had made it that far.It was really emotional. To be in a place that so many great sailors had written about over the years. What will happen now.

Where will the guys who help you find anything in town hang out? Rogelio who helped us buy a car? Ellington who accompanied us to the less salubrious parts of town as we completed the paperwork required by the authorities? The lady at customs and immigration who helped us extend our visa when TBH had his last round of dental treatment?

Somehow I don't see Shelter Bay filling that gap. Not unless you are prepared to pay through the nose.

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