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  • Writer's pictureDoug Dunmire

Shelter Bay Marina - A Cruiser Community


This marina on the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal is a true sailing cruiser’s mecca. The slips are filled with 20 sailboats for every motor boat. I’ve never seen a saltier group of boats in my life. So many boats are outfitted for long passage making; so many storied makes: Halberg Rassey’s, Swans, Hans Christian; so many weathered sailors with 100,000+ NM sailing resumes.


We shared nearly unbelievable stories at the weekly BBQ last night. My crew reveled in shared connections and camaraderie. I spent invaluable time chatting with Rob on Avant about the Pacific legs of our journey. After 3 years of cruising this area Rob seemed to know it all (in a humble way) and was so helpful in looking over and refining our plans.


I’m getting some loops spliced into some lines at the sail-loft on site. There’s a boater’s workshop. The Shelter Bay marina is filled with fascinating people and nice resources. I’m so happy we’re sorting out the process of getting through the canal here.



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