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Yacht America’s Tour: San Diego to the Panama Canal

The first leg of the journey was a major learning experience for everyone, especially for the new crew of the Yacht America. Captain Troy hired crew who had never been on a voyage like this, so he had to make sure that everyone was safe.

 

Everyone would certainly feel fear at some point of the trip, but how could you not when you’re sailing into a lighting storm in order to out run a hurricane. A lot of preparation needed to be made in case something happened, but you can never be fully prepared for what you encounter at sea. Certainly a once in a lifetime experience for those aboard.

 

Sailing South in the Pacific              Credit: Shawn Frederick

America began its journey from San Diego Bay and headed for the Panama Canal. The beauty of sailing south in the Pacific Ocean is the dramatic shift in weather as you quickly change your latitude.

 

Everyday when you woke up, it was a warmer day. At first the shifts were cold and the crew fought for the chance to get in the hot engine room. But each day got warmer and eventually the crew was out tanning on the deck enjoying the sunny days.

 

Captain Troy and his crew aboard the America sailed past hundreds of turtles and other marine wildlife. Anytime America crossed paths with a humpback whale, the crew was blessed with a “hello” breach and magnificent splash. Large pods of dolphins would gather and surf the waves alongside the black hulled vessel. You certainly couldn’t experience wildlife like that at Seaworld. 

 

America was closing in on the Panama Canal, one of the most important maritime junction in the world. So naturally, there are numerous ships waiting to go through. Captain Troy was tight on time and needed to move fast. After getting fuel, America picked up a pilot to take America through the locks. America had made it through but the rest of the journey was getting tricky.

 

There were only 25 days for America to get from San Diego to her ultimate destination, the America’s Cup World series in New York. Everything seemed to go against the luck for America’s crew. Their next leg of the journey faced lightning storms, howling winds, and a handful of other challenges.

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