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Friday, April 18 2014 @ 09:49 PM EDT

Mike Perham - Preparing To Transit the Pamama Canal (At Last)

Boats and Sailing By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Mike Perham, the 17 year-old vying to become the youngest person to have ever sailed around the world alone and unassisted, finally is preparing to transit the Panama Canal and proceed on with his voyage. Upon arrival in Panama he discovered a broken fitting on his mast rigging that had to be repaired. It took a few days for the part to be shipped from the US, and now that repairs have been completed Mike is itching to get back on the water. There's also a problem with his motor - it runs in neutral but when it's shifted into gear it begins to vibrate terribly. At first they were going to haul the boat out of the water to try to fix it but complications regarding the availability of equipment, combined with draft limitations (his boat has a 4 meter keel) would have made that very complicated and time consuming. So, Mike has decided to press on through the Caribbean and across the Atlantic without a working engine. He said "I'm not really concerned about setting out without the motor - it's what I do. My original goal was to sail around the world anyway, not motor around the world. It would have been nice to have the motor in case of an emergency but even if there's a ship pouring down on you doing 20 knots or something the best the boat can do with the motor is about 4 knots so even that wouldn't be much of a help. I'll just fire flares at their bridge or something to get noticed." He also said there are ways of sailing around "holes" of no wind, where the overall track might be longer but the trip actually made much faster by taking the longer route. It looks like a tender from the Balboa Yacht Club will bring Mike through the Panama Canal, possibly as soon as tomorrow. (In the photo, Russel the camera man, my son Kent, and Mike Perham.)

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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