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Old 05-15-2012, 01:17 PM   #106
bananaman
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Originally Posted by MaRc_FROST View Post
I am at Captain Jack's right now. I was talking to him and another boat guy about this at around 8 am, they discussed rallying some troops to fight the legislation, we will see how it goes.

I had heard that it was possible from Portobelo to San Blas from a few people with 4x4 trucks - lifted with bigger tires. I guess the only way to tell for myself is to go as far as the road allows and turn back if necessary... which I am not at all opposed to and will be using as my approach to travel on the bike from here on forth.

And regarding safety, there are some responsible captains here trying to create a self regulation board with specific guidelines. I have personally been involved in the rescue of 5 Argentinian backpackers, one girl had not had water in 3 days and was severely dehydrated! When they left Colombia the motor didn't work, when we found them the sails had broken as well and the cap't was trying to pull the boat away from the reef on his 15hp dinghy! WTF?!?!? He was one dodgy MF, I wouldn't trust him to dispose of my used shit wad! The cops got involved, he tried to scheme his way out of having to pay the water taxis that towed him back into the bay - you take your life into your hands in the open ocean, trust your feelings when something is wrong and listen to your brain!
I'll stop by in a few weeks for another dive. We've got a boat nearby and maybe we can take it to Cocuye and San Blas. I'll have to rent gear for me and my kids, and I'll need somebody to get my girlfriend resort-course certified.

I don't think a 4x4 can make it to Cocuye at this time of year- or, if it did, it might not make it back. The rivers are wild and unpredictable, especially the Cuango and the Culebra.

I haven't seen Tarazi for a while. I think he got married. So he doesn't hang out where I used to. If I run into him, I'll ask him about the ferry.

Have you met the owner of the marina by the canal on the Atlantic? He's a good contact for all this stuff- ferries, sail boats, and adventures.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:21 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
This makes perfect sense. Also, PorLaTierra's experience trying to get to Colombia over the last couple of weeks would seem to confirm this. His only option after missing a container spot was to ship with Girag.

Hopefully it will blow over. Many moto travelers will probably use the ferry just from the simple fact that its more economical than the sailboat tour through the islands.

So do you think the option of the cargo boats out of Casco Viejo linking up to other small cargo boats along the way into Buenaventura is still an option? Sounds like its only a port of Cartegena issue with going on the sailboats?
If you're going on the Pacific route, I'd suggest arranging with a small freighter out of Casco Viejo, but don't board there- meet them in La Palma. Or just grab a freighter in La Palma.

Russ: the guy at the marina at Sherman is Russ. Old "Navy Intelligence," and, like most Panama experts, he's from Wisconsin. He's also an expert on cat masturbation. Ie: the masturbation habits of cats.

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:51 PM   #108
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I'll stop by in a few weeks for another dive. We've got a boat nearby and maybe we can take it to Cocuye and San Blas. I'll have to rent gear for me and my kids, and I'll need somebody to get my girlfriend resort-course certified.

I don't think a 4x4 can make it to Cocuye at this time of year- or, if it did, it might not make it back. The rivers are wild and unpredictable, especially the Cuango and the Culebra.

I haven't seen Tarazi for a while. I think he got married. So he doesn't hang out where I used to. If I run into him, I'll ask him about the ferry.

Have you met the owner of the marina by the canal on the Atlantic? He's a good contact for all this stuff- ferries, sail boats, and adventures.
Thanks for the tips. Not sure if they could make it at this time either, been pretty wet already. Any adventure, even one with a u-turn, is better than none at all in my mind.

Come on by whenever - let me know before you come and I will make sure that you get taken care of.

Have not met the owner of the marina, fairly new to the area (February 2012).

Where are you in Panama?
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:31 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by MaRc_FROST View Post
Thanks for the tips. Not sure if they could make it at this time either, been pretty wet already. Any adventure, even one with a u-turn, is better than none at all in my mind.

Come on by whenever - let me know before you come and I will make sure that you get taken care of.

Have not met the owner of the marina, fairly new to the area (February 2012).

Where are you in Panama?
Depending on the day, I could be anywhere. Right now I'm in Chicago. Later today, Tucson. In Panama I live in Camino de Cruces. We also have houses in Coronado and Cocuye. My main houses are in Madison, Wisconsin, and Boaz, Wisconsin. Right now my no-longer-trusty 1996 R1100GS is in Madison. Sunday I did an easy 200 miles and then I noticed an oil leak that might be a real oil leak. I'd taken it to the dealership in Beaver Dam, and THEY WASHED IT. The left side used to be covered in oil. But that was normal. Now that they washed it, I can see that oil is actually leaking. All I can say, is...

FUCK!!!

As for Russ, and most of my other friend's in Panama... Around this forum I've been accused of being an asshole and a bully. WTF. I learned hospitality from guys like my dad, my uncles, and even guys like Russ. You have never met a truly hard-assed sonofabitch until you've met a navy man who earned his stripes, lost them, re-earned them, and continued the cycle ad-nauseum until the navy said ENoug. And then the man stayed in Panama anyway. Maybe he married a Panamanian. Maybe he just liked the jungle. Or the big dig. Go around to the marinas, and the Balboa Yacht Club. The men you'll meet will make me seem like a pussycat. It's just coincidence that Russ is an expert on the masturbation habits of cats.

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Old 05-15-2012, 08:53 PM   #110
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Around this forum I've been accused of being an asshole and a bully.
Really? Say it aint so!

My take is that people with thin skin simply cant deal with you.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:02 PM   #111
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Really? Say it aint so!

My take is that people with thin skin simply cant deal with you.
I thought for-sure that you'd say something about the coincidence of you also being an expert on the masturbation habits of cats.

While we're waiting for news, can you entertain us with photos?
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:04 AM   #112
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Taking a sailing ship is still possible...

We are not in the area right now, but what our agent in Cartagena tells us is that the ferry is having a hard time getting the permission to transport *tourists.
So far it looks like they can only operate as cargoship...
That is the only information we have so far and we hope it stays like that, hehe;)

But if the ferry eventually ends up doing what it wants to do, at least that would take some preassure from San Blas.*
I'm sure many travelers will choose the cheaper alternative to one including 3 nights on board of a classic sailing ship with great food and the picture card ambience of the islands ;)

However, Stahlratte will continue to transport moterbikes and passengers between Panama and Cartagena.
We will start again on the 9th of june from Panama...check http://www.stahlratte.de/panama_cartagena_tours_en.html for more.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:22 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Stahlratte View Post
We are not in the area right now, but what our agent in Cartagena tells us is that the ferry is having a hard time getting the permission to transport *tourists.
So far it looks like they can only operate as cargoship...
That is the only information we have so far and we hope it stays like that, hehe;)

But if the ferry eventually ends up doing what it wants to do, at least that would take some preassure from San Blas.*
I'm sure many travelers will choose the cheaper alternative to one including 3 nights on board of a classic sailing ship with great food and the picture card ambience of the islands ;)

However, Stahlratte will continue to transport moterbikes and passengers between Panama and Cartagena.
We will start again on the 9th of june from Panama...check http://www.stahlratte.de/panama_cartagena_tours_en.html for more.

Lulu the motorbike smuggler. Welcome to ADV

John in Caracas
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:23 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Stahlratte View Post
We are not in the area right now, but what our agent in Cartagena tells us is that the ferry is having a hard time getting the permission to transport *tourists.
So far it looks like they can only operate as cargoship...
Nice looking boat and service on website. I would like to see more of the STAHLRATTE, drop me a line when you get in the area, I am in Portobelo full time.

Your title is misleading, this thread is primarily for those looking to go to (or from) Cartagena from (or to) Portobelo with their motorcycles - which is not possible on a sailboat at this time! Sailing is a great option to enjoy the sights and experiences that the Caribbean Coast and San Blas has to offer if you ship your bike separately.

Sorry to nit-pick, just want to make it crystal clear for anyone reading this very relevant thread.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:12 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by MaRc_FROST View Post
Nice looking boat and service on website. I would like to see more of the STAHLRATTE, drop me a line when you get in the area, I am in Portobelo full time.

Your title is misleading, this thread is primarily for those looking to go to (or from) Cartagena from (or to) Portobelo with their motorcycles - which is not possible on a sailboat at this time! Sailing is a great option to enjoy the sights and experiences that the Caribbean Coast and San Blas has to offer if you ship your bike separately.

Sorry to nit-pick, just want to make it crystal clear for anyone reading this very relevant thread.
Marc I know you are new to this fourm and may not have heard/read much about this boat but it has been a backbone of the bike transport between Colombia and Panama each way for many years plus it can take you and your bike to a Special Island farther North. This boat usually, unlike most captains you have met, doesn't operate out of Portobelo but out of Carti farther down using the Kuna Toll Road going South/East out of PC.

I know there is a lot of talk about bike shipments being shut down on sailboats but it so far is just that- talk. Most of the captains don't want to risk dealing with the potential problems from all this talk and have elected to not take the voyage with the risks involved. That ferry is not up and operating yet and may not be for a very long time to come and to say that bike shipments by sea are done is not correct.

Just a small time of flux at the momment. June 9 is coming quick so I guess we will all see soon enough what happens.

My thinking is that Sapzurro will just be the new drop point if in fact this ferry comes to fruition and lasts. The Kuna Yala is worth the visit

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Old 05-16-2012, 09:00 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by MaRc_FROST View Post
Nice looking boat and service on website. I would like to see more of the STAHLRATTE, drop me a line when you get in the area, I am in Portobelo full time.

Your title is misleading, this thread is primarily for those looking to go to (or from) Cartagena from (or to) Portobelo with their motorcycles - which is not possible on a sailboat at this time! Sailing is a great option to enjoy the sights and experiences that the Caribbean Coast and San Blas has to offer if you ship your bike separately.

Sorry to nit-pick, just want to make it crystal clear for anyone reading this very relevant thread.
...maybe it should have been "Stahlratte will continue to transport motorbikes and passengers between Panama and Colombia" (instead of Cartagena).
I talked to the captain about it and it seems he still has some aces up his sleeve...
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:13 AM   #117
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I know there is a lot of talk about bike shipments being shut down on sailboats but it so far is just that- talk. Most of the captains don't want to risk dealing with the potential problems from all this talk and have elected to not take the voyage with the risks involved. That ferry is not up and operating yet and may not be for a very long time to come and to say that bike shipments by sea are done is not correct.
As I said in earlier posts I get my information from some of the most renowned captains that run services to and from Colombia out of Portobelo. I have not experienced this first hand but have no reason to distrust what they have to say, after all there is a pretty premium for them to run bikes back and forth.

If what I have said is mistaken for some reason, I apologize. I can say that I overheard these same captains wanting to fight the legislation. I, for one, would find it pretty shitty to arrive only to be told that your bike cannot enter the country. If they are able to circumvent this by transferring the bike to a Panga farther North then that is awesome.

I may not be aware of the history of this boat, but that doesn't have a bearing on the present circumstances. In fact, complimented the boat and services they offer, it looks like a great trip. I have no problem with them and would like to expand whom I know and am able to refer people to, hence my saying that I would like to meet them and understand what they can offer. If they have a viable alternative while awaiting the ferry then I would be able to send people their way.

Furthermore, it is inconsequential where they leave from, what matters is where they arrive which dictates the services they are able to offer. As stated above, if they have an alternative to bypass this new (and apparently debated) legislation that is awesome for them and I would like to be able to refer them as a viable option for any travelers looking to bypass the Darien with their bikes.

Apologies if anyone was offended by my attempted clarification to the post by Stahlratte. Agreed, June 9th will be very telling and I hope we receive updates.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:31 AM   #118
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which is not possible on a sailboat at this time! .

This is the part that I don't think is correct, I think it still is possible. Just saying, that is why I mentioned Carti as you may or may not be familiar with that area as you are dealing with captains based out of Portobelo from the sounds of it and the SteelRat operates out of Carti when the road isn't washed out.

This new ferry is pretty suspect from all the bullshit surrounding it imho

If I return back through CA I'm thinking I will be trying the West side for the hell of it. I still am interested in this new ferry but I'm not going to hold my breath for it and believe bike transport on sailboats will continue, just maybe not to Cartagena
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:22 AM   #119
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As I said in earlier posts I get my information from some of the most renowned captains that run services to and from Colombia out of Portobelo. I have not experienced this first hand but have no reason to distrust what they have to say, after all there is a pretty premium for them to run bikes back and forth.

If what I have said is mistaken for some reason, I apologize. I can say that I overheard these same captains wanting to fight the legislation. I, for one, would find it pretty shitty to arrive only to be told that your bike cannot enter the country. If they are able to circumvent this by transferring the bike to a Panga farther North then that is awesome.

I may not be aware of the history of this boat, but that doesn't have a bearing on the present circumstances. In fact, complimented the boat and services they offer, it looks like a great trip. I have no problem with them and would like to expand whom I know and am able to refer people to, hence my saying that I would like to meet them and understand what they can offer. If they have a viable alternative while awaiting the ferry then I would be able to send people their way.

Furthermore, it is inconsequential where they leave from, what matters is where they arrive which dictates the services they are able to offer. As stated above, if they have an alternative to bypass this new (and apparently debated) legislation that is awesome for them and I would like to be able to refer them as a viable option for any travelers looking to bypass the Darien with their bikes.

Apologies if anyone was offended by my attempted clarification to the post by Stahlratte. Agreed, June 9th will be very telling and I hope we receive updates.
I will keep you informed. If I hear anything new, I will let you know. It really sounds complicated...and by the way, no offence taken here. It is good to hear as much about the problem as possible. Thanx:)
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:46 AM   #120
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I will keep you informed. If I hear anything new, I will let you know. It really sounds complicated...and by the way, no offence taken here. It is good to hear as much about the problem as possible. Thanx:)
So who is posting for the Stahlratte then if not LuLu? Gabie or Eter
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