It’s full steam ahead to Panama for four of the Clipper Race fleet after a successful pit stop in Banana Bay Marina, Costa Rica, to refuel ahead of the canal transit. Following in their wake, the next four teams are approaching the same marina in Golfito Bay for refuelling and are expected to arrive there at approximately 0700 local time today (1300 UTC).

ClipperTelemed+ and Derry~Londonderry~Doire are expected to be the first teams to arrive in Flamenco Island Marina, Panama, tomorrow morning 0900-1000 local time (Tuesday 1400-1500 UTC), followed by Race 10 winner LMAX Exchange and Unicef at lunch time the same day. Upon arrival, the yachts will be measured and inspected by the authorities, who then set the transit times accord to their schedule. Until this process is complete there is no definitive time that each yacht will begin its journey through the canal.

Meanwhile, today Garmin, Qingdao, GREAT Britain and IchorCoal will also refuel before carrying on to Panama where their arrival is estimated for Wednesday 25 May.

Mission Performance, Visit Seattle, PSP Logistics and Da Nang – Viet Nam will refuel tomorrow before carrying on to Panama for arrival on Friday 27 May. The estimated arrival times into Costa Rica and Panama is continually being updated here.

As the teams are no longer racing and continuing under motor, it is important in the warm temperatures that they take time out from having the engine running, allowing it to cool and for general maintenance checks to be carried out. Travelling in groups of four has turned this time of day into a social occasion for the crew who have been taking advantage of such moments to cool down in the flat calm sea when they’ve felt it is safe to do so.

GREAT Britain round the world crew member Simon Rosbottom summarises the last 24 hours in his crew diary.

“This morning, to an opening of "Goooood Morning Costa Rica!" our little flotilla of Garmin, GREAT Britain, Qingdao and IchorCoal were treated to the ‘Garmin Girls Radio Show’. Hosts, Jenn Burgiss and Holly Kitching, treated us to an hour of music, 'phone-ins', repartee and banter. Agony Aunt Jenny Day fielded a wide range of calls, dealing with personal problems from across the fleet. For example, one anonymous caller radioed in on behalf of his grandmother regarding her Stannah stairlift. Apparently, it's driving her up the wall.

“Another long, hot day was punctuated at lunchtime with a communal swim. All four boats dropped their mainsails, shut off their engines and drifted south-eastwards for a couple of hours whilst the crew jumped over the side and swam in 2500 metres of water. Our paddling pool was hoiked over the side to fulfil its originally intended purpose - a dinghy. This also came in useful later on as we ferried fuel cans over to IchorCoal with Rowan Fernando crewing it solo. He had a pair of oars with him in case the towing line was lost so it truly was a Rowan boat,” Simon added.

To read more about what these teams have been up to, between hosting ‘Blind Date’ to a ‘How well do you know your Skipper quiz’, check out their crew diaries. We are not receiving diaries as frequently as when the teams are racing but will continue to post the ones we do receive. It’s a good time to check out what other teams are up to if the one you are following has gone quiet.

Finally, as mentioned on our social media channels yesterday, the volcano eruption in Costa Rica over the weekend has not affected the Clipper Race fleet. The Turriabla Volcano is very close to the country’s capital, San Jose, more than 300 kilometres from Golfito Bay where the teams are refuelling. All crew and Skippers are safe and well.

Race 11 from Panama to New York is due to start on 30 May. To read more about our stopover there, click here.

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