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The fleet of yachts participating in the Oyster Worldwide Rally, 2013/2014 recently spent a memorable week at Shelter Bay Marina in Colón. The Rally began in Antigua early January and after a month cruising the Leeward Islands the fleet headed for Panama and a Canal transit.
Participants were hosted by the Marina Hotel and The Dock Restaurant at Shelter Bay on the old Fort Sherman U.S. Military base to the west of the canal. A highlight of the visit was a lunch party and tour of the ruins of the ancient Spanish fort of San Lorenzo organized by Chris Young, general manager of The Dock Restaurant and Mónica Del Cid, marketing manager of The Marina Hotel. Over 100 yachtsmen enjoyed the event at the spectacular ruins at the mouth of the Chagres River. Fort San Lorenzo was vanquished by pirate Henry Morgan in 1670 on his way to the fabled sacking of old Panama City.
Oyster is a British company celebrating 40 years building luxury sailing craft. The brand is recognized internationally as a market leader of world-class cruising yachts and the company takes pride in the fact that half of their new construction is for existing owners. While Oyster yachts consistently win races in the cruising classes, they are known for their performance and comfort at sea.
After their week at Shelter Bay, the Oyster fleet of 26 yachts made a two-day transit of the Canal in four groups, anchoring overnight in Gatun Lake. Next stop on their round-the-world, two-year odyssey is the Galapagos Islands, but they made one more stop in Panama – at San Jose in the Pearl Islands where they enjoyed the hospitality of the Hacienda del Mar hotel.