1. It is wise to cover sensitive equipment like solar panels etc, but not necessary as the canal line handlers who hurl the throw-line and whats known as the monkeys fist are pretty accurate and it generally lands on the foredeck or over the boom.
2. Have a few cokes on board. The canal advisors are quite partial to a cold fizzy drink.
3. Watch the other vessels and line handlers to ensure an even feed of line to keep the nest centred. If there is a bias to one side, try varying the rate at which you are easing out / taking in the mooring lines.
4. Enable the holding tank as most of Panama gets their drinking water from Gatun Lake...
1. Don't anchor on Gatun Lake if you can help it. It is very deep (70ft) and there is a lot of old tree stumps etc on which to snag ones anchor.
2. Don't feed the mooring lines through the bridge of the cleats. Accidents have occurred when a twist in the line results in the line handler unable to untwist / feed out the line due to the force applied. Can result in cleat ripped from the deck.
3. Don't cleat off the mooring lines with clever twist locks. They can cost precious minutes when trying to undo and feed a line.