Had Enough of Panama Yet…?

Such is the greeting of the day among the BPOers, as we try to sort out our administrative error that is preventing us from being allowed to leave.  And maybe it applies to my readers as well.  But here in our anchorage we magically have wifi, provided unsecured by we-don’t-know-who, and so I have the opportunity to do another post.

This is one of my favorite photos from the Canal.  It shows a ship going the other way in the adjacent lock.  We started high; he started low (relatively speaking).  Now we are down and he is up.  Maybe you had to be there to appreciate the image, but it tickles me.

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Below is another one I like, even though it isn’t in crisp focus.  When entering the Canal, and going “up” (the Gatun Locks in our case), you pull into an empty lock and you need to get lines to the handlers ashore atop the imposing walls.  This is done by their throwing a light line with a “monkey’s fist” (weight) to your boat.  They are incredibly accurate, invariably hitting the boat (rather hard!) without hitting anyone on the head.  Then you secure your heavy line to their light line, and they pull the heavy line up, as you can see (maybe) in the photo.

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One more that isn’t very clear in the dark, but I can’t resist.  It is the swinging bridge closing behind us, after we entered the Gatun Locks.  Remember the swinging bridge?  We drove across it to get to Colon, and we saw the lock doors closing on a Panamax ship as we went.

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Water now up in Gatun, and you can see a ship waiting to enter the lock behind us.

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In the morning after anchoring for the night in Gatun Lake, we had 3+ hours of motoring to the next set of locks.  Not much for our pilot/advisor to do…

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Okay, no more Panama Canal photos, I promise.  We got our alternator back from the repair shop this morning (no charge, either for the re-work or the shop-to-dockside delivery!).  And while uploading these photos I heard on the radio that Tim managed to get our passports stamped, even though the other boats still have details to be worked out.  Tim is trying to get some fresh food before returning to the boat, but it sounds like we are good to go.  Either tonight or early tomorrow, but I vote for getting out while we can!  Beautiful sailing day, and the Galapagos are waiting.  Next stop Baquerizo Moreno (first of two stops in the Galapagos).

6 thoughts on “Had Enough of Panama Yet…?”

  1. Actually, all the pictures in the locks are so fascinating! I love seeing this Wonder of the World (engineering category) up close. It was a thrill to see you in it. How long is the fetch to Galapagos?

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  2. Hi Zeke! Looks amazing! Thanks for posting. This is my first time checking the blog since you took off, so I’ve got a little catching up to do. So cool that you’re going to Galapagos! We’re heading to Argentina to visit Mariel’s family from March 29-April 26. You won’t be anywhere near there then, will you? Perhaps you’ll already by in China… 🙂 Enjoy and stay safe!

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  3. THE LINE HANDLERS HAVE SURELY MASTERED THEIR ‘CRAFT’ ATOP THOSE OPPOSING WALLS!
    WITH MY BAD AIM I’D SURELY HAVE KNOCKED A FEW OUT WITH THE MONKEY FISTS,,.
    HAPPY YA’LL GOT THE STAMP OF APPROVAL & PASSPORTS ARE GOOD 2 GO! I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IT WILL BE SMOOTH SAILING OUTTA’ PANAMA:)
    *PEACE,AIM

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  4. Great pictures, Zeke, as well as engaging reporting. Your Team Rock! kids will be very interested in the Panama posts when we get back to school after February break. Looking forward to joining you in Galapagos! Be well!

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  5. Like others, I am fascinated by the photos and commentary. Never having been there, yet having heard so much about the canal, it’s terrific to get your up-front and personal accounts. Glad, too, you got your alternator issue fixed and re-installed, along with the administrative snafu taken care of. Here’s to clear sailing (and no further mechanical adventures) to Galapagos!

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