Many apologies for the delay in posting…..you will most likely read this at the beginning of many more future posts. Internet access and speed is not something we have access to much these days. The beautiful scenery more than makes up for it- I just didn’t want you good folks to think we had forgotten y’all.
Moving on to some good stuff – Panama Canal Transit 2016. Whoa. What an amazing process. WIDAGO and crew went the day before our scheduled departure for a field trip to the Gatun Locks to preview what the deal-i-o was going to be. (SIDE NOTE: this would have been hugely helpful for our Kiel Canal Transit, and would have avoided the near divorce, but I digress). World ARC coordinated the the two day transit through the Canal. We were in a group of 15 boats, rafted up in a three boat “packet”. Each boat was provided with an “Advisor”. Personally, I feel we totally scored. Our guy, Ricardo, was not only the bomb – super friendly, perfect English, and really cool, he was also the coordinator for the entire fleet of 15 boats traveling, which means he knew what the hell was going on.
We rafted up with our packet-buddies, Waterman & Zoom, to head up three locks, each of which raised us 29 meters. The whole process to get up to Lake Gatun took a few hours, in to the early evening, where we were treated to a beautiful sunset. We said goodbye to Ricard after dinner, but not for good. The next morning he returned for a proper Southern breakfast (yes to biscuits & gravy!), as we motored through the canal and on to the downward locks. Even though the temperatures were Africa Hot (I guess I really should say Panama Hot), the crew stayed cool and we made it through without any real issues.
Probably a once in a lifetime experience – hard to describe in words, so I guess a movie will have to suffice.
Standby for more pictures and movies from our Equatorial Crossing and time in Galapagos. We are set to depart from Galapagos on March 5 – a few days behind the fleet. Our water maker pump crapped out, and as a mission critical piece of equipment, we aren’t leaving port without it working properly.