First an official showed up and measured us. This goes into the Panamanian records based on the boats registration number so even if the boat is renamed, if it ever goes through the canal again, it will have a record and will not have to be re-measured. This is something new.
Great care was taken to prepare for the pilot. Food, water and Coke that we crew "better not touch" was purchased.
As soon as he was aboard we lifted anchor and started leaving the bay and entering the Canal itself. Now we were to pass the road and area that for the past four days we had seen by bus or taxi.
|Carlos, our 2nd Pilot wearing the American Flag Bandana I traded him.|
Howling, roaring, monstrous sounding monkeys in the forest were the first things we heard in the early morning. Then we were back on our way motoring almost four hours through a beautiful lake with parrots in the trees and hidden crocodiles in the water to the next set of locks. Three this time, lowering us to the Pacific.
On the other side of the canal, a new crew had joined us: Shannon from New Zealand, plus a friend of Andy’s, along for the experience and to see his friend. On this side, one crew leaves us: Mike from Canada.
But for now, we all indulged in hot showers and a bit of rum. One lifetime goal has been realized: I went through the Panama Canal today.