Panama Canal

We got up very early this morning as we were to arrive at the Gatun Locks on the east end of the canal at 6:30am.  It was extremely humid and hard to keep lenses and glasses from fogging up.  It seemed that every passenger on the ship was up to watch us enter the first locks.  This was the main reason for the trip for nearly everyone, including me.

The canal was impressive, and to think it was built around 100 years ago!  There have been improvements and modifications but the basic infrastructure has not changed all that much. All that work without modern earth-moving equipment must have been backbreaking.

We got through the Gatun Locks in less than an hour and then we were out on Gatun Lake for several hours.  Got to the locks on the Pacific side just after lunch.  We had been told it would be later than that but later I learned the average passage time is around 7 hours.  Unfortunately, the tall masts on The Wind Star mean we can only go under the Bridge of America in Balboa at low tide.  Hence we are docked until around 11PM before we can continue into the Pacific.

The weather was hot and sunny all day until we passed through the last lock and then we had a cloubburst with rain so hard the decks had 1/2 inch of water running on them.  Now (3:45pm) it’s overcast and still raining.  Another on-deck barbecue was planned for tonight.  Don’t know if it will happen but I’m sure all will be fine.

Two more days until we reach Costa Rica.