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Almost to the Atlantic

20th March 2002


We have been motoring through the canal and beautiful Gatun lake. The shoreside is very tropical, a ‘real’ jungle. I remember the last time I was here we could see monkeys in the trees, but no monkeys today. Also, back then there were iguanas everwhere, today I hear that there are far less now.

It has been very interesting to talk to our official Pilot, Luis, who is a very experienced professional. He worked for years as a ships pilot for big companies all over the world, but likes this job so that he can now stay here in Panama where he grew up. Since Ocean Planet is valued at over a $1,000,000 they assigned us a “level 3” pilot (a really good one!)

Soon we will be approaching the Gatun locks, which is three chambers one right after the other to lower us down to the Atlantic ocean. Ocean Planet (and her skipper) misses the Pacific already but will soon discover a whole new world.

We set thet jib for one stretch, but other than that we have been under power the whole way. Luis says his wife wants him to get a sailboat someday and go cruising, so we gave him a copy of Latitude 38 (our favorite NorCal sailing mag) to read! He steered the boat for a while but as soon as we unrolled the jib, he quickly wanted me to drive…. Here he is filling in while Hank takes a nap:

About a week ago there was a collision of two freighters in the canal. Here is the one that got the short end of the deal:

More later,



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