Day 27: Canal Transit

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
Trip End Dec 25, 2007

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Flag of Panama  ,
Monday, October 1, 2007

I got up at 5 to send the email about the webcam - sorry all for that late notice and that I didn't have more specific information - and the sun wasn't up yet, which surprised me. I wrote for a while and tried to catch up, and when the sun came up I was one of the first people on deck. We watched the dikes for a little while and took pictures of the cormorants and the funny little rowboat that was rowing across the harbor with all the huge boats in it. I will admit to thinking "this is where the big kids play" when I saw it; it looked so out of place in all that water. Then we realized the bow was open; it's the same place we were that first night watching the start that we got kicked out of; we went up there and there were only a few people and the view was fantastic. I could see everything as it was happening and the view for photos was perfect.

We had a guide that would be with us throughout the transit, explaining what we were doing and where we were and all that. It wasn't long before his incessant explaining got a little old, but I appreciated the background info and stuff. It wasn't long before we were in the Gatun locks. It was even cooler being inside the lock than it was watching them - watching the doors close and seeing the turbulence under the water and finally feeling the slow rise of the boat and watching the land fall away on both sides. There was a webcam at this lock and I waved frantically at it, not knowing whether or not Mom and Dad were watching but knowing somebody somewhere would be. We were leapfrogging another boat, the Pyxis, which was built specifically to the maximum size to transit the locks. It was even square. Apparently it was a car carrier - it could carry 5000 cars - and I don't even want to wager a guess at how much it weighed. There were only two lifeboats on board because there was only a crew of 24. Amazing that a crew of 24 could run that HUGE boat!

Pretty soon we were in the lake. I can't remember the name of it but it was beautiful! Everything is so exotic and foreign to me and I was certainly tempted more than once to jump and swim just to get to touch that amazing rainforest that was so close to the boat I probably really could have swum to it. Swum? Oy.

I found a spot on the bow but inside, where I could get internet service, and went on meebo to find my parents. I can't believe I didn't find this spot before - it has huge windows and it's not too hot and it has a big window-seat style platform where you can sit. I'm really in love with it and bummed I didn't find it earlier. It's not the same as being outside and up a level but it's close and I can't get internet up there. Mom and Dad were online and watching the webcam, but they hadn't seen us come through because the camera was pointed the wrong direction. We chatted for a long time as the ship lay at anchor waiting its turn to enter the channel and figured out when about the ship would be at the next webcam.

Sorry guys I gotta go. I need to post now because I'll be in the bush for four days but I'll post as soon as I can when I get back.
Love you guys!
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