Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Through the canal (the post)

One hundred years of human engineering still fully operational - that's the best way to describe the Panama Canal. The Captain and I went through the canal this weekend on Moonshadow as line handlers. What does a line handler do, you ask? Well, as the boat is positioned in each lock, there are four big heavy ropes that are attached to each side at the front and back, (that's port and starboard at the stern and bow in boat-speak for you,) and a person stands at each line, easing out the line as the water flows out of the lock, or applying tension to the line if the water is coming in to the lock. Even tension on all four lines keeps the boat steady in the middle, in spite of the swirling water from the flow of the water, and especially when the big ship in front of you turns on its engine!

It was definitely a worthy bucket list experience, in spite of the fact that the first day's locks were done in the dark, and the second day was in the rain. We had great company on board, sailors from all over. John and Deb own the boat and they are American. Stuart and Susie are Australian and Kiwi respectively, and Tracy and Scott and their two kids, Will, age five, and Molly, age four, are also Australian. 

John put together a great montage video of our transit - follow this link to see it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciG_GdV62VQ

View from the webcam - we are in front.

The canal machinery -old technology, but still working well!

The bow line handlers - Stuart & Phil (photo credit to John Rogers)

A tanker we passed along the way.


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