We left this morning early on Ken and Sylvia’s Nauticat 35, Ann Lucia, to go through the Panama Canal. That’s them above with the Japanese flag hanging in the background. They left Hayama Japan, near Yokahama, last summer for a 52-day sail to Victoria, BC. They are off on a 3 year cruise around the Pacific with a stop off in the Caribbean.
We made it as far as the Bridge of the Americas near the Balboa Yacht Club and waited by the red buoy for our Canal advisor to show up. They direct you through the canal and are required to be on board before you enter the channel. You can see a Mersk container ship heading under the bridge now to go through the canal. He was sitting high in the water, so we figured the containers must be full of potato chips – a treat which are readily available in Panama City but expensive. The bridge was completed in 1962 and at the time was the only fixed bridge that connected North and South America. The Pan-American Highway crosses over the bridge.
We got a call from Flemenco Control, the folks that control the Pacific side of the canal approach, on VHF 12. They told us to call on a cell phone Canal Maritime Control. Apparently the only advisor for the day called in sick – come back tomorrow, and we will.