Tuesday, April 13, 2010

4/12/2010 MONDAY INTO THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE

RADAR SCREEN SHOWING ALL THE BOATS IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA!

LOOK HARD TO SEE ALL THE SHIPS

Today dawned with a flurry of activity. Anchors up, make radio contact with the Panama Canal Authority at Flaminco Station and maneuver our way through the scads of ships, lying in wait for their turn to transit the canal. It was wild just looking out across the vista. I counted 50 ships just within my view one time!! Bobbing and weaving around the anchored ships AND avoiding those on the move kept Dan busy. Once we came around the corner and approached the entrance to the marina we spied, once again, the beautiful La Masquerade anchored in deep waters. Dan followed our escort to the slip and snugged us up against the dock at an end tie. Nice! Well almost. The power available there was not appropriate to our needs and we had to scoot down to the next dock where we once again made tight.

HOLA MASQUERADE!

Our agent, Peter Stevens, appeared at our door shortly after we were secured and the “Panama Canal” experience began with the exchange of much information. He will guide us through this whole process by compiling and filing paperwork, ordering fuel, arranging the official measurements of the Quest, hiring line handlers and official pilot advisor that will accompany us through the canal, setting up our appointment to transit and generally, being our “life line” through the whole preparation time. He comes highly recommended from numerous sources and we are glad to have him in our corner.

We are so glad to have Jan and Debi here with us now. In addition to bringing lots of goodies, they have already found us a reliable taxi driver, charmed the marina staff and gotten the latest marina gossip. It appears that a “very famous” movie star is (or was just) here. Of course, no names could be mentioned but Reuben made the rounds and got the skinny from a nearby sailboat that it was Mel Gibson. Wow!!

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