Thursday, February 3, 2011

Panama Jan 2011

Jason at the helm as we enter the canal area to begin rafting.

Karen and Jason in the Canal.

Jason and Alfio enjoying the deck chairs as we cross through Lake Gatun.

Giovanni drying out after his first Pacific Ocean swim after we completed the Panama Canal transit.

Giovanni going in for the first pacific Swim. You can still see the Bridges of the Americas arch in the distant background.

Marco, our paid line handler. I've got all the stuff from the front cabin drying out around him after a huge wake from a passing ship sent a wave of water through an open hatch on the foredeck.

A dredge working on the Canal.

A church in Balboa, Panama.

Carlos, our advisor and Jason. Carlos loved steering YOLO through most of the 2nd half of the transit.

Alfio and Giovanni, our Italian line handlers who volunteered for the experience. Alfio doesn't even speak English. They were a treat to have and stayed on the boat for an extra day before flying home to Italy. Giovanni teaches piano music near the Vatican in Rome.

Bridges of the Americas at the Balboa end of the Canal transit. Near Panama City.

Showing off our FirstBank coffee mugs as we wait to descend through the Miraflores lock.

In the Miraflores lock
Karen and Giovanni in the last locks, waiting to go down.
Centennial Bridge. It was closed as one of the approaches had washed out and collapsed in the recent rains. Had to reroute all the traffic over the Bridge of the Americas, causing traffic jams and worries about overstressing the other bridge.

A passing ship in the Gatun Lake.

Karen writing in her journal on the back seat of YOLO as we transited the Gatun Lake.

The 'mules' used to pull big ships through the canal. We had men with ropes and they walked up the slope and over to the next lock with YOLO lines in hand.

The ship we shared a lock with. We waited til he was nearly out of the lock before moving ahead as they put out a lot of turbulence.

Karen watching life in the Canal

Hello World, we're having fun here.

Looking back after we'd been raised up in the first lock. That is the superstructure of a huge cargo ship waiting to follow us up the locks.

Lock doors closing

Our rafting partner. They came in hard and fast and broke out a screen window--the French! Never even said they were sorry. Both boats must move as one into and through the locks. Two line handlers on their boat and 2 on ours were supposed to keep the rafted boats centered in the locks as the water rushed in or out.

Giovanni and Karen discussing the state of the deteriorated chain and the Italian windlass we use.

Soizic trying to fix a toy sailboat her son got from the Kuna children. It's made out of a palm frond, some sticks, plastic bag cut for a sail and some fishing line for lines and to hold the sail to the 'mast. Ingenious and amazingly clever! It didn't stand up to a child's play but it was worth trying to fix. This is the boat I was linehandler for before we took YOLO through.

Karen handling lines on Barbarin, the French catamaran.

Lola and Timeo mesmerized by cartoons on the laptop. They didn't even look up as I took their pictures. They were great kids! A lovely family to crew with for the Canal transit.

Notice the gouges in the wall and its protective rubber slabs where ships have gotten out of alignment in the canal locks.

Tug and Dole cargo ship.
Another Dole boat. Lots of bananas or pineapple heading somewhere.....

The French family and Karen on Barbarin.

Our anchorage in Colon by the Club Nautico. These were workboats that came and went often, so close to YOLO! But they have great control.

YOLO in The Flats in Colon, Panama waiting for its official measurement so we can go through the Panama Canal.

A totally solar boat--very cool looking.
Solar boat anchored near us in The Flats awaiting its Canal transit, too.

Rear of the solar boat. Nobody could figure out why the propellers are partially out of the water?????
Side view of the solar boat.