This was quite an experience, transitting the canal that has such a rich history and remains such an enduring feat of engineering.
A fascinating book on the canal called “The Path Between the Seas” made a good read prior to transitting.
We had an early evening start. Rafting up in the dark with a strong wind was “interesting”.
We had a first trip through the canal doing line handling for friends Mark and Lisa on En Passant, an Irish boat. They then kindly returned and assisted us with line handling on Windward.
The Locks are a major engineering feat. Tugs and Mules manoeuvre the massive vessels that you share the locks with right up to you; a bit intimidating until you get used to it.
There are some beautiful places en route eg in Gatun lake.
It was amusing to be the object of attention of the tourists crowding the viewing platform at the Tourist Centre and Museum at the halfway point.
Arrived at Balboa and took a mooring next to the entrance channel. Quite a system shock in Panama City after so long away from “civilisation” but great for provisioning and topping up on spares and maintenance items. Our navigation system was useful in the canal to work out where the other vessels were that we would share locks with. When we left Panama City, you could see the mass of shipping hustling in and out of the canal on AIS.
You can see on the final image the Archipelago of Las Perlas where we were headed for our rendevous with Andrew on Cantadora Island.