Lala Salama – 25th May 2005

Arrived Panama City, Pacific Ocean, Saturday 21st May,1400,apox…
Very happy to get through the canal, almost in one piece, an oil seal went with about 10 miles to go, but managed to keep going with a very oily bilge. The trip through took 20hrs, I went with an Aussie boat ‘Diego’, a 48 Jenneau, We went through the locks rafted up together, which all worked out well, only one moment when we were heading for the lock wall on my side, let me tell you they are very solid, but managed to avoid it, thank the good Lord.

 It is an amazing bit of engineering. You are lifted 85 feet in 3 locks, then cross Gatun Lake, about 30 mls, to the Pacific side, where you are dropped, gently, the 85ft, back to sea level, also in 3 stages. Gatun Lake was specially made for the canal. Also the have had to cut the sides out of a few hills to make some of the canal. Quite something!

The locks are pretty big 1000ft long, 110ft wide, and about 40ft deep. 52 million gallons is needed to lock a boat from one ocean to the other, all this for 600 US, not too bad when you think about it, I guess. There are quite a few extras, like you need 4 line handlers and 200 mtrs of line which you can hire for 60 bucks, or buy for 48, funny that!! Etc etc.

 All in all it wasn’t too bad but I am not that interested to do it again…
Talk to you later. God bless. Nick..
PS. Only a small matter of 7639mls as the crow flies, not how Lala sails, to Brisbane..

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