Well, my dear, let me greet you all from the Pacific Ocean, Panama City. Using next-generation slang, we got a level-up – passed the Panama Canal.
We are very grateful to everyone who didn’t get scared of “convulsions of nature” and came to see us at Marsel Club. Due to this meeting, we even putt off passage of the canal and, as is known, whatever God does is for the best, as we met Sergei Morozov (http://navigatorpirate.livejournal.com/570138.html).
How was the meeting? Well, how else could it be? “… looked, grinned and clinked glasses …“ When we tried to recollect the events of the next day, according to Sergey, it turned out that when he came to our yacht, I gave him a sullen look and, without introducing myself, asked him “Will you drink vodka?” He replied something like “no-no….”
Well, I don’t know, maybe that’s really how it was.
But we even managed to make a group photo.
And to discuss something, too.
However, the next day we had to go to Colón to buy some food and, at the same time, get blessed (apparently, it’s Columbus?).
As expected, the city was rather ugly.
Yet, people were friendly in general.
We were running out of time and had to leave for the Panama Canal, though, we didn’t want to bid adieu. Therefore, we decided to go together and came back to the boats.
We explained to Sergey’s crew that they should behave themselves while the captain was out.
We double-checked the route.
And started for the Panama Canal.
The yacht was overcrowded – myself, Lena, Sergey, three Australians, the pilot, and his assistant, – everybody was fussing and pushing each other.
We managed to set a relative order only when we were in the lock and some people moved to a super yacht cast off to our board.
How’s the Panama Canal? A bit less than the Moscow Canal. It has six locks (the size is approximately the same but the water level difference is less).
The run from the third to the fourth lock is about thirty miles.
For Russians, it’s a usual thing, just sit and smoke.
Yet, so much fuss and so many pilots and mooring men!
So many tourists and so much pomp!
The only useful thing was that the first and last locks had web cams that broadcast video online. We’re in the lower left corner, hooked on the steamer.
Another difference’s that funny steam locomotives tug large vessels.
Somehow like that, yawning, we passed the Panama Canal.
We sailed under a bridge between the two Americas. First, the new one.
And then the old one.
A storm cloud was hanging over the Pacific.
For the time being, we decided not to go there and hid in the bay near Panama City. It seemed quiet and calm and the view was nice.