Around The World Voyage : Commentary : Leg 4

May 26, 2002

DISAPPOINTMENT! We will not be going through the canal today (Saturday) as we originally hoped. In a very good example of how it works here, we were bumped until tomorrow - we hope.

At 5:30 AM, we were all up, our two extra hands were aboard, NORDHAVN’s engine was fired up and I made the required call to “Cristobal Signal” to tell them that we were on our way to the flats to meet the pilot. The operator answered back that our transits date had been cancelled and we all just looked at each other in disbelief. Welcome to the Panama Canal. This is how it works.

The reason that we were bumped is that the ship we were scheduled to pair with did not show up on time. Today is a very light traffic day (only 12 ships), so no other suitable partner could be found. The “Pan Max” ships are built to exactly fit the size of the lock with a few feet to spare and thus are not suitable partners. We are not permitted to partner with “dangerous cargo” ships which tankers are considered to be, so basically nothing was left. Because of the water conservation program, they won’t put a small yacht in the locks alone.

Tomorrow there are 45 ships expected to transit, so there will be more partners to choose from. We have decided to kill the day by hanging around the yacht club and doing odd jobs on NORDHAVN.


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