Monday 18th February
It’s a bit windy here in the bay this morning, and busy too, as the ferryboats blast by leaving all the Oysters bobbing around in their wake. I still can’t believe I’m in the Pacific, the water is quite calm, but unfortunately not that clean, so we won’t be making any water here. The people swimming off their boats astonish me the water here in the bay is brown!
Yesterday was lovely. Gatun lake was really beautiful and the three hour trip across the lake was really enjoyable. We were all keenly watching for crocodiles, they’re abundant throughout the canal, sadly, we didn’t see any. We did see the National Geographic boat on Barro Colorado Island as we passed by. This area has one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. There are many species here to be observed if you’re lucky. Once again I was hoping to see a sloth; with all my time in Panama, trekking through the jungle I have still yet to see one.
We rafted up to two different Oysters this time. As we all entered the last lock, Debbie, (from Oyster marine) messaged all the boats instructing us to fly our Oyster banners as we came through, she was at the visitors center with her camera ready to take photographs. Daisy was in the first group. Our pilot Edwin pointed out the locks web cam and Edi sent a message to Paige to let her know she could see us going through the locks.
The Miraflores Lock is the last of the six locks that you go through traveling from Colon, Panama, to Panama City. There is a museum at the lock that tells the history of the building of the canal. On the top of the building there’s a large viewing veranda where visitors can watch the boats pass through the lock. We had an enormous crowd watching as we went through.
On the other side of the lock we were in the Pacific. We separated from the other Oysters, the pilot boat collected each pilot from the boats, then motored as a group to the bay where we all dropped anchor for the night. That evening we all went ashore and had dinner at one of the beachfront restaurants. It was a night full of laughter; everyone was relaxed and happy. I think relief that the canal crossing was behind us brought about a lot of the high spirits.
Edi and Paul fly home tomorrow for a week. Edi is going back to Ohio to visit Paige, and Paul back to England to visit Mum and see his little girl. While they’re gone I will be busy cleaning, doing laundry and provisioning… Bob and I plan to sail across to Las Perlas for a couple of days.