Sunday 17th February
We were all awake by 5am, one of our fun loving neighboring yachties used their loud haler to announce “Five am campers everyone up”. Our pilot for the day ‘Edwin’ was dropped off by the pilot boat before daylight, and by 6am our fleet was once again underway. The islands of rainforest surrounding the lake appeared like a vision through the early morning mist as the sun crept slowly over the horizon like a giant crimson orb.
The lake was stunningly beautiful, and there was a lovely cooling wind blowing as all ten Oysters headed out together. Everyone was busy taking photographs, and Paul got a great one of ‘Mr. Frilly Knickers’ (explanation to follow) almost colliding head on with a tanker coming in the opposite direction. Fortunately all was well as his maneuvering skills aided in their missing the tanker and surviving to sail another day.
I christened one of our fellow yachties “Captain Frilly Knickers” after his fabulous costume worn at the pirate’s party, I don’t think I need to elaborate on that any further, but needless to say I won’t let him forget it… However, for privacy reasons I will keep the name of his boat secret. :o)
The sail up the Gatun lake towards our next lock will be about three and a half hours. For my part, that’s not long enough, it could be ten hours, its so peaceful, calm water, and light cooling breezes. Although as I’m now writing this it’s almost 9:30 and the sun is already blisteringly hot.
We have three more locks today, and then we will arrive in Panama. I’ve taken lots of photographs, which I will publish when I get a strong enough signal, sadly that may not be until I get back to Atlanta in March.