18 Times Through the Panama Canal

Yesterday marked my 18th passage through the Panama Canal. I can’t say that I have been out on deck every single occasion (as interesting as it is, 18 times through the Panama Canal can get a bit repetitive), but last night I did enjoy the cool breeze and rising (almost) full moon as we slowly made our way through the locks and out into the Pacific Ocean. I felt slightly bad for the guests because we transited each set of locks (the ones on the Caribbean side and the ones on the Pacific) at night. Usually we make one night crossing and one day crossing with a stop at Barro Colorado Island in Gatun Lake in the morning. But we have no control over what the Panama Canal Authorities tell us, so this week we were raised and lowered in the locks by moonlight. Crossing at night, though, is personally my favorite because the locks are lit up brightly and the lamp lights set a golden glow over everything. It gives the experience a more surreal and dreamlike feel. Here are few pics that I took last night. I’ve been playing around with my fisheye setting, so let me know what you think!

Yesterday was also my first time doing a Zodiac cruise at Barro Colorado Island. I usually do one of the hikes, but after returning to the ship last week with a series of red bites all over my body (chiggers?), I was hesitant to return ashore yesterday. I’d never done a Zodiac cruise at BCI, so I thought it was about time I did. And it was surprisingly pleasant! I was in C’s boat (he was the navigator) and we meandered along the coast of Barro Colorado Island with a guide from BCI pointing out some interesting tidbits. I was hoping to see a crocodile, but no such luck. We did see some howler monkeys, a few iguanas, lots of birds, and several massive ships cruising down the Panama Canal. It wasn’t too hot either, thanks to the nice breeze and scattered cloud cover. It was a great way to spend the morning and I didn’t come back with any bites!


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