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sunny 82 °F
View Here We Go Again on HopeEakins's travel map.

47f9e590-7409-11ec-9196-3ff66a1ec39f.jpgA man. A plan. A canal. PANAMA. It is indeed a long palindrome, fitting for this looooong (51 mile) canal we are traversing today. We have learned many facts:
-- The canal goes from north to south, given the twist in the isthmus.
-- The gates are original, in use since 1914; each weighs 690 tons and is the height of a seven story building (85 feet).
-- Every single one of the canal workers outside in the heat is FULLY masked.
-- Ships go toward the Pacific in the morning and toward the Atlantic in the afternoon; big ships cross in the day; smaller ones at night (the canal is lighted!).
-- The crossing takes about 12 hours and saves about 25 days of travel.
In our “pod” (probably not a nautical term) were a large Holland America ship and a small sailboat. The three of us fit into each lock and rose and fell together. Next to us in an adjacent chamber was a ship packed with 3500 cars. The Hondas were going to the US and then to Europe, where BMW’s were bring picked up and brought to Japan. The toll for the auto-carrier? $250,000.

The engineering concept of the Panama Canal is so simple that you could do it with toy boats, but the engineering execution is so complex that it is beyond our ken. It is amazing and clever and we can’t stop looking at it. Our veranda is only a few feet from the canal wall. The ship is centered by two little trains on each side hauling metal cables that pull the ship one way and the other. So after passing through two locks at breakfast we are now 85 ft. above sea level, cruising in Lake Gatun, a huge (180 square miles!) artificial lake filled with islands and massive ships. At the end of the day, we shall be descend to the Pacific through the next locks.

In the meantime, Bill progresses slowly but surely. Sleeping isn’t easy, but sitting in a deck chair seems to work quite well. We are going to try the seafood buffet for lunch – cabin fever has set in!

Posted by HopeEakins 00:46 Archived in Panama

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Weather looks glorious not so here

by Seabury

Good Evening, Hope and Bill!

So glad to hear of your travels. We miss you! We are also glad of your amazing adventure. I hope Bill is feeling better after that ordeal you described in the other blog entry. We have some nice snow to keep us feeling New England. I am guessing there's not too much snow where you are now. We wish you ongoing joy in this time together seeing the world. 31 years ago today, I was ordained in Hartford! Lots of love to you both!

by PJShake210

Hi Hope & Bill,
I've heard stories about those super rough seas at the "bottom of the world", & your experience is similar to those stories, unfortunately. I hope that Bill mends quickly.
Duncaster continues to function cautiously, but still no dining in the dining rooms. Even CEO Kelly got covid!..but not a serious case.
Enjoy those tropical warm days & think of us as we return to shivery temps again. Carol B

by Carol Barry

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