While some of you stewed over my previous post, Jennie and I went through the Panama Canal on a friends boat (Iris). They have been sailing around the world for the past 7 years and we were in awe of their experiences. It was a great experience and Jennie and I enjoyed it immensely.
While we were away we left Dex with some friends and they put their boat into the water and had to take off the second day, so they asked our neighbours (who offered to take care of Dex as well) to feed him if we were late. Dexter has had a lot of attention while we were gone, made many new friends and as always is more well known in the Marina than us. "Oh, you're Dexter's owners" is a phrase we hear a lot when first meeting cruisers.
So we had an amazing transit, everything was on time, and everything went very well. We arrived in the flats around 2, the advisor showed up at 3:15 we went up the locks and were tied to the mooring at 6. This is unheard of.
When we first got up the the locks, we used the long lines to stop us, and my bowline slipped loose with a loud crack, that really put everyone on edge, but we retied it and sent it up on another line, Fortunately no one had a heat attack. I had to quickly tie a bowline with 15 people yelling and screaming at me, it was a bit intense. Make the loop, in goes the rabbit, around the tree and back in the hole.
The as we up locked the whole strain was on our rope for the three boats, the current and wind was pushing one way, and while everyone else had slack in their lines, ours was very very tight. Hense the red face.
We had a wonderfully peaceful night tied to the mooring ball, and heard howler monkeys in the morning. The Advisors showed up promptly and we were off (ours was a bit later than the other two boat's). We had a nice rainbow, then Jennie's camera battery died. We will get the down locking pics next time.
By the end we were tired, and tired of all the "Captains" on the other boats telling us what was going on. Even our advisor was a bit pissed off with the loud mouths who had no canal experience telling others what to do. Meh, we went home to our puppy.