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Monkey’s Fist

Feb 27, 2013

Location: Panama City, Panama
Author: Maeve Guilfoyle
We have successfully motored through a continent from the now familiar waters of the Caribbean Sea to the edge of the vast Pacific. The day started before the crack of dawn with a really nice quiet 6:30am wake up and a somewhat sleepy/groggy 7am granola breakfast. Once clear of the world largest mooring block- seriously this thing was nearly an island on to itself- we were underway for the best part of 3 hours motoring the length of the glassy yet busy Gatun Lake. Minutes prior to reaching the first of the locks two crew members were strapped into bosun’s chairs and hoisted up to the spreaders so as they could take photographs! Armed with sunscreen, water, Gopros and a hat a piece, they were hoisted up for the duration of the remainder of the passage. Passage through the locks was slightly different today with the lines being tossed from the canal walls with professional accuracy aided greatly by the wondrous monkey’s fist knot. Focus had to be maintained along with a high degree of professionalism as when the locks emptied the four lines had to eased with finesse, timing and coordination between the starboard, port, bow and stern line teams. All the while surreptitious sampling of the surface waters of the canal was on going, tracking the rapid decline of salinity in the waters. When the final and third gate opened we were the third boat to be released into the Pacific waters where after a scant five minutes we got our first glimpse of Panama City and the salinity readings started to spike. With explorations of this ancient city, setting out on passage of the world largest ocean, equator crossings and head shavings to come in the next few days these blogs can only get better.