We spent a couple of weeks fixing our problems (we are getting pretty good at this!) and getting Slow Dancer ready for our canal transit. Before we left on our journey, we read that cruising was "fixing your boat in exotic places" and we are no exception!
During this time, we took a trip into Panama City by bus for an eye doctor visit and to explore. Wow….this is a huge city. Most of it is very modern. We were able to get a couple of parts including some new anchor chain and enjoyed a couple of nights in a hotel.
The following week, our friends on Nilaya were set to transit the canal. We were happy to help as line handlers, both to help our friends and to experience the transit before taking Slow Dancer through. Nilaya was tied to a mooring ball right next to the Bridge of the Americas. This is the exit/entrance to the canal and we spent an evening watching (and rolling on the waves of) the many HUGE freighters going through.
The next morning despite the pouring rain and lightning, we began our journey. This was a tougher passage than we thought! Six locks, 14 hours and lots of lines later, we entered the Caribbean. We toasted with champagne and collapsed. We learned a lot, got a couple of minor injuries and enjoyed our time with Jim and Laura.
Now back to Slow Dancer to prepare for our trip through the canal.