Bye Panama, hello Pacific Ocean

09.19.10 | 1 Comment

That’s it, we are officially on our 18 days stretch across the Pacific ocean to get to New Zealand. No turning back, no getting off. We saw our last piece of land yesterday as we said our goodbyes to Panama (although if weather permits, we will see Tahiti about mid-Pacific journey). So, how do we feel, you ask? Great! Happy to be on the ship, happy to be on the ocean, happy to continue this experience.

The Panama transit was incredibly interesting. I especially liked the Gatun lake and going through the locks. Man, these things are impressive. They show the sheer force of man-made wonders. It was incredible to go through a place that plays such an important role in global commerce and world economy. There are a lot of dollars going through this canal!

We didn’t have much time on-shore but were able to squeeze in a late night outing to a restaurant on a popular night-life strip. It was very cool, but also very surreal. Speaking a little Spanish, being on land, walking through the container yard at night, the heat, the humidity, trying to enjoy our very short (2 hours) on-land opportunity, the fact that it’s night time and we can’t really take any good photos was a lot to process after the low-impact schedule we’ve been on. Oh, and the cab driver! I have to tell this little anecdote…

We negotiated with a cab $20 round-trip for 2 hours. As he drops us off back at the port, I hand him $20 and he says: “20? No, it’s $20 per person!”. I said: “What? That’s not true, that’s not what you said earlier” Justin (almost laughing and about to exit the car): “No, no, no… $20.” Me: “That’s not what you said, sorry.” After a little back and forth in Spanglish, feeling kinda bad, I got out of the car. Justin was totally rolling his eyes, thinking “how typical”. He didn’t even try to put up a fight, he just looked annoyed, so clearly he was bull-shitting us. Me, way more naive, was feeling bad for the guy in case we didn’t understand something earlier. Clearly, I need to grow thicker skin. It was obvious that he attempted to rip us off, and it was very probable he got a cut of our bill from the restaurant. He’s doing just fine.

Anyways, back on the ship by our midnight curfew, we slept through the loading and unloading process at night. Sometimes it’s loud and can shake the whole ship, but sometimes, you barely know they’re working. We were supposed to leave the port by 7am or so. At that time, they were still working on the containers, and it sounded like they were also waiting to get a pilot. All in all, we left the dock at around 1pm.

Bye bye cranes!

Bye bye Panama!

Oh! On our way out, we saw this ship… it seemed to be carrying 3 yachts. Funny, no?

And here we go, away from land and towards the greatness of the ocean.

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