The Race

We had a pleasant morning, except for being chased away by the dredge, watching east bound tankers passing through. Mostly LNG tankers so the traffic was one way.

About 0900 the Catalyst steamed slowly past, they had anchored by the Gatun Locks and probably had a early start. Not easy on an empty stomach I would think, we’d had a great breakfast of ill gotten gains.

Eventually on the nav system we saw the first west bound ship enter the canal after the Gatun Lake and head our way.

I warned the team we could be underway soon as we needed a west bound vessel to lock in with.

Here she is passing us about 1200:


But still no Pilot.

At 1400 the pilot arrives and cheerfully tells me we will have to wait until the passenger ship is close. When I tell him it is well past he is on the radio and then asks if we can get going quickly. We need to catch up with her as the next three ships are too big for us to lock in with. All of us would then have a long wait until the right ship arrived.

The anchor was quickly up and the MTU was built up to 1760 RPM, the highest I have ever had her (max 1800 RPM).

Nice still water,:


The Pilot wanted us to stay on the starboard side as there was a container ship behind us who might want to overtake, he’d have to be quick:


Rain Forest down to the canal banks


Twists and turns


The hard bit in the Galliard Cut, much wider than it used to be:


Close up, the recent expansion done by modern methods, the early canal a lot more man power involved.


The new bridge built in 2004:


Close to the bridge, the Pedro Miguel Locks in the distance, no sign of the Ocean Dream


As we round the corner we see the Ocean Dream had not yet got to the lock


But as we closed we saw she was inside the extended lock wall


A close race!