" A LADY TRIP " SAILING AROUND THE WORLD and avoiding the recession, ( presently in the panama Canal )

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Thu 28 Jan 2010 14:42
WEDNESDAY 27th January 2010      ( today:-  Hugh and Dick Gibson's Birthday)   40 again for the old aged twin friends.
07.00hrs Beautifull day again, skipper went for a short jog of about two miles, made a few calls and back to the boat to do the typing etc.
09.00hrs replied to some emails, plus the Blog.
Replied to  " Robert Reardon" ( who sent an email to us , despite Fat's warning about doing so !) Its great to hear from home and get the news.
Anyway, We never knew that Robert and the Fat Man were related, What went wrong there !  Ohhhhhh the boat shudders.
Robert was financial controller at the Blarney Park Hotel, when the Skipper DESIGNED the swimming pool there , way back when !
Robert was the whiz Kid, He could always find the money required for all Gerry O'Connor's Hotel Plans, and then suddenly was robbed by Freeda,
and taken out to the Blarney Woollen Mills.
10.00  we cleared all the Marina paperwork, and gave the flag pole another coat of varnish, The stuff was like bloody glue,
and ( of course ) the skipper made a dogs bollux of it all, Shit, it will need another good sanding to get it right again.
We filled the water tanks and got ready to roll.
13.00  We had a light lunch at the Marina. and said our goodbye's
14.45hrs  We slipped the lines ashore and made our way across the Harbour to the place known as the " Flats " and anchored.
We had to wait here for the Pilot to take us through the Canal. He arrieved at
17.45 ( 2 hours late. as they say here , Panama Time )  His name was "Ricardo" and he had an assistant," Nidia" ( she is a pilot student at college)
Ricardo spent about 45mins explaining his role in the crossing and outlining every little detail we would have to deal with over the passage.
He was so polite. and he was the head man for our group of yacht's, 13 in all.
We then motored to the Canal Basin, about an hour away, and by now it was dark. OHHHHH what a sight. The Skipper could
feel the shivers going down his spine,, GOD we are Here !!  thrilling , the excitment on board was " massive boy" as they would say in Cork.
We were rafted up to a Canadian Yacht called " J'Sea " The owner is from Vancoover , but usually keeps the boat in Turkey.
We were the last into the lock as " Ricardo " gave all the orders to the others from the main ship . "  A  LADY"
All lines were thrown from the shore, and basically we were controlled by these lines, 4 in all , 2 from the Bow and 2 from the stern,
The Massive Gates Opened and in we went, All lit up like a Circus,, just magic. I would have wished the whole world was on board the witness the
sheer thrill and excitment of it all......
The lock gates closed behind us and the chamber flooded,, in just about 8 / 10 minutes, we had risen 8 meters, ( 24 million gls of water)
This was repeated 3 times and then we exited into the huge manmade lake called " Lake Gatun " ,  about 30 miles long
 There we dropped anchor and had dinner on board with our Visitors, They departed ai 22.00 hrs and said they would return
between 06.00hrs and 07.00hrs in the morning.
We had a long and exciting day, so we all went to the bunks almost immidiatly with the stars dancing overhead..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
P.S today 28th we will be going through the canal out into the Pacific and will be seen on camera about 5 pm Irish time ( G M T )