The entrance to the Panama canal

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Sat 21 Jan 2012 00:57
9:22.13W 79:57.02N
This is a view of the chart plotter as we approached the Atlantic entrance to the Panama canal.  Each gray triangle is a ship.  Like Piccadilly Circus in the rush hour.  Fortunately 99% of the ships are anchored waiting for their turn through the canal, so not much is moving (very much like Piccadilly Circus in the rush hour) but it does make it quite hard to pick out which ships are actually steaming towards you.
On  approach to the breakwater you radio Cristobal Signal Station to ask permission to enter.  "Proceed, avoiding any traffic" was the reply, which was a bit surprising because there was a big container ship about to exit and therefore no way we could proceed until it had passed.
Anyway, we are now inside the canal breakwater, anchored in Shelter Bay which is the little bay on the left hand side of the canal mouth, just inside the breakwater.