Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pacific Ocean or Bust

Bettie covered in tires.

Today is the day. We are heading through the first set of locks in the Panama Canal this afternoon, and if all goes smoothly we should be in the Pacific Ocean around midday tomorrow. Everything is ready aboard Bettie. The tires are secured. We've got our line handlers. The engine has been loved on, and we have food and drinks for everyone.

And, yet, I am feeling intense excitement with an undercoating of anxiety. It's a really bad combination of emotions, one that causes me to act something like a four year old on caffeine injections, and Vlad's pretty sure he might have to drug me and find another line handler. I'm just that excited. No doubt, that will wear off once the slow reality of the process kicks in, but until then I had best lay off the coffee.

We will probably head into the GatĂșn Locks around 4:30, so keep an eye on the Canal Cam and you might catch a glimpse of Bettie rafted up next to an Oyster. (These million-dollar boats are having a round-the-world rally, and there's a good bet we will go through with one.)  We should go through the Miraflores Locks around noon tomorrow, which also has a camera.

Of course, we will do a play-by-play once we get to the other side as well as a description of how to get through the Panama Canal without an agent (hint: it's not hard!). But until then, here are a few links that make for fun Canal reading - So Many Beaches; It's Irie; The Excellent Adventure; Bumfuzzle.


  1. Hey hope ya'll made through ok. I was watching the cam off and on from 3:30 but didn't see a thing until about 5:20pm central time and then saw a flurry of boats go through. I captured the screen shots for you hoping you could pick Bettie out!

    I counted about 8 sailboats go through at once.

  2. Just exciting as all heck! The event of a lifetime. I hope you remember ever second!

  3. By now you're probably in the Pacific Ocean .. woo hoo! I can imagine the mix of anxiety and excitement .. I'll be feeling that when we finally have our first overnight sail! Good luck and congrats!