The Canal
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Well we got through the canal more or less safely -MORE rigging damage and LESS paintwork!
The canal itself didn't do us any harm, it was being rafted up to another boat on the way TO the canal. The wash from the passing tug boats was so vicious that we rolled violently into the Swiss boat Brio that was the middle boat of three. His mast snapped our triatic stay (the one between the two masts that helps keep the mizzen from falling backwards ). We had already decided not to worry about re-doing our paintwork before Australia which was just as well. Luckily Brio had requested a transit without being rafted so they were able to insist on going through alone. We rafted up with another Aussie yacht, Halcyon which was a more compatible size and shape and moved similarly to us so there were no more problems of that nature.
No photos of this bit as we were rather occupied!

This is the approach to the canal, getting too close for comfort to the big ships We'd nerved ourselves up for this first lock but the turbulence wasn't too bad at all. This is Francis from Infini and Scott, a backpacker who were helping us as line handlers. ( there have to be 4 apart from the skipper and the transit advisor)
The lock gates closing on the Caribbean and on into the next of the 3 Gatun locks behind Brio and a large ship.
We had to lie on a mooring in the Gatun lakes overnight. See the blur of speed as Foss rushes to feed the ravenous crew at about 10pm.  We were woken by the cries of the howler monkeys and at 6.30, the transit advisor has just come on board again and Francis is casting us off
Foss enjoying the calm passage through the lakes in between feeding everyone and practicing Spanish by talking to our transit advisor, Moses.
We said that with a name like that he should be a Red Sea pilot but Erik rightly pointed out that then boats would go aground.
This is the new road bridge across the canal. Previously the only way across was over the bridge of the Americas at the Balboa end. Rather a long way round. Still no crocodiles as Francis had assumed when he went for his nighttime swim in the lakes!
Christophe doing his line handler stuff. The ropes that they supplied us with, while being huge in proportion to the boat, look quite moderate in Christophe's hands. One of the rather more relaxed Panamanian rope handlers on the shore. A bit too relaxed as out of the six throws to Alga, 3 missed.
We thought the skipper ordered us about too much.... we swapped him for a new one
One of the monkey's fists, thrown by the shore handlers, wrapped itself around the spreader so Foss moneyed up to free it Going up masts was a feature of the transit. Erik had already had to go up when the triatic was broken to fix a temporary line. Now Francis had to go up to free the loose end that was getting tangled up.
The web cam is up on top of the building beside us here. Foss spent some time standing up on the doghouse roof willing someone back home to be watching the internet. However we didn't realise the camera was pointing at the second of the two locks until Rob Hickling in Aberdeen sent us this picture from the canal website. Thank you Rob, this is a very special picture. 
Brio at the last lock Ever get that sinking feeling?
Battered but unbowed the Aussie flag finally gets back into the Pacific, passing under the bridge of the Americas Panama city, rather more attractive than Colon on the other side whose name speaks for itself!

The grins say it all. We did it, what a team!