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Where are you going next?

 Africa86 votes
76.11%
 South America3 votes
2.65%
 Europe3 votes
2.65%
 Eastern Asia5 votes
4.42%
 Carribean9 votes
7.96%
 Safeway5 votes
4.42%
 Australia2 votes
1.77%
total votes: 113
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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." -- Dolly Parton

94--Panama Canal Facts
@ CherieSpotting     Nov 12 2002 - 12:08 PST
cherie writes: Panama Canal Facts:

* Scirocco transited the Panama Canal on November 6, 2002.
* The average cost a vessel pays to transit the canal is $47,000.
* The top five countries that utilize the Panama Canal are USA, Japan, Canada, China and Chile.
* About 12,500 vessels transit the Canal each year.
* Maximum length of a vessel is 965 feet by 106 feet with a draft of 39.5
* The miter gates (that open and close the locks) are 75 feet tall and each weighs 730 tons.
* Large container ships can pay almost $200,000 in fees to transit the canal, while vessels under 50 feet pay $500.

* The Panama Canal is about 48 miles long and usually takes vessels one day to transit.
* The Panama Canal was started by the French in 1881, finished by the Americans in 1914, and handed over to the Panama on December 31, 1999.
* Each transit uses about 52 million gallons of Gatun Lake water.
* The largest vessels to transit the canal are Panamax vessels which were constructed specifically to transit the Canal.
* The Canal uses fresh water (from Gatun Lake) for all its operations, not salt water.
* In 1928, Richard Halliburton paid 36 cents in tolls to swim the Canal. It took him 10 days from August 14th to August 23rd to complete his journey.
* The canal has 3 sets of locks which elevate ships 78 feet above sea level to Gatun Lake. Then they cross the Continental Divide and are lowered to sea level on the other side of the Isthmus.
* For more information see www.pancanal.com

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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The captains always request me to guide their ships through the Panama Canal.  It's my extensive experience they are after.

The captains always request me to guide their ships through the Panama Canal. It's my extensive experience they are after.

Greg looking for boats as we enter the Panama Canal.

Greg looking for boats as we enter the Panama Canal.

Cherie's turn to spy on the massive containerships.

Cherie's turn to spy on the massive containerships.

The flag of Panama flying off Scirocco.  You always fly two flags, the country where the boat is registered, and a courtesy flag of the country whose waters you are exploring.

The flag of Panama flying off Scirocco. You always fly two flags, the country where the boat is registered, and a courtesy flag of the country whose waters you are exploring.

The first sight of the "Bridge Across Americas."

The first sight of the "Bridge Across Americas."

Two boats pulling us free of a sandbar in front of Balboa Yacht Club.

Two boats pulling us free of a sandbar in front of Balboa Yacht Club.

The shelves of supermarkets have been virtually empty since the Americans left Panama in 1999.

The shelves of supermarkets have been virtually empty since the Americans left Panama in 1999.

More empty shelves sine the need of prepackaged food has greately decreased since the United States relinquished ownership of the Canal.

More empty shelves sine the need of prepackaged food has greately decreased since the United States relinquished ownership of the Canal.

Here I am in front of the Bridge Across America.

Here I am in front of the Bridge Across America.

The Panama Canal with a Panamax vessel exiting the "Mira Flores" locks.

The Panama Canal with a Panamax vessel exiting the "Mira Flores" locks.

A ship in the Canal being lowered assisted by locomotives which guide the lines.

A ship in the Canal being lowered assisted by locomotives which guide the lines.

Now that's my type of boat work...sitting around.

Now that's my type of boat work...sitting around.

The locomotives which guide the massive ship lines through the Canal.

The locomotives which guide the massive ship lines through the Canal.

Here I am at the "Mira Flores" locks in the Panama Canal inside a locomotive.

Here I am at the "Mira Flores" locks in the Panama Canal inside a locomotive.

Somehow I managed the best seat in the house on the locomotive!

Somehow I managed the best seat in the house on the locomotive!

Trains are cool.  All aboard?

Trains are cool. All aboard?

A ship crosses our path in front of Panama City.

A ship crosses our path in front of Panama City.

Containerships lined up like a charm necklace on the horizon.

Containerships lined up like a charm necklace on the horizon.

When you are sailing, you have the right-of-way over a vessel under motor.  Someone didn't tell this ship that, so we tacked at the last minute and got out of its way.

When you are sailing, you have the right-of-way over a vessel under motor. Someone didn't tell this ship that, so we tacked at the last minute and got out of its way.

A ship changing course, since Scirocco was under sail!

A ship changing course, since Scirocco was under sail!

Oscar, Scirocco's mascot, who hitched a ride with us when we were sailing out in the middle of nowhere.

Oscar, Scirocco's mascot, who hitched a ride with us when we were sailing out in the middle of nowhere.

A celebration dinner at "La Cascade" restaurant in Panama City.  Filet is $5.25, four lobster tails are $12.50, and Pina Coladas are $2 each.  To get service, you just turn on the red light at your table.

A celebration dinner at "La Cascade" restaurant in Panama City. Filet is $5.25, four lobster tails are $12.50, and Pina Coladas are $2 each. To get service, you just turn on the red light at your table.