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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"Ants can carry twenty times their own body weight, which is useful information if you're moving out and you need help getting a potato chip across town." -- Ron Darian

97--Panama: Crossing the Panama Canal
@ CherieSpotting     Nov 25 2002 - 09:22 PST
cherie writes: On November 6, 2002 Scirocco left the Pacific Ocean, traveled 48 miles across the Panama Canal and entered the Atlantic. Six people were crew. Greg, the Captain, and Cherie, the First Mate, were joined by three friends who flew in from Southern California to help us with the transit. (Friends like that are hard to come by!)
Rennie and Anne (owners of Cassiopeia) and Nick (the former owner of Scirocco) joined us for the crossing. When I picked them up at the airport they were all wearing the same shirts--Anne and Rennie had made "Scirocco" crew shirts for everyone.
The day was incredible. Anne was at the helm for half of the locks, and I steered us through the other half. Rennie, Nick and Greg were line handlers. Rod (our Canal guide) was our Canal guide.
We made it through the Canal in one day and spent the night drinking champagne, remembering a day that none of us will ever forget.

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Team Scirocco taking the 41-foot Morgan Out Island through the Panama Canal: Greg, Cherie, Rennie, Anne and Nick.

Team Scirocco taking the 41-foot Morgan Out Island through the Panama Canal: Greg, Cherie, Rennie, Anne and Nick.

Anne and Rennie with Panama City behind them.

Anne and Rennie with Panama City behind them.

Panama City.

Panama City.

Rennie and Nick wearing their Scirocco crew shirts.

Rennie and Nick wearing their Scirocco crew shirts.

Our "Canal Advisor" named Rod being dropped off at Scirocco at 7:38 in the morning (instead of 4:30 am which was the time he was supposed to arrive.)  I was OK with him being late.

Our "Canal Advisor" named Rod being dropped off at Scirocco at 7:38 in the morning (instead of 4:30 am which was the time he was supposed to arrive.) I was OK with him being late.

Rennie and Anne with their morning cups of coffee as we head under the Bridge Across America.

Rennie and Anne with their morning cups of coffee as we head under the Bridge Across America.

Nick-the-Greek with a Greek ship behind him.

Nick-the-Greek with a Greek ship behind him.

We put the strongest guys on the foredeck.  Rennie and Nick made it look easy.

We put the strongest guys on the foredeck. Rennie and Nick made it look easy.

Sometimes I'm as useless as a bunch of old tires!

Sometimes I'm as useless as a bunch of old tires!

Greg with the walls of the first lock behind him.

Greg with the walls of the first lock behind him.

Don't make any jokes about women drivers, because Anne and I maneuvered us through all six locks.

Don't make any jokes about women drivers, because Anne and I maneuvered us through all six locks.

Cherie trying to do her part.  (In addition to being the photographer, Greg also expected me to help with other things!!  Can you imagine?)

Cherie trying to do her part. (In addition to being the photographer, Greg also expected me to help with other things!! Can you imagine?)

Rennie and Nick making sure Scirocco stays in the center of the lock.

Rennie and Nick making sure Scirocco stays in the center of the lock.

The line handlers for the first three locks--Greg, Rennie, Nick and Cherie.  Anne was too busy driving (someone had to work) to pose for the photo.

The line handlers for the first three locks--Greg, Rennie, Nick and Cherie. Anne was too busy driving (someone had to work) to pose for the photo.

The Canal workers guiding Scirocco through the lock.

The Canal workers guiding Scirocco through the lock.

The lock gates shutting behind us.  At this point, there is no way out.

The lock gates shutting behind us. At this point, there is no way out.

All sweat and no tears.  (That wet stuff on my shirt is pure persperation of manual labor.)

All sweat and no tears. (That wet stuff on my shirt is pure persperation of manual labor.)

Scirocco rising through the first set of "MiraFlores" locks.

Scirocco rising through the first set of "MiraFlores" locks.

Greg, Rennie and Nick snuggled up next to "Green Cove" our buddy ship.  (They put us together because we were roughly the same size.)

Greg, Rennie and Nick snuggled up next to "Green Cove" our buddy ship. (They put us together because we were roughly the same size.)

Anne, a natural at the helm.  (Probably because she is used to steering Cassiopeia which is 24 feet longer than Scirocco.)

Anne, a natural at the helm. (Probably because she is used to steering Cassiopeia which is 24 feet longer than Scirocco.)

Cherie tying on additional "fenders".

Cherie tying on additional "fenders".

Rennie looking at the Pedro Miguel Yacht Club in the middle of the Canal.

Rennie looking at the Pedro Miguel Yacht Club in the middle of the Canal.

Green Cove just barely fits in the locks.  Luckily, Scirocco has a little more elbow room.

Green Cove just barely fits in the locks. Luckily, Scirocco has a little more elbow room.

Nick and Greg.

Nick and Greg.

Rennie throwing a line to the tug boat we tied Scirocco up to.

Rennie throwing a line to the tug boat we tied Scirocco up to.

Good thing we got twelve extra tires as fenders.  We were snug next to the tug.

Good thing we got twelve extra tires as fenders. We were snug next to the tug.

Rennie taking a beer break.

Rennie taking a beer break.

Greg and Cherie at the bow.

Greg and Cherie at the bow.

The crew of Scirocco is all smiles.

The crew of Scirocco is all smiles.

It is much easier to transit a lock tied to a tug boat.  But out of six locks, we were only able to tie to a tug once.  (The other five times we transited in the center of the lock.)

It is much easier to transit a lock tied to a tug boat. But out of six locks, we were only able to tie to a tug once. (The other five times we transited in the center of the lock.)

A contemplative Canal worker.

A contemplative Canal worker.

The people on Green Cove give the viewer a little perspective to appreciate its enormous size.

The people on Green Cove give the viewer a little perspective to appreciate its enormous size.

Greg and Cherie.

Greg and Cherie.

Rennie and Anne.

Rennie and Anne.

Going through the Canal.

Going through the Canal.

Anne, a little stressed about which drink to choose.  Decisions...decisions.

Anne, a little stressed about which drink to choose. Decisions...decisions.

Winch-holder or beer-holder?

Winch-holder or beer-holder?

Rennie and Anne in a minature tug-of-war.

Rennie and Anne in a minature tug-of-war.

Cherie's turn at the helm.  Time to abandon ship?

Cherie's turn at the helm. Time to abandon ship?

With Cherie's cunning driving, Scirocco passes the huge "Green Cove".

With Cherie's cunning driving, Scirocco passes the huge "Green Cove".

As the day draws to a close, one wonders...where did the clothes go?

As the day draws to a close, one wonders...where did the clothes go?

Our Canal Advisor named Rod.

Our Canal Advisor named Rod.

Scirocco waiting to transit the final locks of the Panama Canal.  (No one say anything...but Nick is not wearing any pants.)

Scirocco waiting to transit the final locks of the Panama Canal. (No one say anything...but Nick is not wearing any pants.)

The Canal workers on a locomotive (used to guide the lines of ships just slightly larger than Scirocco.)

The Canal workers on a locomotive (used to guide the lines of ships just slightly larger than Scirocco.)

A Canal line-handler.

A Canal line-handler.

Another friendly Canal worker.  (They are happy because they retained their American wages even after the USA transfered ownership of the Canal to Panama.)

Another friendly Canal worker. (They are happy because they retained their American wages even after the USA transfered ownership of the Canal to Panama.)

Anne and her famous "worried look".

Anne and her famous "worried look".

The lock doors opening.  (Rennie and Nick)

The lock doors opening. (Rennie and Nick)

Greg, the proud 28 year-old Captain of Scirocco.

Greg, the proud 28 year-old Captain of Scirocco.

The first glimpse of the Atlantic.

The first glimpse of the Atlantic.

A little rain will never dappen Anne's spirit.

A little rain will never dappen Anne's spirit.

Are Rennie and Anne having fun yet?

Are Rennie and Anne having fun yet?

Rennie and Anne share a wet kiss.  Kids these days!

Rennie and Anne share a wet kiss. Kids these days!

Rennie flashing me!

Rennie flashing me!

Greg, Nick and Rennie.

Greg, Nick and Rennie.

After a successful crossing, Greg and Cherie pop the champagne and everyone celebrates!

After a successful crossing, Greg and Cherie pop the champagne and everyone celebrates!