Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Panama Canal

We got back from 11 days in the Caribbean to find the snow had melted somewhat here at home, but it still covers the ground a foot or more deep in most places.

I still can't get to my tools in the half-shed. Winter pruning is going to have to wait until May. Maybe June.

At least we found on our return that our solar panels are clear. All the snow melted from them and we are once again producing power. If the sun would shine.

We had plenty of sun in Panama, but it was very windy on the entire cruise. Gale force winds some days, near-gale strength other days.

At least the day we spent going through the Panama Canal was calm.

Despite the wind most days it was sunny all week, and we were far from the cares of winter pruning or snowed in sheds.

The canal was a great experience, as we expected it would be. Antique technology (the original 100 year old gates and locks are still in use) was interesting to see, and the size of the ships going through these small channels beggared belief.

We got some good history explained through our transit (you don't go through the locks, you transit them.) And we touched the sides of the locks -- the ship is only inches from the walls as it rises 85 feet above sea level and then descends again. Something I have always wanted to see.

An unexpected highlight was a day's trip to a bio research station in the rainforest of Costa Rica. That was a great, very wet day.

And then there was the cruising stuff -- delicious food, a sunset sail on a small boat off Aruba, horseback riding on a sandy beach. No e-mails, no schedules.

It was everything I expected and then some.

And as expected, I came home with a bad head cold. It happens every time I travel.

Worth it, though.

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