The Panama Canal

Going through the Panama Canal was amazing. I hope these time lapses that we took relate some of its majesty to you. Watch the huge doors that close around the ship, and then watch how fast the locks fill up, raising the ships by 20-25 feet. We went up three locks, then spent hours motoring through the lake (they don’t allow you to sail in the canal). If you can motor 8 knots or faster you can make it through the locks in one day. We only pulled about 4 knots so we got to spend the night on the lake. That was the best part of the trip, but I’ll save that for the next post. All in all we went up 85 feet, and the next day we went back down those 85 feet (plus another 8 inches – the difference between heights of the Pacific and Atlantic). Now that we are in the Atlantic, the fact that we are going to cross its entirety is feeling much more real. I can only imagine what adventure and insights await. The last time Einstein crossed this ocean it was in a small ship and he got caught in a storm that he thought was going to kill him. In those apparently final moments he went below deck and wrote that he had come in touch with his “magnificent insignificance.” What a beautiful phrase.

Until next time,



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2 Responses to The Panama Canal

  1. Lori Johnson says:

    Hi Thad and S.S. Angela…
    I loved those time lapse films!! I had never imagined the altitude drop and height of the Canal!. Isn’t funny too that people who are locals or do this often just take it for granted? I see those huge scary locks/doors, those alone would want me running home to my mommy. Its so absolutey breathtaking there in C. America….. And then, on to Portugual and Spain, I think you’ll make it to the conference Thad… and Angela can go off shopping with your VISA card… tell her it’s ok to MAX it out… it’s only once for a European trip…. The time lapse film makes the Panama Canal, going through it, SCARY!…. more scary than being all the way in the midst of the huge Atlantic . Ok, I have kept you ALL in my thoughts and ideas… I think I even had a dream about you guys in Capt. Marcel’s S.S. Angela last night with thousands and thousands of DUCKS in the ocean… OH, I must tell you one more thing, remember, I use my BRANTANGLERS with my students and try to stump them.. well, the first one I did what just on the brink of GOOGLE’s big break out, and asked the question: “WHAT GLOWS WHEN ITS DISTURBED?”. Of course the answer is the Plankton at night that you guys got to play in or watch and it is stunning hu…..It took the students about a 10 day stretch to find the answer, they could ask their parents, other teachers, friends, search the internet any thing they could find to find the answer. That is supergroovy you both or all got to see the sea…. lol lol well, the glowing Plankton… I love you guys will ya buy me a big ol set of Marachas??? lol…. Or a European Souvenier? I do not use spell check hope I spelled all this fourin language stuff write.
    ~~~~~Love and Light.. Lori… be well~

  2. Marie says:

    Gubba, my grandfather who taught me archery, stood in the bottom of that canal at 2 years old. My great grandfather worked on the canal and one day, after he had put appropriate tags on the main switch, a new employee failed to follow protocol and shocked him off of high rafters landing him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. One of these days I’ll make the treck down south and eat lots of pineapple, one of Gubba’s favorites. For now, it’s neat to visit vicariously through your updates. Thank you! <3