Friday, February 3, 2012

Captain's Blog 2/3/12

We were at anchor last night and went to bed with no clear understanding of what time we would go in, only a promise from our agent. At 2300, we called the control center as instructed and they acted like our ship was anchored on Mars. A few phone calls later and we had it on track but still with no set time.

At 0400, we were informed that the canal boarding team was coming, here we go again, with another series of forms to complete and they were finished at 0500. Finally, we were told that at 0700 the pilot would be here. So, we shortened chain at 0700 and, sure enough, the pilot boat arrived at about 0715.

The pilot was surprisingly an American that has been working the canal for 40 years and is a Kings Point graduate. When I delicately asked why he was still down here what with the changeover to Panamanian control, he smiled and said 'I like it'. Enough said. He was also accompanied by Leo Icaza, a 1992 grad, who “'just wanted to come along for the ride'. He spent most of his time down in the Officer's Mess talking with his old Professors.

So, we were all finished with engines at about 0930. After another long line of port authority officials, we were granted free pratique at 1040. So, all the crew are heading ashore for an adventure in Panama City but I will be taking a nap. More tomorrow...

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