From the beginning of our life aboard EV my sister and brother-in-law booked the passage through the Panama Canal and here we are, finally, after nearly two years aboard, welcoming them for the first time in a year. The past week has been hectic and exciting and fun. Jack and I are certainly self-entertaining and enjoy our voyaging life but having my dearest family with us makes everything so much better. As it is with family and good friends whenever we get together, even after long periods apart, it’s as if a day hasn’t passed since the last time.
While we’re mucking about in togetherness we’re also making the arrangements for transiting the canal, made so much simpler by our canal agent, Erick Galvez. We still have lots to do, but he guided us around the bureaucracy and made lists for us to follow. Two days before our scheduled transit he came by with a dock cart loaded with the heavy 100-foot lines we’ll need to control EV in the locks, and big fenders to protect us when we raft up with other boats, as most yachts do.
While I busied myself with paperwork and applying for permits for our next destination — the Galapagos — Jack got the boat ready and offloaded, with much sadness, our beloved but now rusty bikes and the retractable screen door we worked so hard to get only to discover it’s the wrong model for the boat. All week things were complicated by no Internet at the marina and extremely low water pressure. Sometimes the marina water was shut off completely, meaning you couldn’t shower, do laundry or even flush a toilet. Luckily Nancy and Dave are troopers and didn’t run screaming to a hotel. They pitch in anywhere and everywhere they’re needed.
And the countdown reached zero. Here we go.