Bound for Costa Rica

by Sarah Lake Upton in

We are through the Panama Canal (for this week at least, we’ll be back through at the end of next week) and bound for the cooler climbs of Costa Rica. 

The canal is just as surreal this year as it was last year. On each side there are the famous locks, but in between are miles of very narrow waterway, punctuated by wider lakes which seem like they could be anyway in the tropical world, until two very large freighters come around the corner and find themselves in a passing situation in a channel less than a boat length wide.  (It is very hard to judge scale in this photo, but trust me, these ships are HUGE). 

Two Freighters Crossing.jpg

The locks have two lanes.  Part of the fun of the canal is watching the traffic in the other lane, taking photos, waving to their crew, or just marveling at how big a “Panamax” ship really is, and how entirely a ship can fill a lock chamber and still move.  


I have yet to figure out how to properly photograph at night, and the lighting at the locks provides its own challenges, plus the scale of things is always impossible to convey, but this stack of shipping containers is actually the stern of our lock buddy, the Panamax freighter Tokyo Express.  In the photos one can just make out the row of lights to the left of the lock house and stacks upon stacks of shipping containers - that is the rest of the ship. 

Tokyo Express.jpg

I have found myself lost in the maw of end of year inventory, in which I count every spare part and random fastener and provide a list to the office, carefully organized by account code.  Between four engines (two mains, two generators) and a myriad of other equipment, never mind the whole hotel department, we have a lot of spare parts, and a lot of fasteners, and a lot of random plumbing bits.  The end is not yet in sight, but it is giving me a chance to organize things a bit more around shipyard. 

At some point I will decide that I don’t care that it is too hot to knit down here and go back to working on a pair of gloves that I am designing using my 5-Ply gansey yarn, but for the moment I am getting my knitting fix by reading knitting blogs and sighing at patterns on Ravelry.  Two of my favorite bloggers recently posted about Sanquhar knitting, Kate Davies here, and TomofHolland here.  I am not quite brave enough to try my hand at designing my own Sanquhar gloves yet, but I am incorporating the genius little finger gussets into my next gansey glove pattern.

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays. 

***Our satellite internet is currently declining to allow me to upload my photos.  For those of you who follow me on Instagram, this is why I have stopped posting of late - our internet does not generally move quickly enough to upload photos, no matter how small, but sometimes I catch it on a good day.  I will try again in a day or so.