So the Flier is at Panama Canal today. I wondered what the Panama Canal looks like when I did the research for the book. Everyone has heard of it, I’d seen documentaries about how it was built, but never really looked at it. So I had fun, and I hope you enjoy the discoveries.
First the deck log for today (Whoot! two days in a row! I’m on a roll!)
So here’s what that says: ————————-
Friday, 3 December 1943
Zone Description +5
Moored starboard side to port side of another submarine at Berth A, Pier 3 Coco Sola, Canal Zone
J.E. Casey, Lieut. USN
Moored as before
J.W. Liddell, Lt. USNR
Most people know the Panama Canal is cut across the narrowest part of Panama, and hence, the narrowest point of North and South America. What I didn’t know however, was that the canal does not cut straight through the land of Panama, it cuts from the Atlantic coast to a lake called Gatun, then from Gatun to the Pacific Ocean. But Gatun is partially created through damming a number of the rivers that fed out of the lake into the oceans, so it is too, partially man-made. It’s fascinating really.
Here’s a Map:
Going through the Panama Canal is dangerous enough that any ship needs a trained pilot to go through. There are a limit to how many of these pilots there are, so, regardless of the fact that Flier is at the Panama Canal, it will be another two days before she goes through. (Today the wait time is generally between 20-30 hours.
In the meantime, the men had some time to get out and about and on the town.
I just listened to Jim All’s account of Panama (It’s not long, but interesting–and yes, I am editing it. I’m catalouging it on the other computer as I am typing on this one.) and hope to have that edited soon. Having to learn Adobe Premier is quite the learning curve, but I’m working on it. He remembered docking at Colon, not Coco Solo that the records state, but then again, the two cities were across a bay from one another. Coco Solo was essentially the secured military district, and Colon was the actual town. They were there for four days, and when not on duty, I can guess where most of the men ended up. Jim did say he “had a great time”. How great, he wouldn’t say beyond that!
Well, I tried to post two days in a row. Had I typed faster or Midnight not been so stealthy passing four minutes ago…oh well.