The Zuiderdam enteredt the Panama Canal this morning at 5 AM Eastern Standard Time. I woke up at 5 AM just in time to see the first ships waiting to pass through and the see the first guide lights to guide our ship safely through the eight locks.
It wasn't long before the whole ship was on their deck or one of the decks to watch the events. The first ship we saw was The Ivory Pearl with a stack of containers six to seven high, six wide and 12 or more containers long. The millions of dollars of goods on one ship just makes your head spin.
It costs $185 per person for our ship to pass the canal and the reservation was made a year ago so we had priority. The canal makes a few million a day in fees in and a billion plus US dollars per year. The local currency is named for the famous explorer Balboa.
We were told Balboa didn't slash his way through the jungle, the natives walked him through their corn fields to the Pacific Ocean. I thought that was pretty good.
My allergies came to life for the first time in a long time and I am plugged up writing this before dinner. My eyes and nose ran all day and my head hurts. What a tropical place4 where everything grows and the pollens must be flush even here in January.
Every American farmer should visit the canal. The Roach Ag Group was a great way to see the movement of cargo from one ocean to another with 260 other farmers. We have had a great time teaching and entertaining our city cousins on board.
The seminars have been good. I have to tell you about the Chinese pig and an update on China from John's trip with 25 farmers last August.
Some amazing things are going on.