This was a very productive week on many fronts.
First off is the Valentine's Day "card" I made for my hubby -- a carrot cake (yum) with an attempt to make it pretty. The colored sugar I was using wasn't fine enough to easily go through the doily I was using to make the design. Oh well, I tried.
I also finished piecing Diamond Chain blocks and have started sewing them into rows. Here's the link to the Missouri Star You Tube video showing how to make the blocks. I've been working on these off and on for several months. In the picture the bottom row has been sewn together.
I'm hoping to get two quilts quilted this week. One is a flannel quilt my friend Marlyn and I made from some cute monkey flannel she had. The other is a table runner I made last year or so. I'm hoping to get more of my finished tops quilted this year. The only issue with that is I just don't have a lot of backing fabric hanging around to use. I'm hoping to piece some fabric together but I'll probably end up buying more backing fabric. Sigh.
On to the Panama Canal portion of our vacation. Our cruise ship was going through just the first lock of the Canal to give passengers the experience. I woke up early to see what was going on -- probably around 6 am. It was gorgeous at that time. A tug came along side. I believe this is when the pilot boarded the ship and a narrator who explained what we were seeing.
In the distance you can see the Atlantic Bridge that spans the waters of the Atlantic ocean as it leads into the Panama Canal.
You can see a few other people were on their verandas watching the action. I took a slew of pictures but will only show you a few of them.
Prior to passing through the locks we watched and listened to movies and presentations about the locks and the history. From 1881 when the French first attempted to build the canal until it was completed in 1914 over 25,000 workers lost their lives. Many of the deaths were attributed to malaria and yellow fever. Eventually, Dr. Gorgas, a U.S. army doctor, identified the spread of those diseases to mosquitos and began the successful campaign to control mosquitos.
As each ship heads into a lock locomotives, called mules, are attached to control its progress through the canal. There are two fore and two aft on each side of the ship.
Below you can see a mule at the front and the track that undulates with the land rising with the lock.
This picture was taken looking straight down from our balcony. From left to right you can see the deck of the balcony, the balcony rail, part of the black hull, a little water and then the side of the lock. There is not all that much room between the ship and the lock. Needless to say, I was not hanging over the balcony railing very long to take this picture
We exited the lock at Lake Gatun. Many of the passengers had excursions to see more about Panama and the canal. Only those of us who had excursions were able to disembark. While we took our tour, the ship went back through the Panama Canal to Colon, Panama where we would meet up with the ship once it docked.
I was lucky to get this picture of the ship as it started it's journey back through Gatun lock. Although it was cloudy the weather was comfortable for our tour of the Rainforest, Gatun Lake and Live the Experience Panama Canal.
First up was a drive over the new Agua Clara Locks. Then we went to the Panama Canal Expansion Visitor Center. These new locks created a new line of traffic that allowed bigger ships to use the canal. The new locks opened in June of 2016. They were built with holding tanks that conserved some of the water that was used to raise and lower the ships.
We enjoyed a movie, a snack, the view of the locks and a nature walk. I'll be sharing what we saw on the nature walk and the rest of the excursion for the next blog. I hope you are enjoying my vacation vicariously. We had a great time, that's for sure.
I'm linking up with my normal Monday linky parties: Oh Scrap, Monday Making and Design Wall Monday. Take some time to check out what folks are working on this week.
Happy Quilting All! Bonnie