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CROSSING THE PANAMA CANAL

 

Half Moon Cay

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Our first stop was this Bahamian island which is owned by the cruise line.

The beaches and water are beautiful but there is nothing to do.

After walking the entire length of the island it was time to head back to the Oosterdam.

The ship is brand new and very attractive.  Here is one of the two swimming pools.

Aruba

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Iguanas are everywhere.  This one is in a harbor side park.

This pastel building is typical of downtown Oranjestadt.

Once gold mining thrived on Aruba.  This is all that remains.

This little natural bridge is actually the top tourist attraction on the island.  Less than awe-inspiring.

Inside the luxurious Hyatt hotel.  Note the iguanas on the rocks.

 

The Panama Canal

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Entering the fist set of locks on the Atlantic side.  Three locks lift the vessel to lake level.

The Gaillard Cut was the most difficult part of the construction.

These "mules" drag the vessel through the locks.  Note how close we are to the wall.

Getting ready to exit the final locks.

Upon exiting the canal, the ship passes under the Bridge of the Americas and into the Pacific Ocean.

 

Costa Rica

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The wildlife in Costa Rica is very diverse.  Here is a red squirrel. 

Our guide found these white bat hanging from a tree.  We would have missed them.

The Tarcoles River is full of crocodiles. 

I was happy to have a telephoto lens.  Didn't care to get any closer to this fellow.

An aerial tram took us into the forest canopy.

 

Huatulco/Acapulco

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The Mexican government would like Huatulco to be the next Cancun.  Some of the homes there are impressive.

Huatulco harbor is too small for the ship to turn around, so the captain backed it in.

Acapulco is famed for its cliff divers.  Despite the way it looks, the diver did not impale himself on this rock.

Here is a tandem dive in progress.  Both hit the water cleanly.

The landing area isn't very big.  The water is pretty shallow, so they won't dive if there is a swell.

 

Cabo San Lucas

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The waterfront area in Cabo San Lucas is very busy.

This interesting beach features the Sea of Cortez on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

Cabo has its own natural bridge, but it would be difficult to traverse.

I would have lifted up the fish for a picture but my arms were too tired.

Dorado is Spanish for golden, and it's easy too see where this fish's name came from.  In Hawaii, it's a mahi-mahi.