2023 Panama Canal group teeshirt
2023 Panama Canal group teeshirt
click to enlarge

A Diary & Photos for our 2023 Cruise - Panama Canal!

Below is some information on where the 2023 Spirit of the West Cruise is going. We hope you enjoy the diary as we head to the Panama Canal. See the map below (or scroll down). We will sail on Princess Cruise's "Emerald Princess" - below is a photo showing what she looks like.

See the map below (or scroll down).
Go to the Itinerary below (or scroll down).

2023 Panama Canal group teeshirt
2023 Panama Canal group teeshirt
click to enlarge

Princess Cruise's Emerald Princess We will sail on Princess Cruise's Emerald Princess

Princess Cruise's "Emerald Princess"


Diary for January 16th to February 1st, 2023

All photos will enlarge if you click on them


January 16th


A great start at JW Steakhouse in LA
Kathy, Bill, Eileen, Mike, Janet, Chris, Karen, Jim, Kathy and Mark


Sitting; Linda and Allan Sharp
Standing; Carolyn and Bill Leask


58 of us taking in the slideshow ...


... at the Spirit of the West Welcome Reception


Allan and Linda Sharp


Brad and Kelly Deschamp


Jeff, Lana, Egan, Gail, Eileen, Mike, Kathy (hidden), Earl


Sharon & Paddy Mullaney, Kathy & Bill Reimer

We have announced the 2024 cruise destination! We'll be doing the bucket list trip in and around
South America next February on the Sapphire Princess! See the 2024 cruise page! here.


Brad & Kelly Deschamp at an interview for the S of the W radio


Kathy & Mark behind Jim, Karen, Kathy & Bill


Diane and Ed Peake at formal night


Bill and Carolyn Leask


Earl and Kathy Zinger


Larry and Therese Driver


Lana Smith and Jeff Campbell


Lillian Fry and Bunny Bell-Reid


Eileen and Mike Currier


Max and Dale Kinsella


George and Gail Slusarczyk


Dan and Ann Stocking


Les and Diane Antoniuk


Bruce and Kerrie Kusler


Allan and Linda Sharp


Tried to get an interview here ...


Some of the group did a tequila tasting in Puerto Vallarta


They then got to visit with the horses behind the distillery


Next was lunch with Kasia Bodurka from Global News weather


Jim giving announcements at our first real sing-along


Kathy Zinger and Jo-Ann & Dennis Statham


Jim looking after folks, like Bunny Bell-Reid


Jim arranged for a guitar for Ed Peake. Wayne (not part of our group) helped out


Ann Stocking sharing a couple of her poems


Les Antoniuk telling a couple of humourous stories


Flossie Bodell reading a piece of poetry


Pulling along-side at Huatulco, Mexico


The support crew heading into the Rio Copalita


Mark in the Pacific Ocean


Kathy riding out of the jungle


Click photo to see the video


Jim (left) & Kathy Reimer and Karen decided that they should go for a horse ride too! Click photo to see video

A small number of our group got together with Charlotte and Richard Preston on Caesar Night
to share some stories in memory of their daughter, Charlene Preston (1976 - 2022).


Our group gathering for a private group galley tour. (we had the very first galley tour since Covid)


The head chef explaining to everyone how the kitchen works


Our group walking through a maze of stainless steel


We were not allowed to touch anything, not even the deserts!


Allan Sharp leading the way for the second half of the group


Everyone absorbing the staggering facts and numbers


The head chef said he had 187 cooks in his remuda


All of us left happy after a little humour at the end


All aboard the bus and heading to Nosavar Ranch in Costa Rica


45 minutes later we arrive at Nosavar Ranch


Larry Driver riding point on the second of three wagons


The first two wagons head out while the third is being loaded


A Crocodile sunning in the sand on the beach of the Rio Tarcoles


Leona Petherbridge in front of her husband Richard


The 400 mother cows are a Charolais Brahma cross


Some of this year's calf crop ... all in great shape


Our group where the Rio Tarcoles meets the Pacific Ocean


Mario telling us about the ranch and the cattle (Mark recording for Hugh)


A "live fence" around one of the many lush green pastures


Note the size and length of the rope on this caballo


Their vaquero showing off one of the ranch bulls


Mario explaining the cattle breeding program


A few of the 95 horses just going into training (for the dude string)


Mario talking with a vaquero that has been here about 40 years


The brand is V for Vargas (owners) in a royal chair


Looks like Kelly Deschamp found herself a new vaquero :-)


Now the vaqueros have to take the cattle back out to their pasture


Some of the many iguanas that were roaming around the ranch


Charlotte and Richard Preston show off their beer in the buffet line


Our whole group enjoying a great ranch made lunch


Kathy doing the count as everyone boards the bus


Linda Sharp taking her husband Allan back to the bus


Charlotte and Richard leave a memorial for Charlene in the sand


The dining room waiters sang Happy Birthday to Gail Slusarczyk


Hugh joined us on the big screen at an evening get-together


Ann Stocking reads a story to the group at the get-together


Sure glad Jim got a ship guitar for Ed Peake to play!


Richard Preston reads a poem to the group at the get-together


Tenders leave the ship to take folks in to Fuerte Amador


The massive Panama City with it's maze of highrises


The Bridge of the Americas which we will go under tomorrow


Chris and Janet Currier walked to the Bio Museo from the port


Some of our group taking in some information in the museum


The Bio Museo was a great stop ... super interesting!


A lot of our group toured to the square in Old Town, Panama City


In the square was the Museo Canal, also super interesting!


About 5:15 AM as we approach the Bridge of the Americas


We pass under the bridge with only 3 meters clearance!


The ship cam on the Emerald Princess as we enter the first lock


A look back at Bridge of the Americas from the first lock


Note the angle of the rope and the size of the crew


Now the size of the crew as we are raised 28 feet in the lock


Now the rope is up level with the top of the lock walls


This shows the massive water holding tanks of the new locks


Two parallel gates are open as we pass into the 2nd lock


At the stern two cross tied ropes keep the ship straight


Holding still in the next lock as the gate shuts behind us


"G" the photographer starts to place us for the group photo


Jim straightens name tags as everyone in the group gets ready


58 of us moved from the 1st photo location to the 2nd

A great group photo with the Panama Canal in the background


The Queen Victoria passes us in Gatun Lake half way through


One of the massive tankers passing us in the lake


This huge container ship hitting the throttle as it enters the Atlantic


Here the tug at the bow keeps us straight as we enter the last lock


Kathy, Karen, Jim, Richard, Charlotte, Bill, Kathy, Eileen, Mike


Dan and Ann, George and Gail, Egan and Gail


Pat and Larry Selin


Kathy and Earl Zinger


Laurie and Bob Eliuk


Sharon and Paddy Mullaney


Richard and Leona Petherbridge


Gail and Egan Bodell


The battle of the cameras with Bill Leask and Mark


Therese and Larry Driver


Ken and Inga Lueck


Jo-Ann and Dennis Statham


Therese, Gail, Ann, and Flossy with Ed behind

 

 

 

We have announced the 2024 cruise destination! We'll be doing the bucket list trip in and around
South America next February on the Sapphire Princess! See the 2024 cruise page! here.



For more photos see the Support Crew website diary page at: www.SitkaFarm.com.

Our Itinerary!         Top of Page

The 2023 Spirit of the West Cruise.

Day

Date

Port

Itinerary (times are tentative)

Day 1

January 16th

Fly to Los Angeles

Transfer to LA Airport Hilton Hotel

Day 2

January 17th

San Pedro Cruise Center LA

3:00 PM Departure

Day 3

January 18th

at sea

 

Day 4

January 19th

at sea

 

Day 5

January 20th

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Day 6

January 21st

at sea

 

Day 7

January 22nd

Huatulco, Mexico

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Day 8

January 23rd

at sea

 

Day 9

January 24th

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

7:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Day 10

January 25th

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Day 11

January 26th

at sea

 

Day 12

January 27th

Fuerte Amador, Panama (Panama City)

6:30 AM to 6:00 PM

Day 13

January 28th

Panama Canal full transit new locks

6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Day 14

January 29th

Cartagena, Columbia

10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Day 15

January 30th

at sea

 

Day 16

January 31st

at sea

 

Day 17

February 1st

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

7:00 AM

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Here is a map - showing the Panama Canal cruise stops. Click to enlarge.

2023 hosts, Mark and Kathy McMillan
2023 hosts, Mark and Kathy McMillan
click to enlarge

2023 Panama Canal
2022 Cruise - Alaska!
click to enlarge

2022 Alaska group photo
The Spirti of the West Cruise 2022 Alaska group photo
click to enlarge

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