2020 – COVID-19 HAL Cruise – Bay of Panama – Brown Pelicans Flying Formation
Image by Ted’s photos – For Me For You
After travelling from Valparaiso, Chile with no port stops the Zaandam with the Rotterdam are pulling into the Bay of Panama. No idea how long the ships would wait to receive Panama Canal transit permission.
We had escorts including many Brown Pelicans.
Groups of Brown Pelicans fly low over the waves in single file, flapping and gliding in unison. Their feeding behavior is spectacular, as they plunge headlong into the water in pursuit of fish.
From Intl News service:
The Panama Canal Authority said two cruise ships carrying more than 1,800 passengers and crew — some infected with COVID-19 — stranded off the Central American country and hoping to reach port in Florida are waiting for the process to transit the canal is arranged.
The announcement came after the passengers received mixed signals about their fate. While Panamanian officials said they would let the two ships transit the Panama Canal, the cruise company said it had not been given official permission and Fort Lauderdale’s mayor said he didn’t want it to dock near his city as planned, at least without extensive precautions.
Panama’s Health Ministry announced it would allow the Zaandam at sea since leaving Argentina March 7, to transit the canal, though no passengers or crew would be allowed to disembark. The independent Panama Canal Authority also issued a statement saying it was preparing to "facilitate the transit of the Zaandam through the waterway.”
The canal authority released a statement saying the transit process of the Zaandam and the Rotterdam – a sister ship – had begun.
There were 248 Canadians among the ship’s 1,243 passengers and 586 crew before it reached Panama.