Piloting the Panama Canal: Experiences of a Panama Canal Pilot

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Overview

A remarkable true tale of adventures along the Panama Canal that you won't soon forget! Travel the Canal with Americans who were living along the Panama Canal.

Through the eyes of authors Ronald Laitsch and Ester Miles, who spent many exciting years as a pilot responsible for guiding American and foreign vessels through the treacherous waters of the Panama Canal, the reader sees life as it truly was along the most famous canal in the world. Along the way, the reader will meet ...

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Overview

A remarkable true tale of adventures along the Panama Canal that you won't soon forget! Travel the Canal with Americans who were living along the Panama Canal.

Through the eyes of authors Ronald Laitsch and Ester Miles, who spent many exciting years as a pilot responsible for guiding American and foreign vessels through the treacherous waters of the Panama Canal, the reader sees life as it truly was along the most famous canal in the world. Along the way, the reader will meet the famous, as well as the more notorious people who moved through this intriguing land, such as Manuel Noriega. The reader will be introduced to the Americans living and working the waterway, referred to as "Zonians." The job of the pilot was to guide ships through the Panama Canal. It was a challenging, but essential job that called for great expertise. With the job came respect and close working relationships with captains of ships from around the world. A good-paying, but dangerous duty on board ship meant for a fast life in the Canal community. In Piloting the Panama Canal, the author shares with the reader the intimate details of the life he lived while plying his trade in one of the most exotic spots to be found on this Earth.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595181070
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Getting to Panama 1
2 Pilot in Training 7
The Beginning 7
Sand Fleas and the Inner Tube Boat 8
Tugboat Rides 11
The Zonie Engineer 13
The Broken Down Jitney 18
Tugboat Captain Johnson 21
Early Repeats 22
Test for 225' Solo Pilot 24
Special Korean Fishing Day 25
3 Pilot in Training 29
Ships to 526' 29
Geoff Jones and the Pioneer Reef 30
Satin Shirt Gunderson 37
No Whistle or Telegraph 41
Aggressive Latino Captain 44
English Speaking Ship Personnel 46
4 Three Stories 48
A Special ID Card 48
The Cattle Boat 48
Captain Wig-Wag 54
5 1979 Through 1986 60
Daughter Elaine 60
Ferrocarril de Panama 61
Daughters' IDs and Red Passports 62
Carlotta--The Beginning 67
The Boat Launch 72
Suicide by Wine 76
Noreiga's Secretary Evicts Carl; Mary's Death 78
Carlotta--The End 79
Submerged Stumps 83
Champlain and Champlane 84
Jitneys and Commissary Privileges 88
Pheneus Grog, the Flying Ship Pilot 90
6 Experiences as a Senior Pilot 94
The Crocodile 94
The Blonde and the Mestizo 96
A Colombian Ship Goes to Scrap 99
Canal History 101
Transition of Panama Canal from United States to Panama 105
Transit with Captain Flowers 105
Transit with Captain Green and pilot Geoff Jones 110
Equipment from Scrapped American Ship 116
The VIP Entourage 117
The Goldonski Incident 121
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star 127
Carl Meets Yolanda 129
7 Before the "Invasion" of 1989 134
Ethnicity of Canal Builders 134
Panama as a State 139
Colombia and France 143
United States Treatment of Panama 144
Russian Tankers to Nicaragua 146
The Guide's Information 151
Six Months Before the "Invasion" 151
U.S. Military Guns Muzzled; Officers Shot; Wives Raped 153
School Bus Incident 155
Plight of Zonians 156
Female Officer Arrested 156
The Waitress Incident 157
Es Semaforo Todos Verde 158
Strikes, Riots, Traffic Tie-ups 159
Nidia and the Vicious Dogs 159
Story of the TV "Repair" 161
The Crippled Pilot 163
8 The December War 164
Military Build-Up 164
Destruction and Casualties 165
After Fighting Ceased 170
Chorrillo The Prison Noriega's Headquarters Refugees Irate Store Clerk TV and Typewriter Lost The 508 in Frankfurt and Panama City The Cut Thumb
9 1990 to March of 1993 179
The Wedding 179
Piloting and Canal Maintenance Skills Needed 180
Hiring of Blacks, Panamanians 181
Merchant Marine Pension Application Refused 182
Steam Locomotive Relocation Riot 186
Trent Transit 186
The Colombian Submarine 190
Percy Functory 194
First Injury 198
Military Base Maintenance 200
Second Injury 200
Worms 203
Chinsky and Carl at the Albrook Garden Shop 205
10 1993 to 1999 208
Carl Retires 208
Exodus of American Pilots 208
Third National Certificates 209
Earthquakes, Repair, Use of Panama Canal 209
Panamanian Mail Service 210
Auto Inspection, Fruit Trees 211
Communist Links 212
Future of Pilots 213
Balboa High School 215
The Boa-Constrictor 215
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2001

    Unforgettable true adventure tale of a Panama Canal Pilot

    Piloting the Panama Canal, Experiences of a Panama Canal Pilot, is a remarkable true tale of adventure you won¿t forget. You will meet Noriega, and other characters you already know from newspapers. You will know the life of `Zonians¿ - the Americans stationed in Panama who are leaving now that Panama gets its canal, for good or not-good. You will travel the canal with Russian captains and with East Indians. You¿ll be there and you will come back from your book-travel knowing more than you did before.

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