April 11, 2016.
What did you think, that there wasn't a 1/25 replica of the Panama Canal where pilots could train on ships and go through the Culebra Cut?! Of course there is a replica of "El Canal"! Pilot and tug boat captain training is in full effect now that the opening of the expanded canal has been announced. It's June 26th, 2016 in case you havn't heard.
Capt Fernando Jaen is leading the training at the Summit. The Summit for those of you who don't know is on the road to Gamboa and is just past the Puente de Centenario. The ACP carved out a replica of the Panama Canal, albeit at 1/25 life size. Which, is still a pretty big proposition. Nothing is easy in Panama. It's HOT! Now of course it's really dry and everyone was wearing a hat to shield from the sun and the wind. All of the tug captains and pilots will complete this training. This time around with the new third set of locks on the Panama Canal there will be no Mules to help guide the Post Panamax ships through the lock chamber. Instead tug boats will accompany the ships through the locks. It will be a new experience for all those involved here in Panama. Suerte!