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Old 14 July 2012, 05:38 AM
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snopes snopes is offline
 
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Icon104 First through the Panama Canal

Comment: There is long-standing legend that just before the official
opening of the Panama Canal in Aug. 1914 by passage of SS. Ancon, two U.S.
Marines stole the thunder by rowing through in a skiff. True?
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Old 15 July 2012, 02:48 AM
samclem samclem is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: There is long-standing legend that just before the official
opening of the Panama Canal in Aug. 1914 by passage of SS. Ancon, two U.S.
Marines stole the thunder by rowing through in a skiff. True?
Quote:
On August 15, 1914 Ancon made the first official transit of the canal as part the canal's opening ceremonies. (Her sister ship Cristobal had made the first unofficial transit on August 3, delivering a load of cement, while an old French crane boat Alexandre La Valley had crossed the canal from the Atlantic in stages during construction, finally reaching the Pacific on January 7
from Wikipedia.

So now, those skiffies in skivvies had to have made it before August 3rd to have been first. Of course, there could have been sailors doing this in the days before the Ancon. I'll go look..........................
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Old 15 July 2012, 03:28 AM
samclem samclem is offline
 
 
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There were, evidently, multiple passages before the official one by the Ancon.

The Cristobal did a test run one way, and then back. This was on August 3rd and 4th.

Also, the SS Advance with old employees of the Canal Commission was allowed through early.

The SS Panama made a test trip trip through on the 10th or 11th.


So, whether two marines did it makes little difference.
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  #4  
Old 15 July 2012, 11:07 PM
Mycroft Mycroft is offline
 
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As the Panama Canal is 50 miles long, they would have to row fairly quickly to keep ahead of the ship, and there is also the slight problem of getting through 8 lock gates without being noticed.
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