Normally the delay is one day, two max, and then they dock across from Balboa as the tow is inspected and the tug replenished. This is the first time I can ever recall it taking eight days after arrival for the tug and tow to circle around, clear, dock for one day, and then proceed to the locks. It would be interesting to hear exactly why it took so long?
ALEXANDRA is now pierside across from Balboa. This seems to be typical of a tug and tow so that either the tow can be inspected before transit and/or the crew/tug can be replenished. If I use previous tows as a comparison I would expect her to be here for about 2-3 days.
Today January 10, 2010 the Tug ALEXANDRA with the AMERICAN RELIANCE in tow is finally heading inbound to the Bridge of the Americas and should pass under approx 10:25am. She arrived at the Panama Canal Zone on the morning of January 3rd as has since been doing zig zags, circles, and giant loops awaiting her turn.
UPDATED the above link with more webcam grabs as the AMERICAN RACER completes her Panama Canal transit through the Gatun Locks today Jan 8 2010, a full day after she entered the Miraflores Locks on the Pacific side.
THANKS! I have been monitoring both ships positions all morning and see that THOMAS DANN with AMERICAN RACER in tow is now inbound towards the Bridge of the Americas. ALEXANDRA is still off doing circles.
As of right now (9:15am EST January 5, 2011) both the AMERICAN RACER *AND* the AMERICAN RELIANCE are now in a holding pattern off of the Panama Canal Zone (Pacific side) awaiting clearance for transit.