Our sailboat in the Panama Canal
One of the more common question we get, is if we ever were in a storm. The answer is, No. We always choose to sail during storm free season. When and where these storms occur depends where on earth you are. Some areas never get affected and the one that does, we try to stay away from during those seasons.
Of course, some days is more wind, some there are less. Between Aruba and Cartagena (Colombia) we kept a very high speed and our rudder snapped. Luckily a catamaran has two rudders and we actually didn't notice the loss until two weeks later while cleaning the boat bottom.
This time we got the chance to go thru the Panama canal with our own boat. 2008 we helped a friend go thru, which ment we had a little bit of experience since then. The normal procedure is three locks up or down (depending which direction you are heading), overnight in the Gatun lake, and the next day another three locks.
The rules for passing thru is that you need to be captain+ four line handlers. We got help from a fellow cruiser and an Israeli backpacking guy.