Back To Wooden Ships of River John Panama
  The Panama, launched in the spring of 1867 from the MacKenzie yard under the operation of Charles MacLennan Sr., set a record for the fastest passage from Nova Scotia to Liverpool, England, in July of the same year. The barque was under the command of Captain Thomas MacKenzie, age 24, and his still younger first mate, when she encountered a severe gale approaching the gut of Canso. Despite heavy seas which broke over the ship, Captain Thomas decided to run before the gale rather than ride it out, and putting on all the canvas that the Panama could safely carry, made the passage to Liverpool in 12 days and three hours. 

The Colonial Standard of October 6, 1868, describes further accomplishments of the Panama: 
"The barque 'Panama',led by Capt. Thomas MacKenzie of River John arrived here from Bristol in 17 days. She made the voyage from Miramichi to Bristol and back to Pictou in just 52 days, thought to be a record." 

(Compiled by Sarah Hockin) 

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