With an extended holiday shutdown at work this year, concurrent with school vacations, we decided to do something completely different: a cruise through the Panama Canal. If the posted charts are accurate, we followed a rhumb line rather than a geodesic (aka great circle) from the western tip of Haiti to Cartagena, and certainly won't follow a great circle path through the canal. The actual path of the Panama Canal is no less surprising than great circle paths can be, however: due to a quirk of geography the Pacific end of the canal is south and east of the Atlantic end!
If you celebrate Christmas and want to track Santa Claus, you might want to start from the jolly old elf's home field: the North Pole.
(For those who may wonder, no, the Great Circle Mapper doesn't have an option to plot rhumb lines ... yet.)
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Karl L. Swartz.
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