Memoirs of a former Panama Canal pilot now available in stores

Through Chestnut Heights Publishing, I recently co-authored a book with retired Panama Canal pilot Captain Kenneth P. Puckett in which he offers spellbinding tales of working on the canal during the 1980s and 1990s, as well as great "sea stories" about his many years of service in the military.


The book is called Captain Puckett: Sea stories of a former Panama Canal pilot. The book is for sale at and other stores as both a paperback ($19.99) and an e-book ($9.99).


For nearly 16 years, until he retired in 1996, Captain Puckett helped to guide ships through the historic Panama Canal as a maritime pilot on more than 1,400 transits. On the pages of his autobiography, he navigates through tales of his rocky childhood in northern Kentucky; his military adventures in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army, where he served two tours of Vietnam; and what it was like in Panama in the 1980s as the Central American country fell into chaos under the dictatorship of Manuel Noriega.


I think readers will enjoy the breezy storytelling of Captain Puckett as he shares what it was like being a maritime pilot on the canal during its turbulent years of transition to ownership by Panama after nearly a century under U.S. control. But don't think Captain Puckett didn't have fun along the way. He blends into this autobiography many of his unforgettable sea stories, such as the time he encountered a "pooping monkey" on a ship's bridge, and the time he once pranked a ship's captain into thinking he had plowed his vessel through a banana farm.

To read how this book came about, check out my blog post.


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© 2018 William D. LaRue