Hello Forum Folks!
I was very appreciative of help here a few years ago and have another question that I'm hoping someone could answer or take a stab at. I am writing a novel and it involves a young man getting passage on a freighter (not as crew but as a paying passenger) from Boston, going through the Panama Canal, and then ending up in Japan. 1966.
Obviously there wouldn't be many stops between Panama and Japan (Hawaii, perhaps?) but I'm curious if anyone would know a route that the vessel might take and the stops it would HAVE to make along the way. This is relatively minor to the overall plot, but currently I have only a stop in Panama, where something important happens, with no other stops between Boston and the destination of Japan. I am realizing that is highly unlikely, and thus need 1 of two things to happen:
1) Is there a chance that this no stops might actually happen -- that a freighter out of Boston might make a beeline for Japan and only stop once, in Panama? If that's feasible, that's perfect and I might be able to only mention the reason in passing. That the freighter's cargo of kidneys for transplant, for instance, had an expiration date. That the hold full of chicken eggs would hatch if not delivered in time...
2) If a stop in Panama and then in Japan is NOT feasible to the point of being ridiculous to anyone who knows anything of sea voyaging, where would the vessel stop? And why? (Refueling?) Could it have its first stop in New Orleans? Venezuela? Puerto Rico? (The existing scene is somewhat important, and much of it depends on the location being spanish-speaking and foreign.)
Lastly, and very important: how long might this journey take in total, assuming it's a "normal" freighter in 1966? Are we talking a week? 10 days? 3 weeks? Would anything delay it to the point of months?
Thank you so much for any and all help or suggestions. Again, I really appreciate the original assistance, and hope someone will have some of these answers. Or if not, is there a place I might try to learn them?