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Installment 3 of JT cruise, November 2010 - Today, the Panama Canal

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JohnnyT  
Current mood:
November 26, 2010 03:59PM
We arrived at the Panama Canal at sunrise and were immediately boarded by the folks from the Panama Authority who take over every vessel during the crossing of the canal. They even put up the Panama flag during the trip through the canal.





As you might guess, this was one of the highlights of the cruise and the cruisers were out in force. Yikes, from my vantage point, it looked like a senior citizen convention!



we were assigned the right set of locks, directly behind a weird looking ship that is a special automobile carrier



The entry from the Atlantic is through a single gate named Catun and consists of three locks which elevate the ship 85 feet from the level of the ocean to the level of the canal. In the next few photos, we will watch the ships in front of us progress through each of the three locks. Notice the relatively elevation of each ship from one photo to the next to get a sense of movement. The whole process takes over two hours.













I was so intent on watching the goings-on in front of me that I was surprised to see a Holland America cruise ship going through the left locks just behind us!



Finally we clear the third lock and are now at the elevation of the canal. It is a fresh water lake created by reservoirs and by a huge job of excavation across 50 miles of land from one ocean to the other.









This entire passage is slow and leisurely and one has much time to look around. Could this gentleman be wearing a.....





Course I'm representing pretty well also with my PO! laughing!



We are now approaching the continental divide, the highest place on the land at which water flows to the Atlantic on one side and to the Pacific at the other. This is also where the most serious excavation took place and where many workers lost their lives.





A whole different crew from the Panama Authority takes us through the exit locks on the Pacific Ocean and here you can see them boarding.



The exit is a repeat of the entrance, but in reverse, so I won't take you through it again. In the next few photos, you can see that there are large ports on both ends of the canal and much freight comes off ships and crosses via train and get's redistributed to other ships on the other end. Here you can also see the spectacular skyline of Panama City beginning to show up.







Here we also go under the Bridge of the Americas, one of two bridges connecting the northern and southern American continents. The other was at the continental divide a few photos back.



Finally we emerge in the Pacific ocean and the majestic skyline of Panama City is off to our left. Another "Aw shit!!" moment! I had no idea!



It has taken all day to travel 50 miles and it is good to be in smoother waters after the choppiness of the last few days in the Atlantic. Ahh!



Back in the room, WTF!! Has our room steward gone mad and left us a vile sign??!!



Whew, what a relief! When looked at from the right angle, it's just an eagle! And a cool one at that!



Tomorrow is a day at sea and the following day Costa Rica. Stay tuned!

Thanks for looking!
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

Installment 3 of JT cruise, November 2010 - Today, the Panama Canal Jpeg Attachments

JohnnyT828November 26, 2010 03:59PM

Very intesting Johnny to see the locks up close Thumbs Up (n/t)

Reto319November 27, 2010 05:26AM

Looks like fun>

Smaug195November 27, 2010 05:08AM

Thumbs up! Thumbs up! Cool (n/t)

cmoy183November 27, 2010 04:32AM

Awesome! (n/t)

DJM209November 27, 2010 03:46AM

Great tour, Johnny.Thumbs up! (n/t)

Mark C.173November 26, 2010 10:21PM

What an amazing trip Johnny! Thanks for sharing. (n/t)

Timemiser180November 26, 2010 09:43PM

Cool! Johnny, how much wider is the lock, compared to the beam of your boat? (n/t)

Anonymous User181November 26, 2010 08:53PM

Our ship is the largesgt allowed through the canal, Panamax, and clears by about 1 1/2 feet on either side. (n/t)

JohnnyT179November 26, 2010 11:57PM

Cheers!Thumbs up! (n/t)

IF152November 26, 2010 07:33PM



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