Panama Canal Cruise
February 2007
 

We took the bus from Panama City to Gamboa on the shores of the Canal and boarded a boat along with 150 others and traveled back through 2 sets of locks to Panama City. The transit is called a partial transit because we only go through two of the three locks. To go through the entire canal and locks would take about 8-9 hours. As we took off on our journey one of the huge cargo ships passed us. The two pictures of the cranes are cranes that were built specifically to work on the locks. As we approached the brand new Centennial Bridge we passed another ship. Just the previous week we had driven on the bridge so it was kind of exciting to see it from this vantage point. The tug boats are used all the time, each ship has one to guide them through the canal. Once they get to a lock, they are anchored by the locomotives and then driven through the locks. The locks are about 1050 feet long and about 110 feet wide. Now you must imagine what it is like to be in a boat in a lock then drop anywhere from 23 to 31 feet in the space of minutes. A wonder to behold and the design has never been altered. Do read up on this as it is an amazing story. There is also a museum that tells you all about the building of the canal. Of course with the third lane being built now, it will add to the number of ships currently going through the locks. The ships are usually so big now that when first built with the double lanes, you could have ships coming and going in both directions but that has changed so now they move in both lanes in one direction for part of the day and then change to the other direction for the rest of the day. I have taken pictures of going into a lock, the gates closing, draining and opening up to another level. When we went through, there were also two other ships that were ahead of us – because we were all small we could do this. Then I took some pictures of our skyline as well as a yacht that was indeed special. Look – it has its own helicopter. Now we would have settled quite nicely with the sailboat, but the two are beautiful to look at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


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