Monday, December 8, 2014

Panama Cruise - Part Three

Through the Panama Canal (Caribbean side)

Up before dawn because we did not want to miss any of the activity when our ship went through the locks.  I think our alarm was set for 5:00 a.m. which for us is so early.  Grabbed some coffee and up on decks 9 and 10 for several hours.  Fun watching the sun come up.  Looking forward to an exciting day.

Before the sun is up we are entering harbor through the breakwater


 Cranes at this busy port

Passengers awaiting the crossing

 Spare lock gates

 Lock boat pulling up to help us get line up properly

 Track that will kept our ship going along straight

 Ships can go through in two lanes, we are in right lane
Ship in left lane is ahead of us in higher lock

 Container ship on left going through, lock almost full and it will be
pulled forward by motor car on tracks

Gate closed and water filling on right 

 Huge container ship, water raising ship up higher.  You can't see ship's name
on this photo, but on another photo you can clearly see name.

 Water emptying out of lock rapidly

You can see how ship has risen up from other photo

Beautiful grounds around canal

  Looking back to the harbor

The end of the Atlantic end locks

 Again, looking back to where we had come from

 They took down lifeboats to transport passengers who were going on day trips.  

I liked that they used the lifeboats.  Good to have those motors
running and know they worked.

 Front view of a ship in the lock

From the Canal we went out into Lake Gatun for several hours and then turned around and came back through again.  Going through the Canal was very interesting, a true engineering marvel.  The cost in money and human life to building the canal was so high, but it has had a significant impact on world trade.  Using the Canal vs. going around Cape Horn, where about 100 ships have sunk has made shipping much safer and saved numerous lives.

An extension in being built in the canal now to hold a third lane, and the Chinese are building a new canal in Nicaragua.

So glad we were able to take this trip and see this for ourselves.  Hope you'd enjoyed our trip through. One more blog to wrap up this trip.

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