Panama Canal

Trip Start Mar 31, 2013
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14
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Trip End May 08, 2013


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Flag of Panama  , Panama,
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A 6 am wake up call today, as the ship will be at the first lock 7-8am. The front deck of the ship has been opened to guests for viewing, and they are serving tea coffee and breakfast Panama Rolls on all decks. It's going to be a very hot day today with very little cloud cover. There are hundreds of people out on deck, but gradually as the day heats up, we are being driven into the air conditioning.

The Panama Canal is one of the most remarkable feats in engineering history. Huge numbers died during the construction from extreme hardship and disease. Most digging at that time was done by hand using spades, shovels and dynamite. Panama Canal is a lock type canal which is 50 miles long, uniting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The canal officially opened its doors to international trade on August 15, 1914. The Canals 6 set of locks, each having two lanes, elevate ships 85 feet above sea level, to Gutun Lake and then lower them back to sea level on the opposite side. Within the locks Vessels use their own propulsion and are assisted by electric locomotives called "Mules". Approx 51 million gallon of fresh water is used for each lockage. It should take us approximately 12 hours to navigate the Canal.
At present a new Canal extension is underway and hoped to be completed in 2014. This extension will double the capacity of the Canal.

We did this trip 41 years ago, and although the canal is still the same, the surrounding Big City, yacht clubs, tourist areas and industrial growth is amazing.
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