Panama
Canal French

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    • Day 8

      Panama Canal

      March 1, 2020 in Panama ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Clocks ahead last night so the 5 am alarm felt like 6. Still dark when we got to our preferred viewing spot on Deck 4 at the bow, the lights of Colon welcoming us. Through the first locks at 7 and enjoyed the traditional hot coffee and Panama buns while listening to the Panamanian narrator describe the building of the Canal.

      By 10, it felt like we needed a snack so sampled the crepes with apple filling.

      A nap on the Promenade was welcome as we sailed leisurely through Gatun Lake.

      Stopped for lunch and a bit of a rest. 35C is pretty hot and hydration is essential.

      Watched our final passage through to the Pacific Ocean at Fuerte Amador where we had had an excursion 10 years ago. This was the only set of local where they used the row boats to move the ropes to the ship.
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    • Day 8

      Panama Canal

      April 8, 2023 in Panama ⋅ ⛅ 86 °F

      It took us from 7:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. to sail the Panama Canal and it was much more interesting than I expected.

      Transiting the Panama Canal is quite a different experience than the Suez Canal. For one thing, there are no locks on the Suez, so you simply sail along as if it were a river. For another, even though it’s fairly narrow, you are never so close to shore that you could hop off in the Suez.

      Tugboats escort you the the Suez Canal, and you’re part of a convoy, but it’s much more of a hands off experience. Not only did tugboats escort us through the Panama Canal, but we also had lock “mules” with metal ropes pulling our ship through the locks.

      There was plenty of room at the start of our journey, but our last lock was a tight fit as you can see from my pics. Larry estimated that we were only 18 inches or so away from the edge.

      I didn’t expect the mule drivers to get so close to the ship, either. When one driver saw me watching, he opened his window and posed for a photo! That was a nice surprise.
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    • Day 8

      Panama Canal

      December 30, 2023 in Panama

      The Panama Canal is a waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean, cutting across the Isthmus of Panama, and is a conduit for maritime trade. Canal locks at each end lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial freshwater lake 85 feet above sea level, created by damming up the Chagres River and Lake Alajuela to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, and then lower the ships at the other end.

      The Panama Canal shortcut greatly reduces the time for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, enabling them to avoid the lengthy, hazardous route around the southernmost tip of South America via the Drake Passage or Strait of Magellan. It is one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken.

      Colombia, France, and later the United States controlled the territory surrounding the canal during construction. France began work on the canal in 1881, but stopped because of lack of investors' confidence due to engineering problems and a high worker mortality rate. The United States took over the project in 1904 and opened the canal in 1914. The US continued to control the canal and surrounding Panama Canal Zone until the Torrijos–Carter Treaties provided for its handover to Panama in 1977. After a period of joint American–Panamanian control, the canal was taken over by the Panamanian government in 1999. It is now managed and operated by the Panamanian government-owned Panama Canal Authority.

      An estimated 12,000 workers had died during the construction of the Panama Railway and over 22,000 during the French effort to build a canal. Many of these deaths were due to disease, particularly yellow fever and malaria.
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    • Day 17

      The Panama Canal

      August 21, 2018 in Panama ⋅ 🌧 28 °C

      This was one of our most unique transits of the Panama Canal. We were up early, viewed the new canal and an empty lock being repaired.
      Our 9 hour 50 mile crossing was enhanced by the best local narrator we have had which could be heard throughout the ship.
      Cruising through the canal is always a highlight. We enjoy the amazing sights and relive its history.
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    • Day 16

      Panama Kanal bei Colón, Panama

      January 28, 2017 in Panama ⋅ 🌫 0 °C

      Morgens um 7 Uhr starten wir unsere Durchfahrt durch den ursprünglichen Panama Kanal in Colón bei Sonnenaufgang. Ein Lotse kommt an Bord des Mariner. Der Bau des Panama Kanals wurde im Jahr 1904 begonnen und 1914 fertiggestellt. Chefingenieur war George W. Goethals bei diesem Großprojekt, viele zehntausende Arbeiter wurden benötigt, viele tausende starben bei dem Bau, der nun Atlantik und Pazifik verbindet.
      Um 9.30 Uhr haben wir die Gatun Schleuse durchfahren und befinden uns auf dem Gatun See.
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