Monday, May 5, 2014

Cruising The Canal

Soooo  exciting....  navigating the locks of the Panama Canal.
 The story of this canal is like a good book read.. in fact there are many books about it. I won't rewrite it here... but will express the fascination of traveling through it. Pretty flag, eh? Our quilting cruise travels originated in Fort Lauderdale so we entered from the Caribbean where we first needed to rise up to the level of the lake and canal beyond. We enter the first lock with the guidance help of a masterful captain/crew and rail-based "MULES" found on each side of the channel. You can see another large ship and even a tug in canal locks beyond us. Everyone it seemed was fascinated with the engineering/operation of these locks.

This was mostly an all day trip which began  on deck with Coffee and Panama Rolls for a 6:30am start. We are about the enter the first lock in the photo below.  Anyone want to know how to make Panama Rolls?  I managed to get a recipe from our ship's Culinary Arts Chef.  ( Click on any photo for enlarged views.)

A long slow trip trough the lake and canal until finally at the Pacific side where we need enter a new lock this time to drop to sea level. The lock in the distance is about to fill adding appx. 30 feet of water level ( by gravity) at 3 million gallons per minute... it flooded in like a category 4 white water river... (unbelievable).
Once filled, gates will open, we will enter and then the fill levels drop to sea level for gates beyond to open.
Totally fascinating.

 Most know a much larger set of locks is under construction to allow the new giant ships /cruise liners of today to pass through. Those locks appear a long way from completion. News at eleven, as they say.

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