Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Entering the Panama Canal

On March 22, we cruised the Panama Canal.

We approached the northern locks from the Caribbean Sea at about 6:30am.  We were allowed to enter about 7am.

We got the western lock while the Monrovia container ship, MSC Anisha R, took the eastern lock. Ships are allowed into the canal in the morning and out in the afternoon.

Approaching the first gate.

Entering the first chamber.

One of the "mules" that held the Zuiderdam in place.  Our ship moved through the locks under her own steam but the mules are there to guide her, because she had only 2' clearance on either side.  The Zuiderdam is in the Panamax class of ships, which means she is the largest type ship that can use the canal.

We arrive at the second gate.

They flood the chamber with water and we rise!

Into the second chamber.

At the gate at the end of our chamber.

Going up!

Entering the third chamber.

The last gate before Lake Gatun.

Almost full.  Note the railings across the gate are lowered.

Into Lake Gatun.

Look how far we haven't come in 1 1/2 hours!  It cost the Zuiderdam about $380,000 to use the canal. 

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