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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Central America - Panama - The Panama Canal: 100 years - August 2014

The 100th year anniversary of the Panama Canal was August 2014.  We decided to take a cruise on the Canal and help celebrate the event.

Bio-Museum - Frank Gehry's Biodiversity Museum on the Causeway of Balboa. The new "Bridge of Life", as the architect himself refers to the original building, can be seen from Panama Bay, as well as from the Canal entrance.

 Bridge of the Americas crosses the Canal's Pacific entrance in Panama City's Balboa district. The Bridge was built by the Americans.

Miraflores Locks - A viewing platform gives visitors a chance to see the locks in action.

Ships are guided to the entrance of the first set of locks - the Miraflores locks - by tugboats.

Pedro Miguel is a mile and half from Miraflores Locks, separated by Miraflores Lake and is a single lock.

Centennial Bridge
The Bridge was named for Panama's centennial, which occurred on November 3, 2003.  The Centennial Bridge crosses Panama Canal at the Gaillard Cut near the Pedro Miguel Locks and is about 10 miles north of the Bridge of the Americas



There is lush vegetation on islands in the Gatun Lake.

Tug Boats waiting for ships to guide into the Canal.

Buoys on the dock
Panama Canal Expansion

In September 2007, work began on a $5.2 billion project to expand the Panama Canal.

The ship enters into the lower chamber, where it is connected to engines called 'mules'.  A normal-sized ship uses six mules, while a huge one might use a total of eight. 

The mules will not actually pull the ship through the locks, but will help guide it side-to-side, so it doesn't smash into the sides of the canal. 


Panama has the third most port traffic of containers in the Americas.

Rowing out to get the lines to the ship

Upon entering the Gatun Locks, a ship is directed to one of the two canal lanes by a large green arrow located at the front center wall facing the bow of the vessel.

El Renacer Prison -  Home of  Ex-president Manuel Noriega
On September 23, 2011, Manuel Noriega began serving 20 years in Panama. He arrived in Panama on December 11, 2011.

Gatun Locks is a triple set of locks and is the largest and longest set of locks in the world.


The Ernest Hemingway cargo ship coming through

Ships waiting their turn into the Canal. Sometimes it takes 2-3 days waiting in line.

The day we went through the Panama Canal, it was 100 degrees and 100-degree humidity. It is so hard to imagine working and building the Canal in this climate. We really enjoyed visiting the Panama Canal.
November 30, 2014

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