Pictures from the Panama Canal
Our first real look at the Panama Canal was as we flew over it on the way to David.
But back in Panama City, we spent a whole day on a small ship, travelling the full length of the canal. Our ship is the small one on the left.
This is our ship's compulsory pilot reporting for duty.
On board there were two young women dressed in traditional polleras.
We were travelling along the canal with traffic of all kinds.
Ships like this one are specifically designed to be the largest possible vessel that will fit in the canal’s locks.
Our first stop was Miraflores locks, where it took about an hour to raise us up to the next higher level.
Our friends the pelicans were all along the canal.
Next stop was the lock at Pedro Miguel.
Small boats are supposed to tie up to the side of the lock. Our fellow traveller was having a little trouble doing that.
When the water level inside the lock matches the water level outside, the doors open and the ships can move ahead.
These little locomotives do not tow ships through the locks. Their purpose is to stabilize the ships as they are pushed through by tugs.
After Pedro Miguel, we went under the new Centennial Bridge...
and through the Culebra Cut over the Continental Divide...
and out into Gatún Lake.
Magnificent Frigatebirds fly up from the oceans to Gatún Lake.
While we were in the lake, we were delayed for a couple of hours by a rainstorm.
The ship was tied up at this anchorage. After a while the wind blew it off, and it had to be tied up again.
By the time the storm blew over and the Navy ship that was sharing the lock with us got its pilot, it was getting dark.
And by the time we were ready to leave the lock, it was dark.