~Travel Friends & Friends 5~
   
 
Panama
   
We took a two lock transit through the Panama Canal on the Pacific Queen which is a tourist boat used to transit people through a portion of the canal. We departed on the Pacific locks, however the canal continues through to the Caribbean Ocean. The fees to transit the canal varies as to the size of the vessel. The small sailboat that transited with us would have paid about $800, our vessel about $4,000 and the cargo ship many thousands more then that. Each vessel must hire a pilot who does not touch the controls, but gives information to the ships pilot concerning navigation. The trade winds that come through create a huge challenge to keep the boat aligned in the water. Mules attach lines to the boats to keep them centered in the lock, but they go through under their own power. The gates are closed and it takes about 8-9 minutes to fill the locks. The doors are designed to absolutely seal with no gaskets. It appears that they are straight, but actually close at an angle. 52 million gallons of water dumped during each transit. New Canal section will recycle the water as it is drained. The ships all go in one direction for half the day, then ships transit the other direction later. The new canal under construction will merge and allow the largest ships to use the canal. Constant erosion from the heavy rain and straightening the path way of the canal is an on going project.
   
Panama City & Panama Canal
   

 

 

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Monument for Dr. Arnulfo
Police Department

 

 

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Frank Gehry design Bio Museum
Canal exit on the Pacific Ocean side

 

 

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Marina for the Pacific Queen
Panama skyline

 

 

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Original location of the Fort placed on the highest mountain

 

 

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Vehicle transport ship that holds up to 9,000 vehicles. Transited the Canal next to us.

 

 

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Tug bringing the Pilot for our boat
Tug guiding a container ship

 

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Bridge of the Americas connects the Bay at the Pacific Canal entrance

 

 

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Containers from ships not transiting the canal are unloaded and reloaded on to other kinds of transportation

 

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Canal Police - - Nothing fancy here!
 
 
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