Transiting the Panama Canal
Page 2
The ship actually enters
the lock largely under
its own power.  The
mules are used mainly
to guide the ship and
keep it centered, and
also to brake forward
speed so it does not hit
the forward lock gate.  
I was surprised how
fast we moved. Up to
the time the photo at
left was taken, we'd
been traveling at nearly
five knots! (I had my
handheld GPS clipped
to my belt.)
Here, the single lane bridge is opening as we enter the lock.  It's now obvious to all that we will  NOT FIT !
Somehow, we
did fit!
The locks
are 110 feet
wide, our boat is
106 feet. That
gave us exactly 2
feet clearance on
each side.  If we
ever touched, I
never felt it.

You'll also notice
here that,
although  it's still
another 10
minutes until
official sunrise,
the lights have
been turned off.
We are all the way inside the first lock, the back gate is closed, and we are beginning to rise.
The gates are opening now to allow us into the second lock.  On the Caribbean side, the three locks are
grouped together as a single staircase lock, this is more efficient as the water drains from the higher lock
directly into the lower one.  From our vantage point (on the Veranda Deck, above most of the tourists
on the bow) we can already see the next lock and Gatun Lake in the distance.
6:20 AM
6:25 AM
6:30 AM
6:40 AM
6:50 AM
Continue the trip - Page 3
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