Friday, February 17, 2017

Panama Canal

We made it to the Pacific side of the Panama Canal at 6am Wed. and then waited until after 8am to get into the first lock. This is a shot of Panama City to our right.

 We are heading into our lock on the right. We got to see how everything works as the ship next to us went through the same process. It was a beautiful calm day to transit the canal. There are 2 pilots who board the ship to take it through the canal.
 Once you are in the lock, they use cables to tie to these locomotives that take the ship forward and keep it on the correct track.  There is only 1 foot clearance on each side. The cruise ship is the largest ship that can cross in the old locks. The new locks are a bit larger (we could see the new locks off to the left of where we were).
Here is the gates opening.
There are 3 locks taking you up to the level of the lake, then you travel the lake approx. 48 miles, then 3 locks taking you down to the Caribbean Sea.
The whole process took about 9 hours and was very interesting. A bit boring because it takes so long to get through everything, but just seeing the engineering involved in this passage is well worth the trip. Here is where we are entering the Caribbean Sea.
Our last stop on the cruise was Cartagena, Colombia, which is a fairly large port and city. They say it looks a lot like Miami.
We took a bus ride around the city then a walking tour of the old city that they call the Walled City. Of course, another church.
 The streets are narrow and crowded with tourists. It was also very hot and very humid. We were glad to get back on board the ship to get into air conditioning.
Jim caught a bit of a bug and has been coughing, so was a quiet evening. We filled our plates at the buffet then went back to sit on our deck to enjoy our meal where it was quiet. It does get old being around people all the time. The next 2 days are at sea where we will arrive in Miami on Sunday morning. We will have plenty of time at the Miami airport and I will be able to connect to my own service, so will plan to expand on our trip.

Would anyone like to guess the total ocean cruising miles we will have gone from LA to Miami? You can leave a comment on this post. I will give the answer in a future post.

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