Today we transited the Panama Canal. I'm going to first describe what we did and then give you some of the interesting facts that we learned about the Panama Canal.
What we did
Our boat arrived at the Atlantic side of the canal at about 07:00. They opened the bow for people to go outside and watch the transit. We got a pretty good place at the front of the boat.
It took a while to manoeuvre the cruise boat to the Gatun Locks, the locks on the Atlantic side. Then, traversing the locks up to Gatun Lake took almost another hour.
The cruise boat anchored in Gatun Lake, the man-made lake which makes up most of the canal. We disembarked the boat and tendered to the shore where we got on a bus to go to the other side of the isthmus of Panama where the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks take ships up and down from the Pacific Ocean to Gatun Lake.
The bus dropped us off and we got onto a ferry which took us through the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks all the way to the Pacific Ocean! It was neat going through these locks on a smaller ship because we really got a feel for the technological wonder of the lock systems. We were also inside of the locks, we could see the sides of the locks and even reach out and touch the walls.
After transiting the locks and reaching the Pacific, we went under the Bridge of the Americas, the first and only permanent bridge across the canal. (The Panamanian government is building a bridge on the other side of the canal, but it is not yet complete.)
We then disembarked the ferry and got on to the bus which took us back around the Gatun Lake to our boat. On our way, we got some nice views of Panama City.
By the time we got back to the boat, it was very late and we went to the LIDO (the buffet) for a quick dinner.
Interesting facts about the Panama Canal
- The Panama Canal is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
- The Panama Canal TODO