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Thursday, September 19, 2013

One Helluva Transit - Panama De Canal




My sailing life has given me few incredible lifetime experiences. When my husband told me about our next voyage, I was on cloud nine. The Panama De Canal- one of the seven man –made wonders of the modern world and monument of the Millennium. It’s a 50 mile ship canal that connects Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The sole reason behind constructing the most difficult engineering wonder till now was to enable ships to avoid long navigations and made it possible for them to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific in half the time previously required.


In the canal ship crosses three set of locks, The Gatun, The Pedro Miguel and Mira Flores locks. Unlike the Suez, which is at sea level for its entire length, the landmass is above the mean sea level. These locks have been created to lift ships upto 85 ft above the sea. Although there are 12 sets of locks total, there are only six massive pairs of locks that ships use for transit, each 1,000 feet long and 110 feet wide.  Each filled with water or emptied in less than 10 minutes, and each pair of lock gates takes two minutes to open.You can read more detailed history of the canal up here.

Due to the large size of our ship, it took us almost 20 hours to complete the transit. And without wink, camera in hand I enjoyed the whole ride with a gaped mouth. I was dumbfounded by all the work and engineering that went into building the whole design of the canal. Phenomenal sense of human fortitude and ingenuity! I am totally overwhelmed to experience such a magnificient thing up close and personal. Also I came to know about canal’s Live-Cam facility. People can watch you live while you cross. Although I was bit late to get the news, otherwise would have asked my folks to watch the whole transit experience online.

I will include some of my pictures to share with those who have not had the pleasure of seeing it in real life yet. So Hop-in and enjoy a free ride to magical Panama canal.




The ship approaches the lock gates at a reduced speed.
The ship enters the lock gates which is narrow when compared to the
size of the ship
The lock gates are then closed enclosing the ship inside it. To lift up the ship,
water has to be pumped into the lock chambers.

When water is pumped, the level of water increases inside the lock chamber
lifting the ship up.

The lifted height equals the height required for the ship to proceed to the
 next lock chamber.

Gates closed when ship finishes passing through them

When the water level equals the level of the Atlantic ocean side, t
he outward lock gates open up, leading the ship to the sea passage.

Moi


 Bon Voyage......................................................................................................................................


34 comments:

  1. Anu, this is really awesome. Each pic is amazing! The process of the ship passing through is painstaking. I so envy you :).

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    1. Thank you Rachna...The whole process indeed painstaking but worth a watch.:)

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    2. Thank you Rachna...The whole process indeed painstaking but worth a watch.:)

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  2. Hey!!

    We have this man made lock system here as well in Sweden on a small canal to pass the private yachts and ships.

    It is a great experience to see the whole mechanism of lifting ships up and down.

    http://www.gotakanal.se/en/products/142425/The-Berg-locks/

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    1. Really will definitely check it out.But panama canal is known to be the biggest canal till now...Thank you for reading..

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  3. That was an interesting ride Anu! Keep them coming - I can enjoy a voyage without sea-sickness thanks to you :)

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    1. Thank you suresh...You could have enjoyed it onboard without any motion sickens as the ship was too slow.

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  4. I loved reading about how the ship passes through the gates. One helluva experience this trip must have been !

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    1. Indeed a magnificent ride.Thankyou for reading Ruch and dropping to my space...

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  5. All I remember of Panama Canal is from our childhood geography lessons.At that time it seemed such a great achievment to remember that panama canal is a coduit that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. I can as well imagine how splendid your trip must have been. Thanx for sharing your experience :)

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    1. Yes i even read it in my childhood books.But actually experiencing the whole transit is priceless...Glad you enjoyed it.

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  6. That must have been a wonderful experience. You literally took us there with your words and the awesome pics. Thank you for sharing this with us. :-)

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    1. Yes one of the memorable trips of my travel sojourns...Thank you for reading...:)

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  7. wonderful, this is such a new thing for me :-)

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    1. People do not get much chance to visit the canal as its only crossed via ships or cruisers..Thank you for reading...

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  8. Wow! You have such an adventure filled life Anu! Envy!!

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    1. Thank you swapna. Its fun living an adventurous life...

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  9. Fascinating! I remember reading about the mechanics in school but it's completely a different experience to actually see it!!

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    1. That's the beauty of it.I might get a chance to transit again.Am all smiles :)

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  10. Hi, Awesome experience for you and now for us too. Your pictures said it all.

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  11. Yes one splendid experience.Thank you for reading Poornima...:)

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  12. Awe-inspiring pictures and superb write up, Anu:) It can easily find its way in features and life style magazine. I enjoyed the post a ton:)
    Cheerz
    Vishal

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  13. Oh Vishal you are so good with words and a big motivational force behind my writing.Thanks a ton back at you...:)

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  14. Dearest Anu,
    Good Morning from Japan. OMG, first to see this kind of pictures!!! I'm SO busy today, I'll come back again, my new friend♡♡♡ My husband love the sea, he enjoy to hear what you write in you blog.
    Thank you very much for stopping by, really appreciate your comment.

    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. Hey Miyako.Thank you so much for visiting my place and reading my blabs.Will sure update on the sea front.....:)

      Love & Hugs right back at you...........
      Anu India....

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  15. Looks like you had a ride of a lifetime Anu! Thanks for taking me along on this journey :))

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    1. Yes Indeed it was one memorable trip.Thanks for reading Lady.

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  16. What an amazing and fascinating experience it must have been! Thanks for giving us a virtual tour too! :)

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    1. Am glad you liked the tour.Thankyou for reading..........

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  17. WOW..this looks amazing...thanks for the info and "Whoa" pictures :)

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    1. Thank you priti and welcome here............

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  18. I've never been on a ship much less experienced something like this, Anu. How fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thankyou Corinne.Am lucky myself to come across this fascinating piece of man made wonder.............

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  19. Anu, its just amazing ...all pics are superb and must say LUCKY you ... I had read your post on tips for fitness too...its awesome ...

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