Panama Canal, Part Two, Monday 28th December, 2009
Dec 28th, 2009 by susan_dyer


I’m starting with this picture of the “Gloriosa” in the Lock.  Right now the water is very low.  As they pump water into the Lock, the ship will rise to a height just below the top of the gates.

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There were all kinds of Pelicans in the area.  I got a picture of this one as he flew overhead.  It was still very early in the morning.  We had been warned that the sun could be brutal going through the Canal, but the sun was still very low on the horizon.

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An old lighthouse peeking through the trees.

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As we maneuvered into position, the little trains on the centre island got ready to guide us into and along the Lock.

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We saw a Crocodile sunbathing along the bank… it is very hard to make out because I had to zoom in a long way.

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In the other pictures, the camera angle made it seem like short distance from this point to the first Lock, but it is actually several hundred meters long.  The two workers in the row boat are waiting to get the tow lines from the ship and pass them to the workers on the dock.

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There is a train “roundhouse” near the end of the pier…

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The lines from the ship were hooked up to the trains, two trains at the bow on either side, another two trains at the stern of the Statendam on either side.

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The tug boat squeezes into the Lock as well, the better to make sure that all goes smoothly!  :)   You can also see three of the trains guiding the Gloriosa.

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You can see how high the ships have risen in the Lock.  Both ships will soon be moving forward through the next Gate and we will fall in behind on the right.

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Here you can just see the ship ahead of the “Miraculous Ace” pulling out of the Lock they were in…

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I held my breath as I watched this train going up the incline… This marks the spot where the first Lock ends and the second begins.

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Both ships ahead of us are now near the front of the second Lock.  Huge doors are about to close behind them, and we will move into the first Lock.

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I could, and I guess I did, watch these little trains all day!  :)

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The Gates begin to close behind the Miraculous Ace…

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…and the Gloriosa… 

Once those gates are closed, the water will be lowered in the Lock we will be entering…

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We watch as the water comes rushing out of the Lock ahead of us…

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The water is almost out of the first Lock, and the Gloriosa is already sitting high in the second Lock.

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The Gates open, the bridge tucks back under the railway tracks…

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And we finally enter the first Lock!  :)

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The Little Engine That Could chugs along beside us!  The four of these little critters haul the full weight of the ship…

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The Lock really, really doesn’t look wide enough for us to fit…

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Up ahead the Miraculous Ace is well up in her Lock…

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All of a sudden the sun burst over the nearest hill and the temperature shot right up…

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A Pelican decided to try his luck by sitting on the train tracks…  :)

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That is one steep climb!!

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We are pulled ever steadily towards the front of the Lock…

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The crowds are starting to get a little thicker on deck.  Jim & I have been standing here for several hours by now, but I’m too interested in my “first Lock” to take a break and get some breakfast!

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So now we sit and wait for the water to fill the Lock so that we can pass through to Lock # 2.  Since I have gone way over my 20 picture limit, I think I’ll save the rest for Part Three!!

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