2004 Panama Canal Cruise -- Panama Canal, Part II

Updated January 29, 2013

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The reason for this cruise, of course, was to transit the Panama Canal. The photos here are an extensive record of our (exhausting) day, spent in the Canal. This is truly a cross-roads of the world, with many, many ships in transit, and in port at either entrance. The engineering that made this canal is a marvel, and the setting is other-worldly. In some cases, the ships run alongside wild jungle, with no humans in sight.

Of course, we could not see or photograph a lot of our journey through the locks. We were fortunate that other ships were locking near us. In the final locks, we were descending, so it was easier to see the mules connected to our ship. The entire locking operation is pretty amazing, involving men and machines.

Or destination at the end of the Canal was Cristobol. We stopped at a pier complex in bond, and had a chance to visit the pier and buy local trinkets. The Legend was off again later that night. So we reach the end of Panama Canal section. Hope you enjoyed it.

These pictures were taken primarily with our new Kodak DX6490, which we love. The 10x optical zoom is great, and the electronics do a fine job of automatic adjustment and flash operations.

NOTE that these photographs (with the exception of the Panama map) are Copyright 2004-2013 Robert and Sandra Swanson. Enjoy the images, but please don't steal them!

[canal map]
Canal map
[approaching next lock]
Approaching the next lock
Panama Canal Railroad alongside canal; major earthworks in the background
[pedro miguel locks]
Approaching Pedro Miguel locks
[pedro miguel lock]
Pedro Miguel lock is emptying, getting ready for the container ship
[pedro miguel lock]
Closeup of rowboats used to handle lines
[pedro miguel lock]
Line handling by rowboat; "old" technology still the best
[shipyard near pedro miguel lock]
This shipyard looks a lot like the way we do it in Maui
Pedro Miguel Locks Building
Pedro Miguel Lock, completed in 1913
[pedro miguel lock]
Its the 90th anniversary of the Canal
[ship entering pedro miguel lock]
Our companion enters the lock
[cell towers near lock]
Lots of cell towers near the lock
[ship and jungle]
We can see over the containers, right into the jungle
[ship in lock]
Door just about to close behind the container ship
[lock, train, mules]
Passenger train in background, middle ground are the yards where they repair the mules, foreground the lock and container ship
[ship in lock]
Upper gate is opening
[ship in lock]
Upper gate is opening some more; note that they are double gates
[ship in lock]
Upper gate is opening more yet
[suspension bridge]
Legend is approaching the suspension bridge; gateway to the Gaillard Cut
[suspension bridge]
Under the suspension bridge and into the Gaillard Cut (and on to lunch)
[gaillard cut]
Buoy in the Gaillard Cut (the Cut is narrow!)
Gaillard Cut
The Gaillard Cut was made by blasting and digging into the mountains of Panama
[gaillard cut]
The passing is tight in the Cut; the other ship is entering from Gatun Lake
[ship in gatun lake]
Many, many ships in Gatun Lake; guess what this is
[ship in gatun lake]
Hmmm, yacht transport!
[ship in gatun lake]
Rather than sail her through the Canal, pay them to carry her for you.
[ship in gatun lake]
And another yacht transport, just behind the first one
[ship in gatun lake]
What is this one?
[ship in gatun lake]
We don't know, but guess she is a car carrier
[ship in gatun lake]
The parade goes on, this one is an "ordinary" container ship
[lake gatun island]
Small isolated island in Lake Gatun [Really a mountain-top]
[lake gatun]
Lake Gatun View
[lake gatun]
Ship ahead of us in the lake
[lake gatun island]
Small island in Lake Gatun; stay on the correct side of the bouy!
[lake gatun island]
Island close-up [Actually the top of a submerged mountain]
[lake gatun view]
Looking along the bouy line to another ship ahead of us
[final lock view]
In the distance are the final locks
[ships in lake gatun]
Ships waiting in Lake Gatun
[ships in lake gatun]
One of the ships in the lake
[ships in lake gatun]
Another ship
[ships in lake gatun]
Tug in Lake Gatun
[our tender]
Tender from Legend
[tender from legend]
Passengers leave by tender for land tours
[approaching gatun locks]
Approaching Gatun Locks to leave the canal
[approaching gatun lock]
Approaching Gatun Locks to leave the canal
[mule at gatun lock]
Mule at Gatun Locks is waiting for us
[gatun lock]
Looking back into Gatun Lake from Gatun Lock
Container Ship Descending Gatun Locks
Ship in left lock is descending the stairstep set
[line handling]
Closeup of line handling in Gatun Lock
[other ship]
Another ship approaching the Gatun Lock [car carrier?]
[gate closing]
Gate closing
[gate closing]
Nearly closed...
[gate closed]
We are descending now
[mule hooking up]
Mule hooking up to us
[mule attached]
The mule is going with us now
[looking ahead]
Looking ahead in the multiple lock
[looking ahead]
Ships ahead leaving the lock and a view of the channel ahead
Gatun Locks
Pretty crowded in the Gatun Locks
[gatun lock]
Gatun Locks finished in 1913
Main Office of the Canal at Gatun Locks
Gatun Locks buildings
[gatun lock]
Closeup of Gatun Locks display
[mules at gatun lock]
More mules at Gatun Locks
[approaching cristobal]
Approaching Cristobal (our evening's destination)
[ships at other end of canal]
Ships waiting at other end of canal

Copyright© 2004-2013 Robert and Sandra Swanson

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