2004 Panama Canal Cruise -- Panama Canal, Part II

panama canal map



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 are Copyright©1998-2019 Robert and Sandra Swanson. I greatly appreciate people viewing the photos, but not stealing them. If someone is interested from a commercial point of view, please contact me.

CLICK ON THE THUMBNAIL IMAGES TO VIEW A LARGER IMAGE

Approaching the next lock -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Approaching the next lock]


[Panama Canal Railroad alongside canal; major earthworks in the background]

Panama Canal Railroad alongside canal; major earthworks in the background -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Approaching Pedro Miguel locks -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Approaching Pedro Miguel locks]


[Pedro Miguel lock is emptying, getting ready for the container ship]

Pedro Miguel lock is emptying, getting ready for the container ship -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Closeup of rowboats used to handle lines -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Closeup of rowboats used to handle lines]


[Line handling by rowboat;

Line handling by rowboat; "old" technology still the best -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

This shipyard looks a lot like the way we do it in Maui -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[This shipyard looks a lot like the way we do it in Maui]


[Pedro Miguel Lock, completed in 1913]

Pedro Miguel Lock, completed in 1913 -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Its the 90th anniversary of the Canal -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Its the 90th anniversary of the Canal]


[Our companion enters the lock]

Our companion enters the lock -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Lots of cell towers near the lock -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Lots of cell towers near the lock]


[We can see over the containers, right into the jungle]

We can see over the containers, right into the jungle -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Door just about to close behind the container ship -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Door just about to close behind the container ship]


[Passenger train in background, middle ground are the yards where they repair the mules, foreground the lock and container ship]

Passenger train in background, middle ground are the yards where they repair the mules, foreground the lock and container ship -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Upper gate is opening -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Upper gate is opening]


[Upper gate is opening some more; note that they are double gates]

Upper gate is opening some more; note that they are double gates -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Upper gate is opening more yet -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Upper gate is opening more yet]


[Legend is approaching the suspension bridge; gateway to the Gaillard Cut]

Legend is approaching the suspension bridge; gateway to the Gaillard Cut -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Under the suspension bridge and into the Gaillard Cut (and on to lunch) -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Under the suspension bridge and into the Gaillard Cut (and on to lunch)]


[Buoy in the Gaillard Cut (the Cut is narrow!)]

Buoy in the Gaillard Cut (the Cut is narrow!) -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

The Gaillard Cut was made by blasting and digging into the mountains of Panama -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[The Gaillard Cut was made by blasting and digging into the mountains of Panama]


[The passing is tight in the Cut; the other ship is entering from Gatun Lake]

The passing is tight in the Cut; the other ship is entering from Gatun Lake -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Many, many ships in Gatun Lake; guess what this is -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Many, many ships in Gatun Lake; guess what this is]


[Hmmm, yacht transport!]

Hmmm, yacht transport! -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Rather than sail her through the Canal, pay them to carry her for you. -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Rather than sail her through the Canal, pay them to carry her for you.]


[And another yacht transport, just behind the first one]

And another yacht transport, just behind the first one -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

What is this one? -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[What is this one?]


[We don't know, but guess she is a car carrier]

We don't know, but guess she is a car carrier -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

The parade goes on, this one is an "ordinary" container ship -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[The parade goes on, this one is an


[Small isolated island in Lake Gatun [Really a mountain-top]]

Small isolated island in Lake Gatun [Really a mountain-top] -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Lake Gatun View -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Lake Gatun View]


[Ship ahead of us in the lake]

Ship ahead of us in the lake -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Small island in Lake Gatun [inundated mountain-top]; stay on the correct side of the bouy! -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Small island in Lake Gatun [inundated mountain-top]; stay on the correct side of the bouy!]


[Island close-up [Actually the top of a submerged mountain]]

Island close-up [Actually the top of a submerged mountain] -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Looking along the bouy line to another ship ahead of us -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Looking along the bouy line to another ship ahead of us]


[In the distance are the final locks]

In the distance are the final locks -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Ships waiting in Lake Gatun -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Ships waiting in Lake Gatun]


[One of the ships in the lake]

One of the ships in the lake -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Another ship -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Another ship]


[Tug in Lake Gatun]

Tug in Lake Gatun -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Tender from Legend -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Tender from Legend]


[Passengers leave by tender for land tours]

Passengers leave by tender for land tours -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Approaching Gatun Locks to leave the canal -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Approaching Gatun Locks to leave the canal]


[Approaching Gatun Locks to leave the canal]

Approaching Gatun Locks to leave the canal -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Mule at Gatun Locks is waiting for us -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Mule at Gatun Locks is waiting for us]


[Looking back into Gatun Lake from Gatun Lock]

Looking back into Gatun Lake from Gatun Lock -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Ship in left lock is descending the stairstep set -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Ship in left lock is descending the stairstep set]


[Closeup of line handling in Gatun Lock]

Closeup of line handling in Gatun Lock -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Another ship approaching the Gatun Lock [car carrier?] -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Another ship approaching the Gatun Lock [car carrier?]]


[Gate closing]

Gate closing -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Nearly closed... -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Nearly closed...]


[We are descending now]

We are descending now -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Mule hooking up to us -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Mule hooking up to us]


[The mule is going with us now]

The mule is going with us now -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Looking ahead in the multiple lock -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Looking ahead in the multiple lock]


[Ships ahead leaving the lock and a view of the channel ahead]

Ships ahead leaving the lock and a view of the channel ahead -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Pretty crowded in the Gatun Locks -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Pretty crowded in the Gatun Locks]


[Gatun Locks finished in 1913]

Gatun Locks finished in 1913 -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Gatun Locks buildings -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Gatun Locks buildings]


[Closeup of Gatun Locks display]

Closeup of Gatun Locks display -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

More mules at Gatun Locks -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[More mules at Gatun Locks]


[Approaching Cristobal (our evening's destination)]

Approaching Cristobal (our evening's destination) -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit

Ships waiting at other end of canal -- 2004 Panama Canal Transit


[Ships waiting at other end of canal]

Copyright © 1996-2019 Robert and Sandra Swanson

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Part I of Panama Canal Transit

Main Panama Canal Cruise Page

More about the Kodak DX6490 at Steve's Digicam Review

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Updated Fri Mar 22 13:17:41 PDT 2019