This morning I was awake before sunrise I was so excited about crossing the Panama Canal. This is such a HUGE bucket list item ticked off my list.
The four of us headed up to the bow of the ship just after 6am to watch the passing of the first lock. Even at that early hour it was HOT, and I do mean hot but that wasn’t going to deter my crossing viewing, especially with Panama City looming on the horizon.
After passing under Panama’s bridge we knew our true adventure wasn’t far away!
Then it was time for the first of what was going to be three locks we passed through today. The entire process was amazing how on either side of the ship four locomotives (like the one below) were keeping cables attached to the ship taunt to help the ship remain steady and in place as we sailed into place to await the lock filling with water.
There were ships both behind us and in front of us crossing with us. The efficiency as to how quickly we all took our turns was incredible when you see how narrow each lock is.
There really is between only 20 or 30 centimeters either side of the ships. Hence the necessity to keep the ships as stationary as possible in the locks.
Sailing into Miraflores Lock was like nothing else we’d ever experienced. That’s Hubby and I circled in red watching diligently from the bow!
The gates had me mesmerized. How could these structures in all honesty work so quickly and hold so much water?!
The locks filled up extraordinarily quickly.
I honestly couldn’t keep my eyes from these gates. Knowing how old they were also had me intrigued!
We were watching the gates beside us as much as we were watching those in front of us. Simply incredible!
From our vantage point, we were determined not to miss a single thing! One quickly forgets how big the ship actually is until looking at it from this direction. Once again, that’s Hubby and I circled in red!
All in all I think we stayed at the bow for three hours that morning, even suffering a mild case of heat stroke, but it was SO worth it as I think our grins can attest to!
The children I’d like to say lasted an hour at the bow but I fear I could be exaggerating. For them the sanctuary of the cabin was far more enjoyable.
I remember when, as a family many years ago, we were watching a series on television about the seven great engineering feats of the world where the Panama Canal was one of them. It was at that moment all four of us vowed that one day we would cross it. We hadn’t realized at the time it would be quite so soon – what an incredible experience!