Distance from Puntarenas, Costa Rica to the Panama Canal: 486 nautical miles
Excellent weather for the transit…
We spent most of the day on the port side of Deck 5 listening to Bill Fall’s excellent narration of the trip through the canal. Bill is up in the Crow’s Nest (can you see him?)
The transit should starts about 5:40 AM (Panama Canal Pilot boards) and will take about 11 hours to complete.
Ships waiting in the Gulf of Panama for their turn to to through the canal
The Journey paid a premium to get priority through the canal and to keep the cruise itinerary on schedule. As we pass through the channel to the first lock (Miraflores) – an 8.2 mile distance – Panama City and the marina are clearly visible.
Top: Panama City; Bottom: Panama City and Marina
The Journey passes under the Bridge of the Americas as it approaches the locks.
On deck to get the best view
From the stern: Bridge of the Americans
Entering the Miraflores Locks
From the Looking Glass Lounge: Miraflores Locks
Stern View: Multilockage (more than one ship in locks)
In the Miraflores locks, the ship is raised to 54 feet above sea level in two stages. It is only one mile to the Pedro Miguel Locks, which will raise the ship another 31 ft to the level of Gatun Lake.
Front view of Pedro Miguel Locks
In the Pedro Miguel Locks there is a car carrier (thousands of cars) Panamax ship in the adjacent locks.
Top: Stern View: Pedro Miguel Locks Open; Bottom: the Locks are closed for the 31 foot float
Exiting the Pedro Miguel Locks, we enter the Culebra Cut (narrowest part of the Canal) for 7.8 mile ride to the final set of locks. The Culebra Cut slices through the Continental Divide (85 feet above sea level). In the Cut, the Journey passes under the Centennial Bridge.
Dredger in the Culebra Cut
Near the Continental Divide
The Cut opens up into Gatun Lake, an artificial lake formed by Gatun Dam. The Lake is 15 miles across and ships line up here as well for entrance into the Gatun Locks.
The final set of locks, the three stage Gatun Locks, will lower the ship 85 feet to the level of the Bahia Limon and the Caribbean Sea.
Top: Entering Gatun Locks; Middle: Relaxing during the Transit; Bottom: Gatun Locks door closed.
The total trip through the canal: 47.9 miles.
The Captain indicates that the seas will be rough once we reach the open waters of the Atlantic – Dramamine for all.
Another nice dinner and we take in the show: Timm Metivier – comic magician.
The seas are a bit rough – we’ll see who shows up for breakfast.