Thursday, July 4, 2024

June 14, 2024 – Daylight Transit of the Panama Canal

Distance Through Canal 45 Nautical Miles

This is how Crystal Serenity will pass through the Panama Canal today.

The transit of the Canal from North to South started at 4 AM but I joined in at breakfast up in the Marketplace.  There is a shortage of water coming from the Chagas River so the transits are taking longer due an alternate way of using water to open and close the lock doors. This shot was taken when we entered the canal.

The transit is being narrated and the narration is broadcast throughout the whole ship except for the actual cabins.  The whistle and narration started at 6:15 AM and basically served as a wakeup call for the whole ship. Personally, it scared the snot out of me because a) it was very loud; and b) this is supposed to be a "non-announcement" ship (and I wasn't expecting the announcements to be in the cabin hallways).  

Accompanied by an iced mocha, I watch a lot of the transit in the Palm Court.  

The seats in the front were taken early but you could still sneak in to take a shot or two.

The first sight as we departed from the Colon/Atlantic side, was the Atlantic Bridge.  Completed in 2019, it is the third and newest bridge spanning the Canal. 

We entered Gatun Locks. 

My lecturing buddy and par excellence Canal narrator, Bill Fall, was tracking Serenity via the canal webcam and got this terrific picture.

Our next stop would be an extended stay in Gatun Lake.

After a slow trek through the lake, we came to Gamboa and the world's largest crane, Titan. AKA "Herman the German".

We were 85 feet above the level of the Pacific Ocean in the lake and we descended to sea level in two steps through the Pedro Miguel Locks and the Miraflores Locks late in the day.  We spent a lot of time in those locks probably because of the slow water movement.  We eventually, entered the Pacific Ocean and got a nice view of Panama City.  

We attended Shabbat Services in the Hollywood Theater presided over by Ellen’s old Principal, Sharon Morton, and Rabbi Kudan from Am Shalom days when we first moved to the Chicago Area.  There was a good turnout and the reform service was interesting and very spiritual.  The service concluded with a guitar rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (Hawaiian version).  We had wine and Challah afterwards – it was different but nice.

There are no shows tonight so we spent the evening taking in both the Keys and Melody 

and Neal Fullerton.  Neal’s crowd was pretty well lubricated so his sing along was wild and crazy.

The Clocks move back one hour to put us on Costa Rica time.

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