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Splendour of the Seas
Gatun Locks - Panama Canal
Images by Lois A. Evensen - December 28, 2002

This series of images was captured from Splendour of the Seas as she traveled from 

the Atlantic side of the Canal, through the Gatun Locks, and into Gatun Lake.

Just ahead of us, moving into the lock parallel to the one we would use, was a large container ship.

Modern ships are constructed with the size constraints of the canal in mind.

The red arrow is part of the original system to indicate to the ship's

captain and the canal pilot which part of the canal to enter.

This is also part of the original system of operation, now 100 years old.

This rowboat handles the lines for even the largest ships passing through the canal.

The lines are attached to these "mules" that will guide the ship through the canal.

Looking behind us we see the next ship that will enter the canal.

The water flows from one lock to another from Gatun Lake, a man-made fresh water 

lake that is continuously filled by Panamanian rain.

The movement of the water from one chamber of the canal to another is entirely by gravity.

It is a tight fit between Splendour of the Seas and the wall of the lock.

As we made our progress through theCanal, we were able to watch the

progress of the huge container ship in the parallel section of the canal.

These powerful engines were our guides.

Here we are looking up at the container ship next to us.  Their lock was nearly filled

as ours was just beginning to fill. 

Soon we moved up to the same water level...

...and the container ship began to move forward... the next section of the lock.

The doors have closed behind us and the chamber filled with water.

On the other side of the lock we can see a truck moving across a swinging bridge.

There is a great deal of wild life along the canal.

These powerful engines... up and down the walls of the canal...

as they guide the huge ships.

We have now moved into the second chamber.

And the doors have closed behind us.

In the center of the locks is a control station building.

After clearing all three sections of the Gatun Locks, we moved into the Gatun Lake where we dropped anchor

and passengers on tour were tendered ashore.  After about three hours, Splendour moved back through the Gatun Locks
to Cristobal, Panama, where we picked up the passengers.

Additional images of the Panama Canal and Cristobal appear from time to time as featured
images-of-the day on the Postings and Cruise Reviews and Port Reports pages. 
Images by Lois A. Evensen - December 28, 2003

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