The Panama Canal and Fuerte Amador, Panama

2023 HAL World Cruise

Sunday & Monday, January 8 & 9, 2023

Have you noticed; this post is coming to you a week after the events took place???

No, your Roving Raconteurs have not been lazy and inattentive!!!  We are transiting the South Pacific on our way to Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands.  It is an 8-day journey across miles and miles of beautiful, uninterrupted ocean!!!  Internet service is sketchy:  often unavailable and even when available slow and unable to transmit photos. 

We don’t know when you might receive this,

but we are planning for better service as we approach French Polynesia.  Working on that assumption, here are the photos from our Panama Canal transit and our overnight stay in Fuerte Amador:

On Sunday morning, we awoke, turned on the TV and found we were already in the Panama Canal and working our way thru the Gatun Locks!!! This set of three double-lock chambers will raise our ship to the level of Gatun Lake.
As we hurredly dressed, the ship made swift progress thru the locks and approached Gatun Lake. We continued to take photos off the live TV feed.
Here, you’re looking at Gatun Dam on the Chagras River. Constructed in 1908, the dam produces all the electricity for the canal.
Gatun Lake was formed in 1912 after the damming of the Chagras River. The little islands you see were once the peaks of hills. The lake is 166 square miles and sits at an elevation of 82 to 87 feet above sea level.
Here we are on the Pacific side entering the Miraflores Locks. The MS Volendam is ahead of us. To the right, you can see the Cocoli Locks–a canal expansion for large cargo ships that opened in 2016. From here, we are on our way to the Pacific.
The Miraflores Locks follow Miraflores Lake which separates these locks from the Pedro Miguel Locks. A tectonic fault beneath the lake led to these chambers being spread apart, unlike those in Gatun where they are in the same place.
Along the way, we watched the “mules” guiding the ship safely thru the canal.

Next, we look forward to our arrival in Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia.

Let’s hope the internet connection holds!!!

3 thoughts on “The Panama Canal and Fuerte Amador, Panama”

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