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ex HARALD JARL ::: ex ANDREA ::: SERENISSIMA :::

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    I imagine that we also got a greater appreciation of the height of lock gates and the differences in water levels than one would from the upper decks of the Rotterdam. This is apparent in the following sequence at Pedro Miguel - and these are not the highest. (The lower chamber gates at Miraflores are the highest because of the extreme variation in the Pacific tides.)






    The gates are doubled for safety reasons.


    Comment




      Soon after leaving the lock Serenissima passes beneath the Centennial Bridge. It was built to ease traffic on the Bridge of the Americas, and now carries the Pan-American Highway across the canal.



      We are now in the Culebra Cut (also known as the Galliard Cut), which was excavated across the continental divide and was a challenging achievement for its time, made more difficult by the unstable layers of shale and mud subject to slides. Even today the channel must be maintained by dredging.

      The ship reaches Gatun Lake, which was formed by damming the Chagres River. Former hilltops have become islands. The lake, normally 26m above sea level, serves to maintain sufficient water in the Culebra Cut, as well as in the locks in dryer weather.
      I had seen something of the lake on the previous day's excursion, including the dam, and don't have more photos from the ship - the weather became cloudy for a time with rather poor visibility for decent photos of passing ships and the more distant shoreline. That was the point I realised I hadn't yet had lunch! I’ll be back later!

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      • ombugge
        ombugge commented
        Editing a comment
        I would think they are transit markers; i.e. when in transit (seen one directly above the other) you are in the correct lane in the canal.

        BTW; I have never actually been through the Panama Canal.

      • Seagull
        Seagull commented
        Editing a comment
        That’s correct ombugge. There are many such navigational aids along the route.

      • Clipper
        Clipper commented
        Editing a comment
        Aha, transit markers! That makes sense, though I'm disappointed my guess wasn't correct. (It's an ego thing but I'm nearly over it already).

      Yippiieee! A Panama Canal passage reported at CV. And with a former coastal steamer! I love it! And you know my interest for locks. So wonderful, Cecilia! Thank you so much.
      I know that the passage fee is huge! Nearly unbelievable, that Serenissima did it!
      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

      Comment


      • ombugge
        ombugge commented
        Editing a comment
        A Panama Canal passage that didn't go so well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALVF3BlZV8I

      • Seagull
        Seagull commented
        Editing a comment
        You'd have been in your element, Ralf , and you too ombugge - surprised you never have! And thanks for that link!

      • ombugge
        ombugge commented
        Editing a comment
        I have stayed mostly "East of Suez" and has been far out in the Pacific as Rarotonga, but never actually crossed the Pacific, (except by plane) or been in any ports on the west coast of the Americas by ship.
        Last edited by ombugge; September 15th, 2017, 14:13.

      Gatun Locks

      Right on cue, the sun came out as Serenissima approached Gatun Locks.






      Now don't be confused ...in these locks at Gatun Rotterdam will be in the lane at our starboard side.







      The view looking back over Gatun Lake.


      We seemed to be waiting a while, and two of our crew came out for the view.


      Comment




        A wider view featuring the lighthouse - the Gatun North Bound Rear Light from 1914.




        Time for some action on the foredeck…

        ...and a good view of the mule.


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          Look what's coming!




          We get a superb view of Rotterdam towering above us in the other lane.





          Comment




            The gates open, and Serenissima moves forward into the next chamber.

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              Looking back towards the lighthouse



              Rotterdam has now caught up in the other lane. The ship ahead of us, High Sun with home port Valletta, has exited the lower last chamber and is leaving the canal.



              Twelve minutes later we are nearly ready to enter the last chamber.

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                As the water level lowers, I notice we are shadows on the walls of the lock.




                Finally at sea-level, the lock gates open...




                ...and Serenissima leaves the canal.

                Comment


                  Day 18 - 8th February 2017 - Colón, Panama.

                  Serenissima had docked in Colón overnight, and soon after breakfast it was time to disembark, board the coaches, and again cross the isthmus, this time to the airport of Panama City and the flight home.



                  My last image of this truly remarkable voyage.

                  Comment


                    Thanks for taking us with you Cecilia. This has been a remarkable series of photos, with the traditionally superb quality Seagull story telling. Sorry it's over!
                    Cheers,

                    Mark.

                    www.pologlover.co.uk

                    Comment


                      I find it overwhelmingly interesting and super-romantic that a coastal steamer from the cold coasts of Norway - a FORMER coastal steamer that is - has also sailed through the Panama Canal.

                      I have crossed the canal back and forth more times than I have fingers and toes, but NEVER on a small ship as this.

                      One thing that was also great to see is that you got down to the lowest open deck, and take a photo. This is something you just can't do on any of the (larger) cruise ships!

                      Thank you so much for the PC-update!
                      With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                      Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                      Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
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                        I was thinking a LOT about you on the Panama Canal, Pakarang - indeed, as I watched our 'canal-mate' Rotterdam I was also thinking about your different experiences of the canal on bigger ships. Smaller is amazing, and it is hard for me to imagine not being able to scamper around the decks, up and down, fore and aft, taking in all the views and experiences - I must have walked miles that day! Perhaps the only teeny advantage some guests on the Rotterdam may have had would have been the possibility of observing traffic in the new parallel Canal Expansion in some locations. But of course I had anticipated that and had taken the excursion to see it.


                        Thank you so much all of you who have enjoyed this voyage. Mark, your lovely comment really touched me. ..but it may not be completely over, as there are many photos taken away from the coast on excursions that haven't appeared here on the ships thread. Animals and plants in the various nature reserves for example.

                        But there is one excursion in particular - Day 3, that I would have already posted on the forum in the last couple of weeks had some computer issues not intervened. Puerto Chiapas in southern Mexico is very close to the offshore epicentre of the earthquakes that you will all have heard about in the news. As is often the case with earthquakes it is places further away that can be more affected, particularly amongst the buildings of larger towns and cities, and as far as I have been able to ascertain the local rural community around the banana plantation I visited are ok. I do intend to share with you the special experience of meeting the children at their school who have been much in my thoughts at what must have been a difficult time.

                        I suppose it is only human nature that, when hearing of news of disasters and seeing reports in the media, it is those in places we have been that we feel most connection with and concern about. I have been very aware of that in the context of this voyage, for Serenissima, prior to returning to European waters, continued her travels to visit many islands in the Caribbean - places i have never been - that have since been affected, and in some cases devastated, by the series of hurricanes.

                        Merely a day or so before all this news broke, a brochure of Serenissima's future plans for the winter season 2018/19 had arrived, and those itineraries include a Panama Canal crossing, thus taking in a return to some of the ports and places on the Pacific coast of Central American that I have featured here, as well as some Caribbean destinations. Perhaps fortunately, Serenissima is heading in a different direction this winter to the Indian Ocean.

                        As I left the ship and took that last moody image at the port at Colón that February morning it seemed like a goodbye. I had no further booking in place, no plans for the future.
                        But things happen…
                        ...so keep an eye on that "Seagull Away a While" thread. Soon, very soon! ...like eh, how about SATURDAY!!!!

                        Comment


                          Naturally, a Panama Canal transit for me was a lot of work - first we had attend transit-planning meeting(s) in the days ahead, then we had to be up way before the pilot boarded early in the morning (mostly way before any birds got out of their nests farting /sunrise), then it was extremely long stand-by's and overlooking gangways, boarding parties, lines men, navigation, clearance (customs and immigration) and all that.

                          These were extremely long days - and I did the canal for the first time as a deckhand, and finally as a Chief Officer Safety and Security.

                          But - despite the long days, the canal was still as great as the best days of my life!
                          With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                          Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                          Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
                          Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
                          Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

                          Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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