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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.


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    • 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

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      • 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.


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      • 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.





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          • 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.

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                • 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.

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                  • 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

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