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

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  • Ralf__
    replied
    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!

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  • Seagull
    replied


    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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  • Seagull
    replied


    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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  • Seagull
    replied
    Pedro Miguel Lock and the Culebra Cut

    When I took that last photo from Deck 4, I was actually making my way to the lounge where drinks are available and had a mid morning coffee. Forty five minutes later Serenissima had reached the next single-step lock at Pedro Miguel. If you look at that webcam view Azimut captured and which I linked to in the last post, you can see in the distance where this is relative to Miraflores.



    The entrance lock gates were open and it was just a matter of attaching the lines to the mules, so I am once more on the observation platform to watch the linesmen at work.






    The job of the linesmen involves intense activity interspersed by periods of inactivity. They had set up an area for themselves at the port side of the observation platform deckhouse.



    Here they are during their rest period. It is an amazing job that they do, and on a small ship one feels closer in touch with their work than would be possible on a larger ship. It really feels a privilege. And although we are small we still get an official Panama Canal Guide like the big cruise ships do. The commentary on interesting facts and places we pass during the transit is transmitted on the decks and lounges.

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  • Seagull
    commented on 's reply
    Great to think you were following me in real time via the webcam!

  • Seagull
    commented on 's reply
    Goodness Clipper, it's ME who should be sounding apologetic!
    With three voyages since that discussion, it's hardly an excuse that there was not really 'at sea' time giving opportunities to talk to the senior officers on the bridge on this most recent action-packed voyage (and of course not in the Panama Canal). But when I do have more info you can be sure you'll be the first to hear .

  • Clipper
    commented on 's reply
    Cecilia, sorry for re-covering old ground. I confess I had completely forgotten about #655 etc. November 2014 was during "the difficult years" when I was looking after my mother.

    It would indeed be interesting to know the circumstances under which the stabilisers get deployed, and maybe the captain would be prepared to offer a verdict on them.

  • Azimut
    replied
    I like these pictures a lot, Seagull
    Interesting to see these photos from the trip through Miraflores Locks from the deck of "Serenissima"
    I sat and watched via webcam when the ship passed through Miraflores Locks that day as mention above by you.
    As usual, the pictures are excellent.

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  • Seagull
    replied


    The lock gates at the exit from Miraflores Locks




    A view looking aft from Serenissima’s deck 4 starboard.

    It was shortly after this, when the water level had risen and Serenissima moved on, that Azimut captured a wonderful webcam picture, here at post #1081, showing Serenissima on her way, ahead of Rotterdam and followed by two sailing boats, an excursion boat, and a pair of tugs.

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  • Seagull
    replied


    We are soon in the first section of the locks and have moved directly along to the lock gates which you saw as we entered the canal. Having caught up with Rotterdam in the other channel I turn round to include her on the photo.



    On our starboard side there is the Miraflores Locks visitor centre (which I had visited on the way back from the previous day’s excursion, and is where the webcam is situated).



    I had decided to quickly relocate to the aft deck to see what else has entered this section of the lock with Serenissima, watch the entrance gates close behind us, and the water level begin to rise. I am sure I wouldn't have managed to see all that had I been aboard a big ship like the Rotterdam!

    And that's not all, for soon I wander back to the foredeck observation platform to watch the lock gates open, and we move into the next section.

    Last edited by Seagull; September 14th, 2017, 18:35.

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  • Seagull
    replied
    Miraflores Locks




    As I head for breakfast, Serenissima moves off ready to take up her alloted position in the queue for entering the canal.




    Here is a view looking back as Serenissima passes beneath the Bridge of the Americas that spans the Pacific entrance to the canal.

    I had seen Rotterdam pass ahead of us and realised that she would be transiting the canal at the same time, but in the other adjacent 'lane' This turned out to be a good pairing given the difference in the size of the ships, with lots of photo opportunities. I hope her passengers also appreciated watching us! Sometimes Rotterdam would be ahead of us and sometimes behind, and it was fascinating to observe the operations for the very different cruise ships. I watched as two tugs were required to assist the Rotterdam's arrival and alignment at the canal entrance. Meanwhile Serenissima now had linesmen aboard, and were simply waiting for the locomotives, or 'mules' as they are called.



    Our crew member, on the right, watches as the Panama linesmen take over on the foredeck.



    Waiting for the mules

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  • Seagull
    replied
    Day 17 - 7th February 2017 - The transit through the Panama Canal

    Early morning on the aft deck - a feeling of excitement and anticipation - lots of shipspotting opportunities with many vessels waiting at go through the canal!







    At 06:30 the pilot arrived. I thought it was delightfully appropriate that he arrived aboard L.M.Andrea, as Andrea was a former name of Serenissima!

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  • Seagull
    commented on 's reply
    Pakarang, Clipper - such heartfelt comments - we are in love with this ship I think.
    Next I have a particularly thrilling day for you to see!

  • Seagull
    replied
    Well, Clipper, the last mention on the subject of stabilisers was in discussion with yourself in #658 !
    Start reading in #655 here down to my comment in #658.1

    I really should have asked on later voyages about how often and in what circumstances the stabilisers have been typically been deployed. If I get further info I'll be sure to let you know

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  • Clipper
    commented on 's reply
    Agreed. We were quite pessimistic during the Split arrest period ... then a miracle happened.
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