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Panama Canal Locks

Search for the other Princess on the seas

Panama Canal Locks thanks to joe-kster

Gatun Lake Locks (looking towards the Caribbean Sea) from the deck of the Coral Princess cruise ship, April 2009

Panama Canal Locks thanks to joe-kster

As seen by the ship captain: the aft deck and Princess Cruise flag

Panama Canal Locks thanks to joe-kster

As seen by the ship passengers: 3 sets of Gatun Locks (lift of 85 feet)

Panama Canal Locks thanks to joe-kster

Each transiting ship uses at least 52,000,000 gallons of fresh water! Anyone looking for a bountiful source of fresh water?

Panama Canal Locks thanks to joe-kster

As seen by the Joe-kster: the “other” Princess!

Panama Canal Statistics

Creation of the Panama Canal - 1870 to 1914
Panama Canal Zone - 436 square miles

First failed construction of Panama Canal by France
January 1881 - February 1889 by Ferdinand de Lesseps, known as
“The Great Engineer” after completing the Suez Canal in 1869

Chief Engineers (U.S.) - John Wallace, June 1904 - June 2905
John Stevens, July 1905 - January 1907
George Goethals, February 1907 - January 1914

Length of canal - 50 miles with 15.5 miles sea level & salt water, &
34.5 miles elevated & fresh water
Transit time - 8 to 16 hours
Shortened distance from New York to San Francisco by 7,843 miles

Gatun Lake - 164 square miles
Miraflores Lake - 1.88 square miles
Channel across Gatun Lake - 24 miles
Channel across Miraflores Lake - 1.5 miles

Gaillard Cut (Culebra Cut) - 9 miles long

Lowest toll paid - swimmer Richard Halliburton, 36 cents in 1928

Gatun Locks - 3 sets of locks - lift 85 feet
Pedro Miguel Locks - 1 set of locks - lift 30 feet
Miraflores Locks - 2 sets of locks - lift 55 feet

Lock chambers - 1,000 feet long, 110 feet wide, 70 to 80 feet deep
Total lock gates - 46

Each transiting ship uses at least 52,000,000 gallons of fresh water

Gatun Dam - 1.5 miles long, width @ top - 100 feet, width @ base -
.5 mile, 105 feet above sea level

Miraflores spillway dam - 500 feet long with 8 gates

Total American excavation - 232,440,945 cubic yards

Greatest number of employees at one time - 56,645 in 1913

Recommended Reading:  “The Path Between The Seas”,
The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914 by David McCullough,
Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1977, ISBN 0-671-22563-4

I hope my ship comes in before my dock rots. - Unknown

Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm. - Publilius Syrus

If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it. - Jonathan Winters

Tell the men to fire faster and not give up the ship. - Captain James Lawrence

I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. - Louisa May Alcott

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. - John Shedd

An entire ocean can't sink a ship unless it allows the water inside. - Donna Smith

After the ship has sunk, a consultant knows how it might have been saved. - Newt Hielscher

When I was a child, I wanted to raise horses in Wyoming or be a cabin boy on a pirate ship. - Sadie Jones

If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever. - Thomas Aquinas

No one would have ever crossed the ocean if they could have gotten off the ship in the storm. - Charles F. Ketterling

Most people stand on the dock of life waiting for their ship to come in when deep down inside they know it has never left port. - Zig Ziglar

He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast. - Leonardo da Vinci

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