Transit the Panama Canal

Trip Start Jan 15, 2009
Trip End May 06, 2009

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Flag of Panama  ,
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Today we passed through the Panama Canal.  During the past few days we watched two different documentaries about the design and construction of the canal.  Hard to believe it is almost 100 years old.  The French originally tried to build the canal but gave up in about 1896.  Their plan was to dig the canal down to sea level.  Panama is mountainous, so that plan required more excavating than was possible at the time.  Rain, mudslides, and mosquitoes defeated the French.  The American effort was ingenious - the idea was to float the ships over the mountains rather than digging the canal down to sea level.  Through a series of locks, ships are lifted about 60 feet above sea level at the beginning of the canal.  Then they sail across Panama through a man-made lake, then they are lowered about 60 feet on the other side.  Why didn't I think of that?   :)
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