Our 2007 Cruise Around the World on the QE2 travel blog

Approaching Gatun Locks (from Atlantic)

Going into the first of 3 locks at Gatun

Note two tankers at 2nd and 3rd locks ahead

Into our first lock at Gatun

Rising to the 2nd lock level

Flooded Pedro Miguel locks (mid Canal)

Emptying Pedro Miguel locks

Opening Pedro Miguel locks

Crossing the Panama Canal! What an interesting day!!

Got to the Gatun locks, first set on the Atlantic side, at 6:30 a.m. This is the most complex and most interesting of the three sets since it has three levels and two sides. We needed six "mules" (i.e. train engines) to pull us through. We were alongside a huge container ship with almost no clearance on its sides (referred to as a "Panamax"). Our QEII is also a Panamax.

There is an average of 44 ships crossing the canal each day! This first set took about two hours.

Reached the second set, Pedro Miguel, around noon and completed the crossing through the Miraflores locks to the Pacific by 4:30. It was fascinating! We were lucky to have a sunny (though hot and humid) day since we were told it rains often in this area.

In between locks, Bob exercised while Gretchen played Mah Jongg (she was the big winner) representing Venice well among three other NY/NJ players. After dinner and the casino, we saw a wonderful Vegas style revue—the songs of Elton John. Then to the theater to watch the Johnny Cash "Walk the Line" movie. Today's "surprise" from Cunard was a beautiful bromeliad plant for our cabin.

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