Day 6–Mon, Jan. 10, 2011–The Panama Canal

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     Last night I left the television on the bow cam station and put it on mute.  I awoke this morning about 4:30 and saw lights in the distance.  I knew we were approaching the Panama Canal.  I quickly dressed and went out on the bow.  There were ships in both sides of the canal, so we had to wait a little bit.  The picture on the right was taken about 5:10 am.  We entered the canal on the right, which was the western side.  You would think it would be the east side, but the way the canal was dug, it is the west.

IMG_0720 This was taken at 5:22 am and the ship on the right is in the highest section.  It is a cargo ship.

IMG_0723  At 5:34 am we enter the locks.IMG_0726  At 5:42 am the gates are getting ready to let us in.  You can see the high water level in the lock on the left.

IMG_0729   At 5:44 am the gates are opening.

IMG_0740  At 6:12 am the gates have closed behind us and filled with water as another cruise ship waits to enter.

IMG_0765  6:46 am we are now in the highest level of the Gatun Locks.  We exited the locks about 7 am.

     By then Ray was awake so we went for breakfast.  There was a full day of activities planned for the day.  You can never do everything that is planned.  Activities for today included Aerobics, Yoga, Bridge, Tai Chi, Trivia, Sports, and more.  I did watercolors and arts and crafts and Ray did sports and 50 cent roulette bingo.  Between activities I spent my day walking from the forward of the ship to the aft of the ship taking pictures of the Panama Canal.  At the end of the day I put them on a disc so I would have more room on my camera card.  I took quite a few videos.  The water was muddy because of recent rains.  These pictures were taken at noon.

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The other 2 locks are Pedro Miguel Locks and Miraflores Locks.  We had some rain on and off during the day.  It was very hot outside. The Bridge of the Americas is on the Pacific side of the Canal.  We sailed under it about 2:30 pm.  On the right is Panama City.

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     The entertainment tonight was a pianist from the UK, David Howarth.  He was excellent.  He has very nimble fingers!

IMG_0844 Anywhere is paradise; it’s up to you. –Unknown-

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