Panama Canal

Flat Stanley Transits the Panama Canal

 

Hi Everybody …

 

Well, today was a very special day.  I got to go through the Panama Canal again.  What a lucky boy I am … not many kids my age ( 7 years old ) have ever even done it once and here I am telling you that I am doing it again!  When we woke up, which was late because our ceiling was leaking last night and the plumbers had to come at two o’clock in the morning to fix it. The man said that we could go to another cabin to sleep, but GD was pretty much asleep the whole time and said she was not moving – so we stayed.  They got the water shut off and we were OK.  The plumber men came several times during the daytime to be sure it was dry.  Anyway, when we woke up, we were in the middle of Gatun Lake.  If you don’t know about the Panama Canal, you should look it up on the internet, so you can understand what I am writing about.  Also in Gatun Lake was the Zuiderdam, which is another Holland America Line ship, like us.

Zuiderdam and Gatun Lake Dam

That was pretty cool.  Then my friend Captain Jonathan sailed the Amsterdam (our ship) over past where they are building a new lock so the really, really big ships can sail through the Panama Canal.  The lady who came on board to tell us all about the canal while we sailed through it, said it is going to be opened sometime next year. That was pretty exciting!

New Locks

Now I can say that I saw it when it was being built when MY grandkids ask me. We sailed through the canal, taking our time because all the ships that are coming from the Pacific Ocean (we came from the Atlantic Ocean) have to get through all the locks to Gatun Lake before we can go in.  On our way, we passed a town where they keep all the dredging stuff and it had a huge Titan Crane.  I thought that was really cool!All the way, we had a tugboat that followed us and one that was near the bow also (front of the boat).

Tug Following Us

This is just in case something happens to our engines, they can push and pull us through the canal and we won’t tie up traffic.  The tugboats are small but very, very strong – like me!

 Titan Crane

When we got to the last set of locks – there are three sets – there are cameras so people at home could watch us go through the locks.  Locks, in case you don’t know, are like elevators for a ship.  I am going to put five pictures at the end of this post that shows the Amsterdam going through the Miraflores Locks. There is a big building next to the locks and it was filled with hundreds of people who paid to come and watch our ship go through the locks.  I waved and yelled at them and they waved and yelled back.  I really liked that.

Viewing Stands for Miraflores

There were lots of birds around the locks – frigate birds, big and black with forked tails; Egrets, all snowy white with long yellow legs and my favorites, the Pelicans.  I got my picture next to one of them. They are really cool and catch fish by scooping them up into their big bills.

Pelican 1

After we came out of the Miraflores Locks, we went under a huge bridge and past the BioDiversity Center.  It is painted with really bright colors and looks awesome with the very while Panama City in the background.

 Panama City and BioDiversity Center

In two days we will be in Manta, Ecuador where they make Panama Hats.  They are called Panama hats because people wear them in Panama – not because they are made there.  Maybe this year GD will buy me one.  She always says I am too young and I would never wear it when I got home. I think she is wrong!

 

Loads of Love, Flat Stanley

Approaching Miraflores Lock First Miraflores Locks OpeningInto Second Miraflores Leaving Miraflores