Next I will give you the process of going through the locks at the Panama Canal. Some of the pictures will be of different locks used to illustrate the process. I moved all over the ship to try and get a comprehensive view of the process and had to photograph different locks to get some of the action. As you can imagine, the decks were quite crowded.
The Panama Canal currently has 2 lanes of traffic that operate independently.
As the ship approaches the locks, there is a large red and green arrow on the building to the left that points the direction to the lane our ship is to enter. Even with modern technology and radio communication this original part of the system is still used.
Some of the canal workers row out in a small boat to retrieve lines from our ship and attach the cables that will be used to guide our ship through the canal.
The crew then walk the cables over to the "mules" that will walk us through the canal. These are powerful locomotives that hold the ships steady as they move through the canal. It is important to note that they do not pull the ships through, the ship moves under its own power. There are 2 mules on the front and one on the back on each side for our ship.
The mule drivers as well as the rest of the workers are quite friendly with the passengers.
Here we are entering a lock.