Workhorses of the Panama Canal

Among the largest floating cranes in the world, “Titan” was built by Hitler’s Germany and claimed by the United States as war booty. Titan entered service in Panama in 1999 after having served for 50 years in Long Beach, California. The crane can be floated into the locks of the Panama Canal and is used for the heavy lifting required to maintain the doors of the locks of the canal. It can lift 350 metric tons and is one of the “strongest” cranes in the world.

Titan Crane

Titan Crane

Container cranes (also container handling gantry crane or ship-to-shore crane) is a type of large dockside gantry crane found at Panama Canal container terminals for loading and unloading containers from container ships.

A Lineup of Cranes

A Lineup of Cranes

 

Opening the Gates

 

The gates remain closed until the water level in the present lock reaches the level of the forward lock at the Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal

Gates Closed

Gates Closed

The gates start to open …

Gates Opening

Gates Opening

Opening the Locks

Opening the Locks

Open Gates

Open Gates

Once the gates are fully open, it is clear sailing to Lake Gatun

Open Sailing

Open Sailing

A catamaran leads the car-container ship through the locks and onto Lake Gatun

A Catamaran Leads

A Catamaran Leads

 

Locks on a Hazy Day

We visited the Agua Clara Locks, Panama Canal on a rainy, hazy day but still got fairly good knowledge of how the locks work.

Haze at Aqua Clara Locks

Haze at Aqua Clara Locks

For each of the three chambers in the Agua Clara and Cocoli Locks, there are a total of three water-savings basins, bringing the total to 18 basins for the new locks. Each of the basins is massive, having a surface area equivalent to 25 Olympic-size pools. And each utilizes state-of-the art technology which allows the Canal to reuse 60 percent of the water used per lockage, saving seven percent more than the existing locks do.

Holding Tanks

Water Basins

Expanding the Canal

Cocoli Locks

Cocoli Locks – Pacific Ocean

Agua Clara Locks

Agua Clara Locks – Atlantic Ocean