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.
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
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
The gates start to open …
Opening the Locks
Once the gates are fully open, it is clear sailing to Lake Gatun
A catamaran leads the car-container ship through the locks and onto Lake Gatun
A Catamaran Leads
Once the ship is secure in one lock at the Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal, the water level is lowered to match that of the forward lock ….
Lowering the Water Level
A Ship Lowered
First an escort of patrol boats on the Panama Canal at Miraflores Locks
An Escort for a Sub
and then a glimpse of USS Scranton, a Los Angeles class nuclear submarine crossing in an adjoining lock from our boat …
A better view of the sub with its crew ….
USS Scranton Crossing
The Poseidon waits on one of the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal to begin the crossing …
Waiting to be Lowered
Comes closer to the gates of the lock ….
… and is lowered into the next lock with the help of “mules.”
Safely in the lower lock ….
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
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.
Giant ships get a little help from powerful mules to guide them through the locks at Panama Canal.
Getting a Little Help
Getting through the old locks at Miraflores is a very tight squeeze.
A Tight Squeeze
A giant cargo container ship barely fits through the old locks at Miraflores on Panama Canal.
Huge ships pass through the Panama Canal 24 hours a day. Of the aprroximately 14,000 ships that transit the Panama Canal each year, more than half have beams in excess of a hundred feet and can barely squeeze through the old locks, which can accommodate ships up to 106 feet wide.
Ships Passing Through
Panama is well-known for its canal that provides a connection between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Miraflores is the name of one of the three locks that form part of the Panama Canal, and the name of the small lake that separates these locks from the Pedro Miguel Locks upstream. In the Miraflores locks, vessels are lifted (or lowered) 54 feet in two stages, allowing them to transit to or from the Pacific Ocean port of Balboa in Panama City.
Miraflores Locks in Panama Canal
A visitors center allows tourists to have a full view of the Miraflores locks operation.
Canal Observation Galleries