OK, we have the schedule for our Panama Canal transit. Please keep in mind that the Panama Canal traffic control can change any of these times as circumstances dictate. For the most part, since cruise ships have priority over cargo ships, these are probably accurate…
- 05:00 (03:00 PDT): Pilot boards the ship
- 07:00 (05:00 PDT): Arrive at Gatun First Locks
- 08:30 (06:30 PDT): Depart Gatun First Locks
- 09:00 (07:00 PDT): Enter Gatun Lake
- 12:55 (10:55 PDT): Pass Gamboa Station
- 14:05 (12:05 PDT): Arrive at Pedro Miguel Locks
- 14:40 (12:40 PDT): Depart Pedro Miguel Locks
- 15:00 (13:00 PDT): Arrive at Miraflores Locks
- 15:55 (13:55 PDT): Depart Miraflores Locks
- 16:40 (14:40 PDT): Pass under Bridge of Americas
- 17:00 (15:00 PDT): Canal Pilot off and enter Pacific Ocean
(Subtract 12 from the numbers 13 or higher to get the PM times past 1pm.)
I do not know where I’ll be at these specific times. Since I’ve not gone through the canal before I don’t know exactly what to expect and so may be moving from port to starboard as needed for photographs. But here are the likely spots…
1) My cabin balcony. I’m on the port side so if you see the ship’s bow (front) to the left on the screen you will be looking at the port side. My cabin is almost exactly in the center of the ship on deck eight. Deck eight is the line of balconies that is the first row below the upper decks. Most of the deck is mini-suites so look for the slightly smaller balcony in the center of the ship on that deck and that’s mine.
2) Deck five. That’s the open deck where the tender/life boats are located. I suspect that this will be a good place to take shots that need to be close to whatever it is I’m taking a photo of. It’s also likely to be a spot where people will gather with their signs and banners. Because of that I hope to avoid it but may need to be there for technical reasons.
3) Deck ten. This is the jogging/walking track at the top and middle of the ship. It’s an open deck with no windows to shoot through but that means when I’m there I’ll be in the direct sun so I’m not likely to stay there very long. But, sometimes you just need that open space to maneuver front to back or side to side to get the specific shot you want.
4) Deck eleven. This is the small deck at the top of the bow of the ship. Like deck ten it’s open to the sun but sometimes useful to see something directly next to the ship or directly in front as parts of it jut out the side a little. Unlikely I’ll be there but possible.
The webcams can be found at pancanal.com as indicated in a prior post.
I’ll be wearing a dark green T-shirt with brown shorts and, if outside in the sun, a tan hat with a large brim all the way around. Of course I’ll have my camera in hand or on me somewhere. If it’s time to carry signs mine will be a bright green poster with blue words “Hello World” and “Tom” in a light red. As I said in a prior post I’m not trying to be in the poster design contest. Just a simple message.
That’s it. When we leave the canal we will have one sea day and then arrive at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua where I have a full day excursion that will explore Granada, Lake Nicaragua (by shore and boat), and lunch before returning to the ship.