Posted February 26th, 2017, 09:01 PM
Appreciate these added details and tips. Very good!! Here is a key question to make sure that I am understanding correctly. Since we are sailing from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific, will our ship be on the northern/NW side during our water path across Gatun Lake? While for those ship going from the Pacific to the Gulf will be on the southern/SE side? Kind of like driving in the U.S., those driving are on the "right" side? Correct? Or wrong?
Our balcony room is on the right or starboard side. With some twists and turns along this path, we will need to be on the lookout for certain shipping/cargo vessels up ahead coming at us and be ready to switch to the port side, up higher, to capture certain of those views and images. Right?
Any other good sights and photography secrets/tips?
THANKS for all of the aid! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio
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We can simplify the compass directions a little and put in Canalspeak... On your trip through the Canal you will be a southbound transit and the opposing traffic will be northbound traffic. Your ship will be assigned as South and an even number... 2, 4, 6... Northbound ships are North odd number... 1,3. 5 and so on. Keeping with the compass directions, you will generally be on the west side of the channel while meeting opposing traffic and probably in the middle of the channel when there is no opposing traffic. Don't worry about the compound directions as northwest and southeast. The ship will meander around the compass a bit as it traverses Gatun Lake, but the right side of the channel (in your direction) is always referred to as the west side and the left side the east side. Unless there is some unusual circumstance oncoming ship traffic will pass to your left side... just like regular right hand rules of the road.
This is not to mean that the right side is a write off and not worth a look, it is just I would rather experience the view of the oncoming traffic... sort of what the Canal is all about. Just before you enter the Cut you will pass Gamboa on the left (I know left again), this is the home of the Canal's Dredging Division and you may get a chance to see some of their equipment. One of the most prominent pieces is the crane Titan. This crane was taken from Germany after WW2 as a war prize and served in Long Beach until the late 90s when it came to the Canal. While in Long Beach is was affectionately known as Herman the German. Shortly after Gamboa is where the Chagres river enters the Canal... the only river in the world that empties into both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.
Almost time for you to cast off!
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