Friday, January 24, 2014

100th Aniversary of Panama Canal

The shortest way from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
What an exciting time to be passing through the Panama Canal on our own vessel! I remember how interesting my Mother found her passage on a cruise ship. Now we will do it with other yachts in the World ARC. Apparently, they will raft several of us together as we pass through the locks. The only other time I have experienced passing through locks was on our honeymoon when we took a river cruise from Budapest to Vienna.

I wonder how long this will take?
The Panama Canal was opened in 1914 and was considered "the greatest liberty ever taken with nature" at a cost of over $400 million. It also took 33 years to complete. The 50 mile span allows for the movement of international trade between the Atlantic via the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific oceans. It was a truly historic engineering feat- especially at that time!

Of course, political pressure over the years have played a role in the Canal's history. The French attempted to build a sea-level canal in the late 19th century. Both a lack of engineering capability and the onset of diseases impeded their progress. The United States became involved and took over the project with construction starting in 1903 when Theodore Roosevelt was our President. Over 100,000 workers were involved in the project.

It will be an interesting trip across Panama.
Once completed in 1914, the Panama Canal was considered one of the seven wonders of the world! In the past few years, the Canal has been widened with a third lane at the cost of $5.25 billion. As ships became larger in size and trade increased, it was necessary to keep the cargo traffic moving freely through the Canal. Of course, a few years ago, the United State's lease expired and the Panama Canal was turned over to the government of Panama.

Once we are going through the canal, I will take our own photos and videos to share. Of course, the real excitement lies on the other side of the canal: the Pacific Ocean where we will spend the next year exploring!

We are scheduled to make our passage on January 28th. We will report from the other side!

1 comment:

  1. Just caught up on your blog! The pics are a real bonus on top of the wonderful narrative of your trip so far. Great to see Loretta making it down and helping out. Also great to see how your grand daughter has taken to the helm! Stay well and our best going forward in the World Arc!!! Best Regards, Jim and Carolyn


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