Panama canal

Traffic jam at the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is one of the most important bottlenecks for international shipping. Approximately five percent of world trade is now handled through the canal, and two thirds of all ships that pass through the canal come from or go to the USA. Thanks to the Panama Canal, international shipping routes have been shortened by weeks or even months. Merchant ships, cruise ships, sailing ships and warships no longer have to sail around Cape Horn, which is feared as a ship graveyard with its wild storms and untameable waves, but can cross the continent in a day. The canal is fed with fresh water from two reservoirs: Lake Gatún and Lake Alajuela. These also supply the two million Panamanians who live in the center of the country. The population and the ships compete for the water. For a long time, this was no cause for concern, as tropical Panama is one of the rainiest countries in the world and the reservoirs were always well filled. However, everything changed last year with the El Niño climate phenomenon.

Published in the magazine “Reportagen”, issue #77.

https://reportagen.com/reportage/stau-am-panamakanal

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Posted by Alex in Publications
Gallery – Panama Canal

Gallery – Panama Canal

Then plans change: We decide that we and Mabul are not yet ready for the Pacific and that we would stay one more season on the Caribbean side. Of course, we still keep our promise to be line handlers for SV My Motu during their Panama Canal transit. So we moor Mabul in the Turtle Cay Marina and go on board SV My Motu. Together we make our way to Shelter Bay Marina in Colon. This is the first (almost) necessary stop before heading into the canal. There, the final preparations are made, large fenders and long lines are delivered by the agent and we get a briefing. Then we set off shortly after four o’clock in the morning.

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Posted by Alex in Gallery, 0 comments