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twangster

ūüéĶPanama! ūüéĶ Vision of the Seas Oct. 30, 2019

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2 minutes ago, twangster said:

The third and final bridge over the Panama Canal is the Atlantic Bridge.  This bridge was completed August 2019.  

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I know sometimes pictures can be deceiving, but the bridge seems tall enough to accommodate ships, larger than I would think can travel through the canal? 

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2 hours ago, FManke said:

I know sometimes pictures can be deceiving, but the bridge seems tall enough to accommodate ships, larger than I would think can travel through the canal? 

Clearance of 246 feet below so most ships will have no issue clearing it. 
 

The Bridge of the Americas on the Pacific side remains the challenge for shipping with a clearance of 201 feet.

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One of my dilemmas as I thought about how to capture this day was where to go on the ship for the best pictures.  I captured the timelapse on my GoPro while I waited on deck 10 forward for the morning approach and the first set of locks.  However I didn't want to stay there the whole day guarding my GoPro. 

At the same time I really wanted a full transit timelapse so I cheated a little bit.

Vision of the Seas has a TV channel dedicated to the forward facing bridge camera.  It's channel 41 on the TV system.   Hmmm.  What if I used my other phone to capture a timelapse of channel 41?

The full transit in 21 seconds.

 

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What does it cost a for ship like Vision of the Seas to transit the Panama Canal?

Bill Benny admits he hasn't seen our bill but he can guestimate it pretty close.

Ship are charged based on capacity.  For cruise ships it's the number of berths regardless if they are being used or not.  For cargo ships it's based on their cargo capacity regardless of the amount of cargo actually being carried.  

Cruise ships pay $138 per berth.  To go through on a specific day they have to make a reservation.  This costs $35,000.  To go through in daylight hours also has a fee of $30,000.  The tugs come with a charge between $12,000 and $14,000.  The Panamanian sea men who come on board to handle the cables cost around $4,000.  Each cable on a locomotive has a $300 charge.  There are some other fees and charges that are pocket change in the bigger picture. 

Bill's guestimate for Vision is about $380,000.00.

Ship's are tagged with a new name when they transit.  We were N 29 Zulu.  Northbound, 29th ship of the day and zulu means preferential treatment (daytime reservation).

Remember the NCL Bliss that used the new locks last year?  They paid $880,000.00

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On both sides of the canal there have been ships at anchor waiting to transit the canal.  This leads to the question how long do they have to wait?  

Bill Benny offered that the typical wait time without a reservation can be up to ~ 36 hours.  Timing varies based on demand and how many ships have reservations.    Typical volume is forty ships per day.  

The new locks don't have locomotives.  Each ship is allocated two tugs, one forward, one aft.  They do all the control, forward or aft or lateral movements that the locomotives do in the original canal.

The entire Panama Canal system uses gravity.  There are no pumps.  Water flows from Gatun Lake into upper lock chambers then to the next lock chamber down to the ocean.  This area of the Americas receives a lot of rain, it always has.  The Chagres River which was dammed to create Gatun Lake flowed into the ocean.  The man made Gatun Lake is a reservoir that flows water into the locks as they operate replacing the natural draining of the Chagres River into the sea.  

Too much rain isn't a serious issue as spillways can dissipate excess water.  If nature changed rainfall amounts downwards there are concerns about a lack of rain impacting canal operations.  If there was a major change in weather patterns that denied the region the rain it normally receives it is conceivable the canal would reduce operations compared to how it operates today.  

Gatun Lake is freshwater.  It also supplies drinking water to millions of people.  Gatun Lake has Crocodiles and Caiman.  

The canal generates around 3 billion USD in revenue annually.  Roughly half of this goes to the Panamanian treasury and half is consumed by the canal for operational use and development.

 

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