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Fake, Made Up and Completely Impossible Virtual Cruise Blog

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A new Twangster blog!! A new Twangster blog!!! I don't care if it's completely fake and all the pictures have been seen before, IT'S A FREAKING NEW TWANGSTER BLOG!!!!!

A new fake feature is the Royal Transporter.  I dropped by just in time to see some new guests arriving from another ship. 📷 :CBS/Paramount Pricing: For $79.95* (plus 18% gratuity)

I have a fever but it isn't from COVID-19.  I have cruise fever and an itch I can't scratch.    So why not join me for a wild and impossible cruise itinerary involving teleporting between cabins,

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This stop in Juneau has been great but exhausting.  I think I need a few sea days to recover.  Let's see what the Royal transporter crew can come up with.  

Until then here are some final visuals of Juneau from various stops there:






Explorer of the Seas in Juneau.







Radiance departing Juneau.



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Now that I'm in the region known for Oranges and Pinnacles I'm getting ready for the next update to this virtual cruise. 

I'm thinking somewhere the CDC stole from me for the fall of 2021.  They might be able to ban the cruise lines from talking about such a cruise but they can't stop me from virtually sailing there...


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Dawn was slow to break through the cloudy mist on this morning.


The sizable city of Panama appeared through the mist.


Then a bridge appeared.


Not just any bridge.  The Bridge of The Americas connects North and South America.


A nod towards yesteryear on display.


A ship ahead of use is jostled into position for it's journey.



While we may our way towards our path.


This will begin our day going through the Panama Canal, a marvel of engineering.

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Heading from the Pacific Ocean East towards the Atlantic our first close up experience with the Panama Canal will be the Miraflores Locks.

There are two steps in these locks with a small lake in between them.



These tugs are an important part of the canal operation. Ships our size are assigned two tugs.


Two people in a row boat... can you believe these row boats are still used over a hundred years after the canal first opened?


They bring "messenger" lines over to the ship that will be used to haul the steel cables from the locomotives over to the ship.  Ship lines are not used in the transit.


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The Miraflores locks will lift us two of the three steps required to reach the level of Gatun Lake.


The locomotives on each side will help guide the ship into the lock channel and keep the ship centered. These have been upgraded over the years but their function remains the same as it was in 1914 when the Panama Canal first opened.


The locomotives are nicknamed "mules" and operating under guidance from the control room,  the onboard seamen and the pilot they keep the ship moving centered in the lock chamber.  The ship uses its own propulsion to move forward.


As the ship moves forward we approach the lock door that hold back massive volumes of water.  Behind us a set of lock doors will close creating a chamber for us to ride in.


Once the doors behind the ship close the lock is flooded with water.  The spray seen here is normal leakage, the chamber is actually filled from below. 


As the chamber fills we can sense we are gently rising.


It's a subtle rise that can be hard to notice.  The water line against the lock doors can be used to see how far the water has risen.  



With our first lift complete the lock doors in front of us open and we advance into the next lock chamber.


The ship before us is already moving into Miraflores Lake.


The orange ship in the new locks has already reach the level of Gatun Lake and is starting to move forward to continue the transit.  The Borinquen Dams separate the new Pacific access channel where this ship is from Miraflores Lake.



These Miraflores locks were originally completed in 1913. 


One more lift to go to reach the level of Miraflores Lake.


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16 minutes ago, twangster said:

While the overall journey is West to East the instantaneous heading during the transit is not 90°.   

Take a look at the map. Transit is most definitely northwest.



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I'm slow rollin' this thread because I think we still have a few more months of virtual cruising but our day in the Panama Canal continues...

It's amazing to think that the canal has for over one hundred years been powered by... rain. 

The entire scope of what was accomplished in building the canal includes numerous individual feats of achievement.  It's unlikely modern society could ever duplicate the efforts and accomplishments that went into building this wonder of the world. 

The time and fuel savings for the shipping industry over those 100+ years is hard to fathom and it was all made possible by water falling from the sky.  The original canal system used no power to lift or lower ships, it was all done by using the power of water.  Think of the weight of all the ships that have used the canal over those 100+ years.  Pretty amazing stuff.  

With the Miraflores Locks complete it was time to proceed.  The ship before us is already halfway across Miraflores Lake.


They begin to let the cables to the locomotives go as we slowly move forward.


As we make our way across Miraflores Lake that ship ahead of us is nearly through the Pedro Miguel lock that comes next. 


Tugs at the ready to push us around.


Two people in a row boat...


Our narrator over the P.A. system informs us they had studies done to evaluate replacing the people in a row boat with various other ways to accomplish the same goal.  At the conclusion it was determined this remains the most flexible means to get the job done.  It simply works.


Looking at the countryside you get an idea of just what they had to deal with over one hundred years ago when they started building the canal.


At this point we could clearly see the Centennial Bridge, the next bridge we would pass under and the channel forward into the Culebra cut.


As we approach the Pedro Miguel lock the doors begin to open


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