The Panama Canal

The mighty Panama Canal.  The inter-oceanic canal was a dream since the discovery of the Americas.  The thought of uniting the oceans to open up the world for trade and commerce was always appealing.  The French tried it and failed, loosing tens of thousands to disease and leaving a hulk of decaying infrastructure and a horrible debt.  When the Americans took over, they did so in the wake of a questionable coup, prying Panama free of Columbia and signing on for very generous terms in building the canal.  It took 10 years to build and to this day the 101 year old canal is simply a testament to the ingenuity of man.

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The Culebra Cut... this is what is looks like to sail through the Continental divide.

The Culebra Cut… this is what is looks like to sail through the Continental divide.

Just about everything we buy comes in on container ships from Asia.  The Panama Canal really is a life force of the global economy.

Just about everything we buy comes in on container ships from Asia. The Panama Canal really is a life force of the global economy.

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Under the Bridge of the Americas

Under the Bridge of the Americas

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The massive steel doors of the canal locks, made in the USA... can't say that much anymore

The massive steel doors of the canal locks, made in the USA… can’t say that much anymore

One of the locks of the Panama Canal.  Completed in 1914, there are ships that are now too big for these massive locks and they are in the process of building new ones to accommodate the traffic.

One of the locks of the Panama Canal. Completed in 1914, there are ships that are now too big for these massive locks and they are in the process of building new ones to accommodate the traffic.

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Looking out over the locks.  These ascend and descend in only 8 minutes using gravity and 1914 technology

Looking out over the locks. These ascend and descend in only 8 minutes using gravity and 1914 technology

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