Panama — Miraflores Locks

Miraflores Locks are the last two locks of the Panama Canal before entering the Pacific Ocean (for ships coming from the Caribbean) or the first two locks of the canal (for ships coming from the Pacific). The locks drain 26 million gallons of water and lower vessels about 39 inches (one meter) per minute, taking about 8 to 10 minutes to lower the water level 27 feet. Large vessels, like the one photographed below, only have a two foot clearance on either side and are guided through by trains with wires. It is a slow but fascinating process.

Photos taken March 2010 (Fuji FinePix S9000).

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