11 February 2009

Panama Canal, Quickly

"Scientists investigate that which already is;
Engineers create that which has never been.''
-Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist (1879-1955)

This is a great video showing the time-lapse passage of a cruise ship through the 48-mile long Panama Canal in under two minutes. A typical passage of a cargo ship takes between eight and ten hours. The canal consists of man-made and natural lakes and canals and three sets of locks.

I've never been to the canal, or to Panama, but would love to go sometime. I'm impressed and amazed at the engineering marvel that trimmed the ocean-going trip from San Francisco to New York from 14,000 miles (south around Cape Horn) to just 6,000 through the canal. Mind-boggling feat, which unfortunately cost over 27,000 lives to complete. The canal opened in 1914.

Tolls for the canal are based on the type of vessel, the size, and what it is carrying. The most expensive toll to date was charged to the cruiser liner "Disney Magic" on May 16, 2008: $331,200! The least expensive toll was $0.36 to American adventurer Richard Halliburton, who swam the canal in 1928. The average toll is around $54,000.

Tip for the video from
Andrew Sullivan.

KJT - Seattle (2009)


cae said...

May parents have been through the canal twice on their own boat. Wish I could've joined 'em, to a certain degree (a certain degree because, for the most part, being trapped in an oblong box on an expanse of flat for days on end doesn't appeal much to me, overall). Love the notion of locks. Have been to the Hiram M. Chittenden locks in Ballard a few times. Fun to watch.

cae said...


Lara said...

Coolness. Thanks.