Going through the Panama Canal was one of the main reasons I chose this trip. I was not disappointed. We appraoched the Bridge of the Americas on the Pacific side of the canal, about 6.20 am. Then the Miraflores Locks which looked as if the Queen Victoria would not fit.
We had a local commentator on board. She explained that ropes were attached to the ship and pulled by three electric engines, called Mules, to keep the ship straight. The ropes were taken to the ship by men in rowing boats. The guide explained that harpoons had been tried but too dangerous for the person catching the rope and then outboard motors but they are prone to not starting so it is back to 2 men in rowing boats. They are minute in comparison to the size of these ships. They practise throwing at bullseyes on the sides of the locks.
We went through the locks accompanyied by a car carrier and a tanker in the lock beside.
The Queen Victoria just seemed to fit into the locks, new wider locks are under construction on the Pacific side and the edges of the cuts linking the locks to Gatun Lake are being cut away to enable larger ships to use the canal.
The side of the Queen Victoria, part of the new construction and I have absolutely no idea about the lighthouse.
A gread day was had by all and we all went to bed tired but happy.