Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal
This is the first set of locks situated on the Pacific entrance of the
Panama Canal. The locomotives maneuver the ships through the locks prior
to being raised or lowered 27 feet per chamber. Twenty six million
gallons of water is transferred in only 7 minutes and all done by
gravity. Your bath tub doesn't drain that fast.
There are three sets of locks in the Panama Canal. On the Pacific
entrance are Miraflores, with two chambers, and Pedro Miquel with one
chamber. On the Atlantic is one set of locks with 3 chambers, the
Locks. Ships are raised a total of 87 feet above sea level into Gatun
Lake and then lowered at the end of their transit into the other ocean.
A common misconception is that one ocean is higher that the other, but
they are both at sea level.
Panama receives as much as 200 inches of rain per year. This was a
determining factor in placing the canal there since 52 million gallons
of fresh water is lost to the ocean on each transit.
Does it look kind of steamy on the camera? It should; this is in the middle of the tropics and Panama is situated just a few degrees from the equator. The climate is quite warm and humid with the humidity always high, around 80 percent.