Panama Canal: Gatun Locks
The "Mules" are electric engines that are attached by cable to the larger ships that transit the locks. They help keep the ship in place as it moves through the lock chambers. Our ship had a total of 8 mules guiding us through the locks.
Gatun Locks is a set of three chambers that raises or lowers ships 85 feet between the Atlantic Entrance channel and Gatun Lake. It takes about an hour and a half to transit all three Gatun Locks. During our trip through Gatun Locks, the Holland America Westerdam was in front of us, and the Celebrity Infinity was to our left in the parallel lock chambers.
The Panama Canal is one of the greatest engineering marvels of the modern era. Begun in 1880 by the French, it was completed by the United States, opening to traffic on August 15, 1914. This photo was taken onboard the cruise ship Coral Princess. We made a complete transit of the canal from the Atlantic (Caribbean) side to the Pacific side, travelling from north to south.