Photo of the Week
June 12, 2016

We interrupt the scouting photos again with an historical event that happened this past Tuesday in Panama.  The first trial run with a Post-Panamax cargo ship in the new Aqua Clara Locks on the Atlantic side was done as a trial run before the Canal's Grand Opening on June 27 when the first vessels will begin using the "neopanamax" locks on both ends of the Canal.  The MV Baroque was contracted by the APC to stage this trial run.  What a site this must have been to see a ship of this size coming up the Atlantic entrance to the Canal in route to the new locks.  Imagine if the builders of the Panama Canal back in the early 1900's could see this!! Mind boggling!  Unlike the existing locks of the Panama Canal, these new locks do not use towing locomotives.  The ship transits under it's own power with the assistance of a tug on the bow and stern.  There has been quite a stir about if this will really work without the assistance of towing locomotives.  With the size of these vessels and wind, especially in the dry season and with taller container ships ... hmmm.... good luck.  A classic example is in this YouTube video that was filmed on Thursday.  I have provided a link to the video below.  When you get into about a one minute and as the vessel is coming out of the upper chamber entering the lake, look how close it is to the west wall of the locks.  Pretty close!!  I would think they would have a tug on standby on both sides of the bow to assit with a nudge if needed.  Looks like they needed a nude here.  The same would hold true with the vessel entering the salt water were the turbulence is greater.  Well, this is why they are having trial runs.

Here is the YouTube Link.  Click the expand screen icon in the lower left of the video window to see a bigger picture. 

Here also is a link to the gCaptain web site with more photos and information:


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