We arrived at the Canal on the Pacific side about 5:00am and it took until almost 7:00am to be hooked up to the "mules" to pull us into the first lock. We departed the last lock at sunset, close to 7:00pm - yes, the transit took 12 hours.
There are 3 locks and Gatun Lake.
The locks were very busy in both directions while we were making our transit and the waters were churned up and were muddy.
The actual Panama Canal is an engineering feat that still amazes engineers the world over!
These were locals dressed in Panamanian attire that boarded the ship before we entered the first lock and stayed onboard during the transit answering questions.
This the the bridge of the Americas, it is the only way other than with a boat to move from North America to South America. Also in the photo is the Continental Divide.
The lock doors (all of them) are the original doors (from 1914) and are still in excellent condition.
The Panama Canal is being enlarged to allow for the larger ships being built.