Friday, September 26, 2014

101 years ago today, the first ship steamed through the Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal

Colon, near the Atlantic end of the Panama Canal
"No man with a soul for the poetry of mechanics can stand in a control house of one of the locks and see the enormous gates swing back at the movement of a finger without feeling that man, with all his limitations, has yet in his being some image of the Creator. To see an ocean giant rise up slowly in the teeth of gravitation and slip through the gates on to the higher level, is to wonder whether the portals that look so gloomy to us may not, after all, be not exits but entrances to a new and higher level of life. What a text! The ship does not rise by straining but by resting in a narrow place. And no ship ever yet got through the locks without a  pilot. The whole process is as silent as the forces of eternity. There is a lot more, and it bears no copyright. Help yourself." - Prowling about Panama by George A. Miller (New York, 1919)
It was on this date, 101 years ago, that the first ship, a sea-going tug, the Gatun, passed through the Panama Canal's Gatun Locks, just less than a year later, on 15 August 2014, the SS Ancon became the first ship to pass through the entire Canal.

Here's my photo from last year of the Gatun Locks (this is from the base of the lock looking up with a huge ship right above my head!).


And here is a ship in the "narrow place""


No comments: