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The Canal


A couple of weeks ago the one-millionth ship transited the Panama Canal since it officially opened on August 15, 1914, so I thought I would post a few pictures and see what I could find in the way of “interesting facts” to mark the occasion. Surpassingly, the passage of the Fortune Plum, with a load of steel products from the Pacific to the Atlantic, wasn’t marked with a big celebration and was only announced by the Panama Canal Authority several weeks later - it was just business as usual, one of the 15,000 or so vessels that transit each year.

Some interesting stuff:
  • The Panama Canal was opened on August 15, 1914.
  • Estimated cost of the US built Panama Canal $375,000,000.
  • Estimated cost for the major expansion now underway, $5.25 billion.
  • Estimated year of completion of expansion 2014 - the Canal’s 100th anniversary.
  • The highest toll charged - $330,200 in 2008 by the Disney Magic cruise ship.
  • The lowest toll was paid by adventurer Richard Halliburton in 1928, who was asked to pay 36 cents - he swam the length of the Panama Canal.
  • Normal transit time for a ship is 8 to 10 hours.
  • Fastest Canal transit was 2 hours and 41 minutes by the US Navy hydrofoil Pegasus.
  • On February 29, 1968, 65 ships made the transit, a record. The average is 40 per day.
  • In 1963 the Panama Canal started operating 24 hours a day.
  • The Atlantic entrance to the Canal is 22-1/2 miles west of the Pacific entrance.
Read More . . .
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