Day 11 - Transiting the Panama Canal



Today we will travel west-to-east through Panama Canal. We'll marvel as we sail through the massive locks toward Gatun Lake, the world's largest man-made body of water. The jungles, wildlife, flowers, and villages that border the canal are a feast for the photo lovers. And soon we will descend into the Caribbean Sea.  


Read this text about the Panama Canal, and put the verbs in brackets in the CORRECT VERBAL TENSES.

For those of us who (love) history, engineering marvels, and cruises, you can't beat a transit through the Panama Canal. Tipically four pilots, one on the bridge and the others on the bow and stern, guide the ship on its 8 hour transit. Gatun Lake, near the Caribbean side of the Canal, is a 23 mile long lake which  (build) to supply water for the canal and to operate the locks.   

The Panama Canal is the one place in the world where a ship's captain  (hand over) control of his ship to another captain: the Canal pilot. This is necessary because of the technical skills and quick decisions  (need) to make it through without a scrape.  From the bridge, the chief pilot can give orders to navigate the ship and control its speed through the Canal.  For many of the crew on the ship not on the bridge, there is usually little to do but (become) tourists for the day. 


The 8-hour trip from Gatun Lake to the Bridge of the Americas (cover) about 50 miles. This bridge, besides from being a Pacific doorway to the Canal, (represent) the link between the two landmasses of the American Continent. 

Ships (transit) the canal must be (raise) 85 feet to cross the Continental Divide, and then be (lower) again to sea level. Three sets of locks are used to raise and lower the ships and the precision (require) is extraordinary. Not surprisingly, the giant lock gates weigh from 400 to 700 tons each. They are filled and emptied by gravity, water flowing through 18-foot diameter tunnels allowing the filling and emptying of a lock chamber in about 10 minutes. Each ship (pass) through the waterway requires 52 million gallons of fresh water to operate the locks. Finally this water (flow) into the sea.  

If you love history, engineering, and cruises, and if you can have the pleasure of (cruise) this wonder, many cruise ships (give) you a trip of a lifetime.  


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