Canal Factoids

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Thu 14 Feb 2013 23:29
Panama Canal Factoids and Other Bits
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. I was lucky enough to get a card and a Pandora Heart.

Today Erick the Agent paid us a visit and Beez Neez paid her Panama Canal transit fees – YEEHA - $1334.00 or £ 860.09 made up of

$ 800.00 or £ 515.80 – Tolls

$ 50.00 or £ 34.82 – Inspection

$ 130.00 or £ 83.82 – security Fee

$ 350.00 or £ 225.66– Agency Fee including 12 mini tyres and four 125 feet ropes. Yes we could have done our transit without the use of an agent for $40.00 BUT we would have had to put up a big security bond. This is returned but sometimes not for several weeks, to be honest, an agent provides a hassle free transit and the need not to speak fluent Spanish........

$ 100.00 or £ 64.47 each - if we need to employ linehandlers through Erick the Agent (we need three as Bear is our fourth). At the moment we are seeking yachties who would like a practice run just as we did for Toodles, or, willing youngsters.





§      If the material originally excavated to build the Canal were put on a train of flat cars, it would encircle the earth four times.


§      More than four and a half million cubic yards of concrete went into the construction of the Panama Canal’s locks and dams.


§      A total of 101 steam shovels, 369 locomotives, 6,163 railroad cars, 9 track shifters, 26 earth spreaders, 20 dredges, 553 drills and 51 cranes, as well as numerous ‘other’ equipment, were used in  the building of the Canal.


§     The steam shovel gangs competed to see which could excavate the most dirt each month.


§     More than half the material removed during the construction of the Canal was solid rock. Every day, more than 600 holes were drilled and blasted to slice the rock up to 21 feet down. Between 1905 and 1912, more than 60 million pounds of dynamite was used.


§     The mean (average) sea level for the Atlantic and Pacific is virtually the same. Because the tidal variation at the Pacific entrance can be up to 18 feet, a sea level canal would be faced with the problem of a current running northbound when the Pacific tide was high and a current running southbound when the tide was low.


§     Because of the reclining "S" shape of the Isthmus of Panama the sun rises from the Pacific and sets in the Atlantic.



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§     The lock gates are seven feet thick.


§     In the record-breaking month of March 1912, 3,217 trains hauling 65,555 cars carried dirt out of Gaillard Cut.


§     Approximately four percent of the world's cargo passes through the Panama Canal.


§     Theodore Roosevelt became the first President in office to visit a foreign country while on an inspection tour of the Panama Canal on the 15th of November 1906.


§     Two hundred million dollars is the investment made by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), in maintenance annually, which represents 23% of its spending. Panama Canal reaches new tonnage record of 333.7 million PC/UMS in FY2012 The Panama Canal set a mark in its history as it reached a new tonnage record of 333.7 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) during fiscal year 2012.


§      During fiscal year 2012, Canal Waters Time (CWT) averaged 25.66 hours. The top market segments during this fiscal year were full container vessels with 119.8 million Panama Canal tons, followed by dry bulk carriers and tankers, which were registered at 83.4 million Panama Canal tons and 51.6 million Panama Canal tons respectively. (The Panama Canal’s fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th.)


§     The workforce of the Panama Canal is 10,000 men and women.

Each time a vessel passes through the Canal, it uses 52 million gallons of fresh water. That is over 1.5 billion gallons of water to move an average of 32 vessels through the Canal each day. This water comes from the abundant 130 inches of rain that annually falls in Panama's rainforest. Historically, whenever there has been an increase in commercial development in a tropical environment such as Panama, there has been a corresponding reduction and loss in valuable rainforest watersheds. Nowhere else in the world does a rainforest have such collateral importance as it does in Panama. Without the rainforest, greater water runoff will occur during the rainy season. Consequently, there may not be enough fresh water held in the watershed to operate the Canal during the dry season.



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