Chamber wall detail, Gatun locks, Panama Canal

All ready to pull the plug and drain the lock chamber! This is what a side-tie looks like. The nasty roughness of the chamber wall (all that exposed aggregate - which would look really natty in a Soho loft) has most captains shying away from a side-tie. If, however, you want to get through the canal in a timely manner, you take what's offered. On the descent (chambers draining) there is little water turbulence and the well practiced PanaMuscle literally walk the boat down the wall to the next chamber's level.

The tiled numbers (center frame) indicate the water depth, in feet, of the chamber, and yes that's as full as it was going to get during that drought.

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