Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Comment on the comments

Location : Chile Coast -20 34 S, 076 14 W

Just wanted to come by & say that even though I can't comment on the comments page because I'm not connected, I do read them & appreciate them. Thanks for the comment Mieke on the seagulls. I might just take a picture of the port fwd deck that these
little buggers have decorated with their poop. I fail to understand how these chaps can eat so much. I am afraid I belong to those few who have not read J Seagull. It is on my "to do" list and I promise that I will get around to it.

And thanks to Anon who pointed out that the white buildings in the pictures of the Panama locks are actually the control towers from which they operate the lock gates & the valves. The beauty of the Panama canal locks is that there are no pumps
involved. The lake (and the full Panama Canal) is above sea level. So what happens when the ship comes in the lower lock is that the valves between the two locks are opened & the water simply flows down with the force of Gravity. It is a beautiful
system & apparently the valves & the lock gates are the same as were in operation way back in 1913.

The down side of this method of operation is that everytime a ship comes up & then goes down from the Panama Canal, freshwater is lost out into the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean. The water is regained by rainfall. In the ongoing expansion of the Canal,
they are planning on building bigger locks that will actually use less water. They plan on doing this by using some reserve pools. Plus they will be increasing the height of the Gatun lake by a few feet. But not everyone is happy about it & I'll have
to do a bit of reading up on the modalities of it when I get back.

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