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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to Diana!  She is the newest winner of a box of Chocolate Cheerios!  She guessed correctly that the pictures are of Panama, mostly of the Mira Flores locks on the Panama Canal.

Diana spotted the Panamanian flag in the picture.  Expand the picture and look at the building just to the right of the flagpole, it is covered bleachers, where people come and watch the ships pass through this set of locks.

Here is better view of the lock control tower, which is to the left of the first picture.

Now, what is the picture of the steps about?

The steps lead down under the control tower to the mechanisms that control the giant locks.   Miles of wiring connects the controls to... 

...giant arms connected to hydraulic rams that open and close the lock doors.

All the lock doors and pumps that push the water in and out of the locks are controlled in the tower by these controls, first installed in1913 and still in use today.  There are plans to computerize them in the near future.

Giant container ships enter the locks and are lifted by the water.

The ships squeeze through the locks with just inches to spare on each side.  The come so close to the control tower, you could almost shake the hand of the ship's crew on the bridge.

The ships are pulled through the locks by little, but very powerful electric locomotives.

The whole operation of a ship passing through the locks and the canal are monitored by cameras all along the waterway and viewed on TV monitors in the master control station.

And the picture of the bus?

Panama is where old school buses get a second lease on life.  They get new paint jobs and drive routes all over the country.

So where are we going to go next?  You never know when a new contest will come along!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

PS:  Diana, send me an email when you get a chance at our email address on the bottom of the page so I know where to send your prize. :c)


  1. Were you sent there with the Coast Guard?

  2. Judy and Emma,

    Yes I was there on official Coast Guard business. For a guy in the "Coast" Guard, I've been sent all over the world.

    That's why I like traveling in our RV, I hope to never see another airline seat! ;c)

  3. way to go Diana..welcome to the 'chocolate cheerioes winners club'!!!..whoohooo!!!!

  4. Whoo Hooo is right! I absolutely LOVE to WIN! OK, I may be just a little bit over-competitive...