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Panama Canal Schedule
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Panama Canal Schedule - FAQ's

Started by Phil, August 03, 2006, 03:14:56 AM

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Here are some FAQ's for the Panama Canal Cam Schedule.

1- The Canal Cams appear to be slow loading or not load at all:

This is caused by two reasons, the first being the size of the cams were doubled in size and take more bandwidth to display online. The second is depending on the number of people trying to access the Cams on a given day day. In fact when the Disney Magic went through the cams the server was so slow because it couldn't keep up with the demand. Hitting refresh doesn't help bring up the picture in most cases.

2- What time can I expect to see a ship enter the locks?

If a ship is E/B from the Pacific side it should come on cam about 8:00 AM Eastern or 5:00 AM Pacific time. It takes approx. 8 hours to transit the whole Canal.
If a ship is W/B then it enters Gatun about 7:00 -8:00 AM Eastern 4:00 - 5:00 AM Pacific and arrives in view of San Pedro locks about 2:30 PM Eastern or 11:30 AM Pacific.
All this is dependent on traffic in the Canal for a given day.

3- I notice a ship on the wrong day or not listed?

This is because I try and make every effort to get all transits of all Passenger ships transiting the Canal from around the world. This is no easy task and takes weeks of collecting the information from Cruise Line Brochures and web sites as well as sending emails to the cruise lines. It is possible to miss a cruise.
If a cruise ship arrives a day early/late it could be due to a last minute change in schedule. This happens mostly when Cartagenia is on the schedule and the line drops and later replaces the stop with another port of call due to the continued travel warnings from the USA on travel to Columbia. On the Gatun Locks/Lake schedule it happens when the cruise line makes last minute changes due to port traffic in some ports. Remember that schedules are made almost 24 months in advance in some cases and when they are made they may be the only ship in a given port that day. When things get close and they notice the port is busy and if they change days in a port they may then only be there with 1 other ship.
I may find out about last minute changes from you the reader who may be on one of these cruises and gets a updated schedule otherwise they go unchanged.
Some of you have noticed cruise ships from du Ponant ( Le Diamant, Le Levant,  Le Ponant) transiting the canal and not listed. du Ponant have a habit of not listing their schedules on their web site for more than a few months at a time. If I don't check for updates then I miss their transits.
There are many small ship cruise lines such as Hebridean Cruises and I only learn of these lines once a ship transits the canal or you email me with the information. Once I learn of these small lines I try and include the in future transits.

4- I notice some night time Transits what time can I expect to see these ships.

Night time are the hardest to predict because there is no fixed time that they will start their transit. I have seen them start transiting as late as 10:00 PM Pacific time.

5 - I know of a transit that is not listed on your schedule what should I do.

First off the ship may not be listed because it only goes to Colon which is the port on the Caribbean Sea side and not transit Gatun Locks/Lake so I won't list it as it can't be seen on the cam(s).
I may have just missed a scheduled transit and I would love it if you would send a transit to me.

6. I keep seeing a a bird on the ladder on the Miraflores cam can you tell me what the bird is?

Ahh yes, that is our old friend Battie. He is a regular to the cam and he is a Bat Falcon (Falco rufigularis).

I further found this on the Bat falcon:

Bat Falcons perch conspicuously on high open snags, from which they launch aerial attacks on their prey. They hunt bats, birds and large insects such as dragonflies. The smaller male takes more insects, and the female more birds and bats. The flight is direct and powerful

7. I notice you post links of the cruise ships and the various lines on the legend page ("legend" link located at bottom of main page in the links) but the link isn't right.

I post links to the "legend" page of the parent company. If one visits this page they should be able to "set" the page to their country of residence. Some cruise ships have their own web page and I will only list the page of the parent company. It just gets to hard to keep up on all the changes and to list them separate from the parent company.

I hope this helps,