Category: Travel

The Panama Canal – an Historic Commercial Transportation Link


Panama Canal pic

Panama Canal

Based in Maumee, Ohio, Michael Sordyl maintains a career as a financial advisor and has a community presence that includes a position as co-chair of the Flower Hospital Auxiliary-focused Mobile Meals Wine Gala. Michael Sordyl has traveled extensively throughout North America, to destinations that range from Alaska to the Panama Canal.

Rich in history and commercially vital, the canal that provides a shipping link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014. Early attempts by the United States to build the canal at the turn of the century were rebuffed. Commercial interests ultimately prevailed over politics, however, and the canal project went ahead on land that was originally part of Colombia.

When finally completed, a “Panamax” standard came to the fore in shipping. This defined the maximum size a ship could be and still pass under the canal’s bridges and through its lock chambers of specific lengths, widths, and depths. While there are two shipping lanes along most of the Canal, the narrow Culebra Cut makes two-way traffic impossible, such that ship traffic passes in only one direction for 12 hours each day. The ongoing Canal expansion project is set to eliminate this limitation, with a new, significantly larger Panamax coming into being.

Tourists visiting the Panama Canal are able make the entire canal crossing, which takes up to eight hours. Visitors can also explore the Miraflores Locks Museum, as well as its uniquely situated restaurant that allows patrons to observe ships passing in the canal below as they dine.