From the National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica and Panama
Jan 6, 2013 - National Geographic Sea Lion
Gatun Lake, Barro Colorado Island and Panama Canal’s Pedro Miguel & Miraflores Locks
Our first night on board National Geographic Sea Lion was spent anchored inside the Panama Canal on Gatun Lake, which was created by damming the Chagris River during the construction of the canal. Since then Barro Colorado Island (BCI), one of the hills that lies above water line, has become a world-renowned research facility in the study of tropical ecology and island biogeography.
Our morning excursions brought us to this rich forest via hiking trails and Zodiac cruises, where BCI guides introduced us to the tropical rainforest and explained some of the research projects. We were blessed with beautiful sunshine and a delicious breeze that rippled through the forest. Among the treasures seen: ants, bats, howler and capuchin monkeys, agoutis, crocodiles, and many species of birds including crested guans, toucans, and slaty-tailed trogons.
Back on board for the afternoon, our canal pilot embarked, we pulled anchor and continued the transit of the Panama Canal, through Culebra Cut, and finally the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores Locks. Towards evening the galley treated us to deck appetizers of ceviche, guacamole and pico de gallo, along with cocktails. Clapping and cheers arose as we sailed under the Bridge of the Americas and were delivered to the Pacific Ocean. This was followed by a traditional Central American buffet for dinner.