Gulf of Panama, Otoque Island, Panama Canal, Panama

Dec 07, 2017 - National Geographic Quest


Today we had a wonderful day, making our way to the Panama Canal. We cruised through the Gulf of Panama, one of the few places in Central America where the conditions are right for a major upwelling. As Trade Winds cross the Isthmus and blow away the gulf’s warm surface water, a rush of nutrient-rich cold water wells up and leads to an explosion of marine life. With this in mind, we boarded Zodiacs to explore a few of the islands used by seabirds as nesting colonies during the upwelling. After our morning expeditions, we headed to the Panama Canal to start our first transit of the National Geographic Quest on our way to the Caribbean Sea.  

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About the Author

Fico Chacon

Fico Chacon

About the Photographer

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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