Gulf of Panama, Otoque Island, Panama Canal, Panama

Dec 21, 2017 - National Geographic Quest

Our day started with a gentle breeze and a mixed flocks of marine birds escorting our ship to our anchorage spot near a small group of island in the Gulf of Panama known for the extraordinary diversity of marine birds. Otoque and Bona Island offers a pristine nesting site mainly for brown pelicans, magnificent frigatebirds, blue-footed and brown boobies. We enjoyed a morning outing in our Zodiacs from where we observed these magnificent birds and their interesting behavior. Nesting rituals, fluffy chicks, red gular pouches, and kleptoparasitism behavior, definitively were the morning exciting natures displays.

In the afternoon we repositioned to the Bay of Panama where we had our appointment with the Panama Canal Transit. From the anchorage area and before our transit began, we enjoyed a privileged view of the modern city of Panama and its unexpected skyline. Finally, we started our transit in the early evening with the arrival of the Canal Pilot, followed by the up lockage in Miraflores Locks, Pedro Miguel Locks, and the always fascinating Gaillard cut.

The fun will continue tomorrow, in the Panama Canal.

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About the Author

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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