Today we reached to the bay of Panama and it was quite of treat to be welcomed by a pod of Pantropical spotted dolphins, brown boobies and magnificent frigate birds.
We got the Zodiacs ready to explore the rock formation of the islands of Otoque and Bona inside of the Gulf of Panama. This gulf is the best place to understand the important role of the seasonal trade winds that remove warm waters from the surface and lift cold water filled with nutrients up from the ocean bottom. This major plankton blooming attracts major invertebrates and small fishes, which become the diet of the sea birds that are nesting in this area.
We spotted colonies of magnificent frigates birds and brown boobies, a healthy number of brown pelicans and even saw the blue-footed booby that is becoming more a resident of the area within the last years.
After that amazing outing, we repositioned the beautiful National Geographic Quest to the island of Taboga in which we disembarked our guests to walk around and see the second oldest church in the western hemisphere located in this town. After a nice casual walk, we got back to the vessel and started transiting the Panama Canal, which is one of the main highlights of our trip. We began our transit right after sunset enjoying the tropical breeze and in a very interesting fashion watching the night operation of this important waterway in the world.