Location: Panama City, Panama

I spent a few minutes enjoying the beautiful sunrise coming over the land before I woke the rest of the crew this morning with my “Wake Up Happy” playlist. Though the movement was slow from below up to deck for breakfast, clean-up was performed at lightning speed to enjoy our first full day in the Pacific! Once supplies were gathered and all were ready, we dinghied into shore to enjoy the city.

The first stop was a little cafe that overlooked the green jungle where we saw a couple of agoutis and some large birds of prey while lounging in comfy chairs, drinking juice, and coffee. We then went to a park and hiked up to a beautiful overlook of the city. Sightings included turtles, a sloth, a capybara, and a few people even saw a family of coatis on our hour-long walk. Finally, we ventured to the historic part of the city named Casco Viejo, where, during the construction of the canal, was where the entirety of the city existed. We had several hours of free time where we chose to explore the buildings and waterfront, eat lunch, and taste handmade snow cones, as well as a shop in which to buy gifts and various treats.

Safely back on board at the end of the afternoon with souvenirs and snacks in hand, deck showers were enjoyed, and a bit of casual karaoke was sung before dinner. Eyes lit up as hot dogs and veggie burgers accompanied by homemade mac and cheese and vegetables were brought up; you’d think we hadn’t had lunch based on the height of food piled on plates. Looking around, all that could be seen was the sun dipping below the horizon accompanied by happy chatting faces all around. My squeeze question for the day was: if you could do anything for a living (dream job), what would it be? Answers ranged from freelance writers to surgeons, aerospace engineers, and surfers. Once we had gone all the way around, we squeezed hands and let out our best war cries before moving into cleanup and assembling down in the salon for a marine biology lecture.

Once released for the evening, crew members could be found studying, tying up hammocks to sleep on deck, and spending time together before turning in for the night. It’s a bit harder to see the stars because we’re so close to the city, but it is pretty amazing getting to explore a place with so much history. So goodnight for now, and we’ll see what Panama has in store for us tomorrow!

Pictured: View of the Panama City skyline from the deck of Argo this morning; some of the group enjoying a few minutes of relaxing; wildlife images at the park; map of the trails we hiked in the park; an agouti we spotted; a capybara trying to nap in a gazebo; the view of the city from the top of the hike; a small sloth hiding against a tree trunk (can you spot him?); some of our group hiking through the jungle paths; delicious food during our time in Casco Viejo; views of some beautiful architecture in Casco Viejo.