Location: Shelter Bay Marina, Panama

After a fine breakfast, the crew set out on a small hike in a nearby national park alongside the Rio Chagres, the river the gives the canal its constant supply of freshwater. Guided by a ranger, we saw a plethora of local plants, trees, insects, birds, and howler monkeys. Also included on the tour were a former US army base (that held Manuel Noriega after his capture) and a 16th-century Spanish fort. Upon returning to the boat, we had MTE and a great lunch, followed by free time around the marina. The day concluded with a plankton lab, with lobster larvae and a juvenile crab as the highlights under the microscope. The anticipation and excitement surrounding our impending canal transit couldn’t be higher!