In the early morning, we arrived to the Otoque, Bona and Estiva Islands near the entrance to the Panama Canal. On Zodiacs, we circumnavigated this important nesting site for magnificent frigatebirds, brown pelicans, and brown boobies. At this time of year, trade winds blow harder across the low, narrow isthmus of Panama, particularly around the canal. This effectively creates Panama’s dry season while causing an upwelling of cold waters, which brings up nutrients to feed plankton, then small fish, and then larger fish. The higher abundance of fish at this time of the year makes it a good place for birds to nest and raise chicks. The presence of so many birds created a feast for our eyes and for our cameras.

Later in the afternoon, we proceeded to our appointment to cross the Panama Canal. This masterpiece of engineering that was built over a hundred years ago is the grand finale of our adventures in Central America.