Today, National Geographic Quest arrived at the Panama Canal, and we explored the beautiful rainforest found in its watershed. The forest’s rainfall replenishes the lake levels in the waterway. Today’s exploration took place in the town of Gamboa and Barro Colorado Island. This area has been visited by researchers from all around the world, as the creation of the waterway caused concerns about possible tropical diseases.
In 1923, entomologist James Zetek studied the social behavior of termites. He was the first scientist to become director of the Canal Zone Biological Area (CZBA). His work and leadership led to financial aid that was used to support science in an area under transformation.
Since the early 1940s, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Center has undertaken the management of the island. They have gathered a great deal of data and information on the tropical organisms in this beautiful forest. The island and the town of Gamboa shelter many of the scientists.
Later this evening, we took a daylight canal cruise across the Panama Canal. We had the privilege of partially crossing while there was still some daylight, which gave us two different perspectives of this wonderful, timeless waterway.