The Panama Canal was made possible by damming the Chagres River in 1910 to make the Gatun lake which supply’s water to the locks. We took the opportunity to sail up this river to explore the resulting habitat it’s created. It was breathtaking and quite magical sailing up it at dawn to the chorus of howler monkeys and birds shouting from the virgin rainforest on either bank.
We didn’t motor all the way to the dam for political reasons but anchored at a lovely spot halfway. We tried to explore and hike in the jungle as all wildlife is protected here and therefore abundant. Unfortunately the trails have long since overgrown and the rainforest is fairly impenetrable. But we had fun looking in a clearing and Felix found a frog type we’ve not seen before on a leaf and we saw families of monkeys swinging in the trees, much to everyone’s delight.
There was no chance of any swimming to cool off due to the crocodiles. You can spot them at night by shinning a torch and seeing their glowing red eyes. But it still made for a delightful anchorage.