Tahina Prepares for Panama Transit


We’ve been following the progress of Frank Taylor—founder and editor of the Google Earth Blog—and his wife Karen during their five-year round-the-world journey in the 50-foot catamaran Tahina. Since November, the couple has sailed the Atlantic from their starting point in North Carolina along the Caribbean’s Leeward and Windward island chains and west across South America’s northern coast.

Now Tahina is anchored near Colón, Panama, as the Taylors make final preparations to traverse the Panama Canal to the Pacific.

(UPDATE March 24, 2:37 p.m. EDT: Keep an eye out for Tahina as it makes its way to the Pacific this afternoon and through the night on live webcams operated by the Panama Canal Authority.)

As befits a captain who’s monitored Google Earth since its inception, Frank has brought a host of geospatial technology, remote sensing, and communications tools along. You can track Tahina with Google Maps or Google Earth, of course …


… and monitor the expedition day by day on the Tahina blog.

You can also see the marine life in the waters below the ship, shot by the Taylors themselves while diving and by Tahina’s underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle. While in Panama’s San Blas archipelago, for instance, the pair photographed life on a reef …


… including coral …


… a parrot fish …


… Caribbean reef squid …


… a sea fan …


… an eagle ray with an endless tail …


… and another ray hiding in the sand.


For those of us who’d like to experience the tranquil beach at Panama’s West Holandes Cays—and I’m guessing that would be all of us—Frank shot and stitched several panoramas, such as this one, that plant viewers in the sand at water’s edge.

Frank’s making spherical images of many of the couple’s destinations. There are more to explore, along with day-by-day updates, on the Tahina blog. Subscribe to tweets from the Tahina on Twitter for the latest news, and watch BlogWild for more updates on the Taylors’ seafaring adventures, explorations, and encounters.

Photographs by Frank Taylor