Pangas, Canoes, and Some Other Boats, Too

Here in Mexico, I usually work in "pangas," which is a local word to describe a small-to-medium sized open boat. They are so great because their size allows them to be fast and efficient, so they are perfect for searching for whales, tagging sharks and mantas, or even spending an afternoon on the water. The best part of traveling aboard a panga is that you never know what you’re going to see! 

How did I feel when I tried this way of getting around?:

There are a few things about traveling by panga that make it very, very different from your average car or bus ride. Like cars and buses, pangas don’t have bathrooms! Unlike cars and buses, you have to jump into the ocean when you’ve "gotta go". This can be a little intimidating… but sometimes it turns out awesome! Imagine taking a bathroom break from class, but on that break you run into a whole pod of dolphins. 

Traveling by boat requires a lot more preparation than your average road trip. Depending on how long your journey is, you have to be prepared with enough food, gasoline, fresh water, and equipment. This includes tools like compasses and radios, too. Although most boat compasses now are electronic, thousands of years ago ancient people used the stars to guide their voyages. The constellation named Orion is so famous because it is visible from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. You’ve probably seen Orion’s belt in your own sky before! Next time you see it, remember that you’re among the company of all the explorers through time who saw those same stars and used them to find their way.