One of the frustrations of cruising the Carib coast of Panama
is the seemingly capricious, complex, and sometimes strong currents. Myself and other cruisers have often encountered adverse currents going opposite directions on the same route
(not at the same time
In searching for better current
data along this coast, I found an organization called MyOcean which consolidates lots of ocean related data including currents. Worldwide current
GRIBS can be downloaded from them...including the waters around Panama
. I have a GRIB reader (SailGRIB ) that will download directly from them which is handy.
From their data you can get a good view of the very complex major offshore
currents around Panama. There is a current that flows between the Portobelo area and about 30% of the way to Bocas which periodically makes a quick 180° reversal ! Lots of local currents and eddies which they don't show, like around the Panama Canal
approaches, but sure is handy to see the big picture.
Link: MyOcean - Ocean monitoring and forecasting