If you are in Panama, there are many sailors requiring extra hands for the Panama Canal
transit. The regulations
state that you must have 5 crew aboard: Two each at the bow and stern for handling lines, and one at the helm
. Most cruisers are couples or sometimes solo. Often, friends will fly in from their home country to help, and other cruisers help as well. But many more have trouble finding crew. Although there isn't any sailing done during the canal
transit, you will have the opportunity to meet sailors, maybe join them for a sail or two before or after the transit, and at the very least, you will have the opportunity to pick their brains, observe, and make contacts within Panama. All boats are required to take a Panamanian pilot aboard, and they are often friendly, and may have contacts in the local sailing community.