Hull Canal and Boca de la Soledad

Feb 07, 2020 - National Geographic Sea Lion

What a stunning way to start our voyage together! We spent our morning traversing the Hull Canal. On one side we had beautiful mangroves, on the other golden sand dunes. All around us magnificent frigate birds, brown pelicans, and cormorants soared above or dove into the water below. To the delight of everyone, we found several mother and calf pairs of gray whales throughout the canal! Our first gray whale sightings of the trip!

On our way we also had fun and interactive presentations where we learned more about photography and the birds in Baja from our field staff! In the afternoon it was finally time to board our expedition craft to go on our first up close whale watching adventure! Everyone took turns whale watching and exploring the sand dunes and beach. We made our way out to an area that is a favorite spot for pregnant gray whales to give birth or for mom and calves to bond during the first month of the calf’s life.

We were fortunate to find a mother and calf pair during our excursions, along with a multitude of single whales congregated in the surf at the mouth of the bay! The whales were so active! They spy-hopped, getting their eyes above the waterline to checkout their surroundings and some of them even showed us their flukes, a rare sight in the shallow Magdalena Bay.

On shore we explored the beautiful sand dunes where we found coyotes, mangroves, and beautiful shells amongst the other unique desert vegetation. Back on the ship, our evening was topped off with the music of the local band “Los Coyotes.” The moon is rising on a beautiful night as everyone is retiring to their rooms, excited for the early morning adventures of tomorrow!

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About the Author

Rachel Crane

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Rachel is a Marine Ecologist, Master Scuba Instructor, and USCG 100-ton licensed Captain. She grew up homeschooled on an alpaca farm in Upstate NY, where her passion for the outdoors was initially cultivated. After attending a marine science summer camp in her teenage years, she fell in love with the ocean, and went on to earn degrees in Ecology and Marine Biology at Unity College in Maine. She spent time in Florida at MOTE Marine Laboratory researching coral disease ecology but found herself drawn into Eco Tourism as a way to more directly be involved in educating the public about our marine resources. Working with Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic has provided her the perfect balance between exploring, science, oceans, and mountains, while seamlessly allowing her to share her knowledge and passions in a meaningful and fulfilling way. She is often as excited, and smiling as widely, as those experiencing expeditions for the first time!

About the Photographer

Paulo Gomez


I was born and raised in an organic farm by my hippie family in the tropical jungle of Comala, in the central-western Pacific region of Mexico where I had nature surrounding my home with all sorts of birds, reptiles, of spiders and insects roaming freely. My parents taught me the basis of understanding how the ecosystem works, the life cycles of different species and how each organism has its different needs to flourish. Within that dense green vegetation I cultivated my love, interest and passion for the natural world. 

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