Boca de la Soledad | Hull Canal | Sand Dollar Beach

Feb 13, 2020 - National Geographic Sea Lion


We woke up with the sun this morning and headed out into the bay on the search for gray whales! And what a morning it was! We soon found ourselves surrounded by several mother and calf pairs. To everyone’s delight the babies were rolling, twirling, and playing around their moms, showing off their new swimming abilities. Our normal method of pointing out whales using the clock system was quickly replaced with the “squeal and point method” as we were all too excited to form words as the whales swam all around us. While we would have loved to stay with the calves all day, time flew by and we headed back to National Geographic Sea Lion to make our way south for our afternoon adventure.

We spent the middle of the day lazily transiting the Hull Canal, enjoying the birds, dolphins, and scenery. By midafternoon we arrived at Sand Dollar Beach, one of our favorite stops on the entire trip! Guests rode bikes on the beach, practiced photography, and hiked from the Magdalena Bay side of the island to the Pacific side, finding themselves on the famous Sand Dollar Beach! The gentle waves rolled along the flat beach, leaving a thin film of water spread evenly as far as the eye could see, creating wonderful reflections. As the sun began to set, we made our way back over the dunes, enjoying the way the light and shadows played with each other amongst the sand, another day well spent.

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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!

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