Light winds and cloudy skies made for a moody morning just south of Boca de Soledad. In the distance, pangas with local captains approached National Geographic Sea Bird as we got ready to go whale watching for the last time on this trip. We headed to Boca de Soledad at the north end of Isla Magdalena, about ten miles from the ship. There was a lot of anticipation. As we made it to la Boca, we could feel the power of the Pacific Ocean as the pangas navigated through the swell. We followed the whales into the open ocean as they opposed the current of the incoming tide.
After getting back to National Geographic Sea Bird, we lifted the anchor and headed south through Canal de Soledad, a narrow channel that has a reputation for scraping the bottom of small ships. As we navigated, we spotted a few whales and closely observed birds as the channel narrowed. While transiting, we had the opportunity to listen to talented naturalist Sharon Grainger as she enlightened us on the history of chocolate. When her presentation ended, we heard the anchor drop. We had reached our destination for the afternoon just offshore of Sand Dollar Beach.
We spent the afternoon exploring the sand dunes at Sand Dollar Beach, and a few guests gave the fat tire bikes a try. They rode along the intertidal shoreline where the wet sand was compacted enough to allow them to go for a ride. After spending a couple of hours exploring the sand dunes and the beach, we headed back to the ship for our final recap, cocktail hour, and a delicious dinner. After dinner, we enjoyed a slideshow composed of images contributed by our guests. Everyone was amazed and touched by the memories we created together. What a wonderful way to end an outstanding trip.