I catch myself thinking of decorated war bonnets and grunt sculpins as old friends..

Grunt Sculpin

Grunt Sculpin

Back in BC!

Having had the pleasure to work on the Nautilus Swell for the Alaska season this summer, I am thrilled at the chance to dive in Port Hardy and its environs once again, especially as it has been some years since I dove in this part of the world. Browning Pass, the Walker Group, the Deserter Group, Shushartie Bay – these are some of the finest cold water diving spots in the world and on this trip the conditions have been incredible. These spring and fall season trips afford us truly remarkable visibility – I don’t believe I’ve dove yet this trip without at least 50 feet of vis, and I’ve had the good fortune to dive a fair bit on this trip. With such good visibility, the whole depth and richness of our marine ecosystem is laid out before us in a tableau – waving kelp fronds towering overhead as kelp greenlings and black rock fish hover amongst the stalks, Puget Sound king crabs and basket starts stalking slowly through the anemone-encrusted rocks. The occasional sea lion will be seen darting overhead like a green bomber, and the famous wolf eel and giant Pacific octopus sightings punctuate the awesome variety and sheer quantity of life here. I myself spotted no less than six wolf eels during a single dive in the Walker Group!

The trips in Alaska are stunning, and I am very fortunate to have worked there, but as we were travelling so much I didn’t have, as a crew member, a lot of opportunity to dive. It has been here in Port Hardy and Browning Pass that I have rekindled my love affair with cold water diving, especially in some of the best examples of it in the world, and I am thankful for that. I catch myself thinking of decorated war bonnets and grunt sculpins as old friends, revisited after a long time abroad. It’s great to be back!

– First Mate Sandy

Nautilus Swell, Port Hardy September 26 2013

About Stephanie

Married to the sea!
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