Dive master Leeanne
Back in Southern Alaska and on the Nautilus Swell. I am so glad to be back. The Nautilus Swell and Nautilus Explorer are two vessels I love working on. The safety and customer service is impeccable compared to many and most other liveaboards I have dive mastered on. I am so happy I am back in Alaska and every move we make reminds me of how much I love it and why I am here doing what I love for people who share the same passion of scuba diving.
Reasons I have sore cheeks from smiling so much. Alaska rocks because
1. The Nautilus Swell vessel, a wooden tug transformed into an oasis of pleasure for cold water divers. The look of it just compliments the Alaska environment of beautiful sunsets, picturesque mountain landscapes and beautiful waterfalls.
2. Ice Day… playing on icebergs is an exhilarating experience. To think that I am standing on a piece of ice that has so much history makes me feel closer to my natural environment.
3. The Bald Eagles. Nowhere in the world have I been able to see the beauty of Bald Eagles and watch their interactions with each other.
4. The Sea lions. Right now there is a male with his entourage of female sea lions on his rookery and if another male approaches they battle for position… yes right in front of our eyes.
5. The Sea Otters… they have just had babies and the babies are still learning from their parents so these families are so adorable to watch as they play around and teach the little ones.
6. The Wolf Eels. There are a good handful of dive sites with Wolf Eels that have taken up residence. The best is finding them on the site, they are so fun to watch as they stare back at you with a breathing mouth or swim around you as they get more comfortable. I like to say they are so ugly they are cute.
7. The Nudibranchs I am a fan of nudibranchs and really enjoy seeing how many new species I can find and identify. There is such a variety in Southern Alaska that that game is always fun and the number of species seen continues to grow.
8. The Whales… Humpback Whales, seeing so many is overwhelming, you don’t know where to look. I want to catch a great sounding that shows their incredible fluke, Oh Whales breaching. Well I will never tire of that.
9. The visibility. This trip has had incredible visibility. We have had amazing dives with up to sixty feet visibility.
10. The overall atmosphere of the boat. This boat has a crew that are passionate about their jobs and the divers that join the boat. The Guests come with such excitement and get to fulfill so many of their Alaskan dreams that the fun, enjoyment, anticipation, excitement and joy of the experience are so constant that every day is a great adventure.
Thanks so much for reading. I cant wait to see you out on the Nautilus Swell with us. This place truly magical.
Dive master Blog June 21, 2011
As the trip draws to a close, I look out from the bow of the Swell at the rushing waterfall erupting from the woods of Baranoff and sigh contentedly. It has gone extremely well, and nature has cooperated, showing us the best Southeast Alaska has to offer: breaching humpbacks, fishing sea lions, diving bald eagles, feeding sea otters and newly born seal pups. And thats just what we saw above the waterline.
Last night we arrived at Baranoff with the back deck full of excited guests, already in bathing suits, armed with towels and cameras, and ready to hit land. A short stroll away the natural hot springs were waiting, with a gorgeous view over the river to enjoy while soaking and sipping a (not so quiet) drink.
It was the perfect end to a day that began with a swarm of polychaete worms, which are fascinating creatures at the base of the marine food chain, contributing greatly to the overall health of the ecosystem and recycling nutrients and even pollutants from the sediment coating the ocean bed. These were joined by gangs of krill, decorator crabs pruning their gardens, and several solitary Red Irish Lords on a dive site known as Wooden Fingers. In the afternoon, we moved to another site, known (fittingly) as the Thumb, which was one of the top dives of the trip. Massive lingcod, schooling black rockfish, beautiful clumps of giant plumose anemones were all ignored as the show was stolen by several free swimming wolf eels, twining in and out of rocks and literally swimming circles around excited divers furiously snapping away in an attempt to capture them on camera.
As we cruised north our group of photographers met in the lounge to view and critique photographs taken on the trip, gaining valuable insight, tips and advice on shooting and editing techniques to bring with them on the next dive trip. Every person, in addition to their memories, has captured some stunning images to bring home with them.
Dive master Tony
Topside temp 8 C
Water temp 6 C