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Vibrant life and diving in Icy Strait, southeast Alaska

July 21, 2009 Written by

Location: Inian Islands, Icy Strait, southeast Alaska.

Let’s see.  Puffins.  Transient orcas (killer whales).  Humpback whales.  Stellar sealions.   Sea-otters.   Bald eagles.   Oyster catchers.  Nesting cormorants with baby chicks.   Recently discovered and still unnamed soft coral consisting of 50% of the biomass at some dive sites.  This is an amazing place.  And my description above doesn’t begin to do it justice.  How do you describe guests getting so comfortable with humpback whales feeding right outside the dining room windows while the Nautilus Explorer is at anchor that they don’t pay a lot of attention any more???  Or having a transient orca swim 20 feet past the stern while we are at anchor  –   with the big killer whale headed straight to a nearby stellar sealion colony for breakfast.   The scuba diving is breathtaking although I must be honest and report that the visibility can be variable.   We were dogged with poor visibility last trip with  10 – 20 feet on most dives on the last three days of scuba diving which I suspect was caused by the heat wave that last 2 weeks.   Boy has that ever changed a couple of days later and we are now back to crisp “blue-black” water with 40 – 50 feet vis. It’s all good!! Captain Mike

Weather: Overcast with sunny breaks.  Air temperature mid 50’s.   10 KT winds.  Low west swell but calm in our anchorage.

Water: Water temperature 46 degrees.  Visibility 40 – 50 feet.



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