Location: Secret dive site, east side of Baranoff Island, southeast Alaska
Comments: This is my ninth season of scuba diving charters in Alaska and in all that time we have only seen a handful of other divers up here (Dave and Dave in Sitka and the very friendly and enthusiastic divers of Juneau who actually travelled down to the Sea of Cortez to join us on a Mexican dive trip a couple of years ago). Hard to believe when the scuba diving in Alaska is some of the most incredible diving that I have seen anywhere in the world. So we are all on our own when it comes to finding dive sites.
In the early years of operating charter dive trips in Alaska, I had an okay success rate in finding pretty good dive sites. I then started getting really “zoned in” and started finding better and better dive sites. For the last couple of years, our exploratory dives (never more than 2 or 3 per trip) have been outstandingly successful most of the time and we have found some fantastic sites. Imagine the thrill of jumping in the water and discovering a dive site that is even hotter (no pun intended) than Browning Wall or Outer Narrows!
Today’s exploratory secret dive site is a spot that I have wanted to dive for some time and it does indeed have excellent potential. Divemaster/engineer A.J. trumped the scuba diving by taking a group of guests out in the inflatable for a shoreline exploration and discovering 5 grizzly bear in the process! We steamed back in the Nautilus Explorer later in the day and had a grand time watching a grizzly (coastal brown) bear rummaging around in the sedge grass on the beach. It was almost equally entertaining when a young fellow in a Boston Whaler zipped past us, beached his skiff beside a small glacier, and started shovelling ice from the glacier into the front of the Whaler. That’s truly ice cubes Alaskan style!!
Weather: Another sunny, calm and beautiful day… Temperatures in the low 60’s
Water: 30 foot vis on dive #1, horrible 5 – 10 foot vis on dive #2 on the flood tide. Water temp 45°F.