Rubber Ducks and July 4th Alaskan Style!

Location: Meyers Chuck and Ketchikan, southeast Alaska.

Comments: Finished off the diving on this trip with 2 splashes on the reef outside the small community of Meyers Chuck – a quintessential small Alaskan village only accessible by float plane or boat. The first scuba dive was reportedly fantastic with 80ft visibility. Some guests asked me why we couldn’t have spent the whole trip diving in this kind of visibility. I wish it were that simple but unfortunately you never when or where the visibility is going to be either super hot or “bloomy.” It’s much like diving with the giant manta rays and sharks at Socorro Island – the very nature of big animal diving is that the critters move around and the “hot” dive sites change from trip to trip. Weather conditions kicked up for the second dive unfortunately, going from flat calm to lumpy and bumpy and quite challenging.

Finished the day off with our arrival in Ketchikan and tied up in a berth that we had been promised would be “front and centre” for the July 4th fireworks display. The only problem was our concern that the pouring rain would put a damper on the fireworks and cause their cancellation. I should have known better, this is Alaska after all! I radioed the harbourmaster to ask  if the fireworks were still “on” and was told that “this is nothing, you should have seen the driving wind and real rain last year.” Oh. Sure enough, we had a lovely display that night that was quite visible through the downpour!! While we waited for the fireworks, we amused ourselves by recovering yellow rubber ducks by the dozens using one of our inflatables. The local chamber of commerce had staged a rubber duck race down the stream that runs through town early in the day and a lot of the “ducks” swept over, under and around the barrier that was supposed to collect them all. My good luck as I now have 20 yellow rubber ducks in a row on my window sill – I guess you could say that I have all my ducks in a row!

–Captain Mike


Weather: Nice weather to start with but heavy rain and air temperature mid 50’s by the end of the day with 15 – 20 knots of wind, 3 foot chop which is not noticeable when underway in the Nautilus Explorer.

Water:Visibility 40 – 80 feet. Water temp 47°F.

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