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  • Gorgonian coral lunch for a sea otter.

    Location: Inian Islands, Icy Strait, southeast Alaska The Inian Islands are loaded with sea otters.  Local residents in nearby Elfin Cove tell me that sea otters were re-introduced to this area in the mid 1980’s with animals transplanted from other areas.   The original population was of course wiped out by hunters and fur traders in the late 18th century because of the immense popularity and value of sea otter pelts.   I’m told that sea otter fur contains over 1,000,000 hairs per square inch which is how they remain insulated and able to live in cold water.  There is no…

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  • Guest Blog 14 July 2009

    Point Adolphus and Icy Strait, southeast Alaska I saw a wolf eel on a wall today. And when he left his spot he went phhhssssshhhhtt straight down. Howard I saw 3 orange peel nudibranchs in a row that were the size of  footballs. My computer showed 42 degrees but Captain Mike doesn’t  believe me (I figure 44 degrees minimum – Captain Mike). I had a single sole moon jelly accompany me on my safety stop. And then I saw a puffin on the surface. Ann The wolf eel was a pretty amazing thing because it was a dark wall with the wolfie laid out in a serpentine fashion…

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  • Guest Blog 2 July 2009

    Saw lots of coral today all over the walls – orange, white, red, pink.  There were also tons of nudibranchs. I got a picture today of a sea otter in the foreground, a whale spouting behind it and beautiful snowy mountains in the background.  Where else can you see that. Robbie I saw a snail laying eggs in a circular pattern and lots of good sized nudibranch egg masses. Susan’s Hooters were spectacular and well named. Rick Safety stop in 2 metre surge at “Dog Pile”  was fun…. (named for the stellar sealions who often swim by and frequent this site). Simon Petit tour en bateau pneumatique pour filmer…

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  • Too close to a humpback whale off Pt. Adolphus

    Location: Pt. Adolphus, Icy Strait, southeast Alaska. Pt. Adolphus is located across from the entrance to Glacier Bay. It  is current swept with lots of upwellings, loaded with nutrients and it’s a fabulous place to watch humpback whales, sealions, bald eagles, great flocks of seagulls and even the odd grizzly bear on the beach. Sometimes the trickiest part of visiting this area is actually staying out of the way of the whale. Which is exactly what  happened today. We were happily meandering along on a steady course and very low speed and watching humpback whales spouting, feeding and fluking all around us at a distance in compliance with marine mammal regulations. …

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  • Duck F*rts

    After a great day of scuba diving, inflatable tours, zodiac kayaking (kayaking with a comfort boat ie. zodiac, tagging along behind with beverages, refreshments and an easy way to get home if you get tired of paddling) and whale watching around Inian Island, we took everybody ashore after dinner for a “look-around” the tiny boardwalk community of Elfin Cove. Our guests somehow got waylaid at the Coho Bar and Grill and bartender introduced them to “duck farts.” The Nautilus Explorer was anchored outside the Cove and during the various inflatable shuttles back to the boat it seemed that all we heard from our guests was “we want more duck farts”, “I’d like a duck fart waiting for me please”, “do you know how to make duck farts” and so on.

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  • Incredibly Cute Sea Otters

    There is something very appealing about sea otters. Perhaps it’s the way they swim on their back much the way scuba divers do. Perhaps it’s because they appear to be so cute and cuddly and furry (they have the densest fur of any animal with over 1 million hairs per square inch which is what provides them with insulation in our less than tropical temperatures!). Maybe it’s because the Mum’s carry their babies around on their tummies as they float upside down and then wrap and stash their kids in the kelp before going for a dive. Or, as we saw last week, the Mum’s will throw a protective arm over their baby when startled and roll over and dive under the kelp with the babe. That is some pretty impressive breath hold diving for those babies!

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  • Humpback Whales, Orcas and a Mystery Dive

    Point Adolphus is one of the most productive feeding grounds in southeast Alaska and the humpback whale sightings are usually quite awesome. Today was no exception, starting off with a pod of orcas cruising along on the surface 15 miles east of Adolphus and then loads of humpbacks right at the point.

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