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  • Elephant seals of Guadalupe Island – one of the most amazing "comebacks" in the world – divemaster images – 19 September 2010

    It is a great privilege to be allowed to visit Guadalupe Island.  On our most recent voyage out there, we were very fortunate to get some fantastic images of resident elephant seals using a long-distance telephoto lens during a rarely permitted shoreside visit.     What made this visit all the more specia is the sad history of the elephant seal and their amazing “comeback”. American and white european fur traders first decimated the sea otter population on the west coast of North America following Captain Cook’s first visit to this part of the world and the subsequent commercial demand for sea…

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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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  • Fire at sea!!

    Location: Inian Islands, Icy Strait, southeast Alaska Fire at sea but no, it definitely wasn’t on the Nautilus Explorer!!  Dive day #1 of our last Alaska trip of the season saw us at anchor in the Inian Islands  – one of our favourite sites in southeast Alaska.  Sure, the scuba diving is fantastic here but the richness of life topside is equally impressive with loads of humpback whales, stellar sealions, bald eagles, sea otters and fishboats on fire.   Yup, we had just wrapped our last dive of the day when we spotted a 40 foot salmon troller drifting through south…

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  • Guest Blog – Aug. 8/09

    Jim – My highlight was the Transpac dive followed closely by the jelly fish dive and a close third was the Salmon snorkel – The amazing food fits in there somewhere too! Steve – There wasn’t a highlight for me – the whole weeks was full of surprises – however if I had to choose, Inian passage with the eagles, otters, whales, the incredible view, and the diving topped the list. Lynn – We ran out of IPA – how can I choose a highlight?  Maybe the highlight will be tonight experimenting with new drinks. Janet – Just reading and…

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  • Guest Blog – Close encounters with stellar sea lions – Aug.7/09

    I loved the humpback whales.  We saw 2 stellar sealions playing with a humpback whale.   And I liked the shopping onboard today.   Anne had an encounter with a stellar sealion of the 3rd kind.  Roxanne Second dive today was great conditions, great visiblity, very little current – a little chilly – but lots to see.  Great zodiac tour today.  Saw 5 humpback whales that hung around with us for 15 minutes.   And the best part of the day was kayaking with my bride of 23 years.  Dan Ehhh.  Richard  (note from Captain Mike  –  he is english).. Today was very…

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  • Humpback whale kills a bald eagle

    Location: Inian Island, Icy Strait, southeast Alaska Interesting trip this last week with less diving than normal and a lot more inflatable and skiff excursions to watch, observe and photograph all the neat animals up here – humpback whales, bald eagles, stellar sealions, sea otters, puffins, cormorants, oyster catchers and even orca’s. It’s a private charter and we are happy to oblige as best we can in giving our guests exactly what they want. We are anchored a mile away from a stellar sealion colony and I was very excited yesterday afternoon to see a solitary transient male orca swim…

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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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