Alaska

In August I did one of the coldest (44 - 47 ° F) yet most luxurious dive trips I've ever been on, a week-long trip aboard the 116-foot Nautilus Explorer liveaboard with my favorite California dive buddies, the Dive Dogs. The Nautilus Explorer is a fantastic boat with lots of fresh water for nice warm showers, a hot tub (!) and an incredibly nice captain and crew. After boarding the boat in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, we traveled north through the inside passage to Juneau, diving all the way. We dove with Steller sea lions (the big ones!), explored the wreck of the steamship Princess Sophia, saw orcas and humpback whales, not to mention the Northern lights. Diving in Alaska was challenging, but also very rewarding. The water may be cold, but it's chock full o' plankton goodness, so there is lots or marine life. One of my favorite dive sites was Wooden Island, a steep rock wall covered like a shag carpet with anemones, sponges, nudibranchs, tunicates, crabs and other invertebrates. In addition to all the diving, we went off course for a day to visit the South Sawyer glacier. Although the water near the glacier was too cloudy and silty for diving, we got in our drysuits and swam around, hauling ourselves out onto the ice chunks like harbor seals.
the photos:
All images © 2003 Julia Coburn