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Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer in
Canada/British Columbia

April, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Douglas Hansen, CA, US
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 6163
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
California, Bonaire, Curacao, Florida, Cayman Islands, Indonesia, Papua New
Guinea, Palau, Hawaii, Mexico, Philippines
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy  
Water Temp
46   to 48    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
45   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
All dives were from a skiff that had no secure area or dunk tank for
cameras.  The dunk tanks on the Nautilus Swell were one flight up from the
dive deck as was the "camera table" (small shelf, exposed to the
elements with a few electrical outlets).
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
2 stars   
4 stars    
We had quite good weather, with only a little rain early in the week.  The
dive sites got to be a bit repetitive towards the end of the week.  The
visibility was very good for temperate diving, sometimes 60 plus feet. 
Most diving is scheduled for slack tides (twice a day), with one dive a day
done in a spot sheltered from the currents.  Most of the dives were done in
the Browning Pass area, although we did do a couple of dives in the
Deserter Islands group and one at Dillon rock.  We also had the opportunity
to do one night dive.
The Nautilus Swell is a repurposed tug boat.  We had one of the
"deluxe" cabins.  It was quite small with a sloping floor since
the cabin was at the bow.  The toilet and shower were functional and
adequate.  Overall, the food was quite good.  After each dive, the crew
provided freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate, along with dry towels.  I
would recommend bringing a boat jacket for the boat ride back to the
Nautilus Swell after each dive as the wind chill after diving in 46 degree
water can be pretty brutal.
The majority of the dive sites consisted of metridium anemone covered walls
with a lot of nudibranchs and the occasional octopus.  A few of the more
muddy areas also had sea pens and numerous crabs.  Puget sound crabs were
fairly common.  We only saw a couple of wolf eels and no giant pacific
octopus, although we did see several red octopus.  Overall, the dive sites
were quite impressive, although we did begin to repeat several of the dive
sites toward the end of the week.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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