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Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer in
Canada/British Columbia

Nautilus Explorer, Apr, 2011,

by Douglas Hansen, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 15 reports). Report 6163.

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

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas surge
Water Temp 46 to 48 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 45 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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