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Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer in
Canada/Juneau to Vancouver

Nautilus Explorer, Jul, 2002,

by Clinton Bauder, CA, USA . Report 188.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving California, Galapagos, PNG, Cocos, Bonaire, Belize, Revillagigedos, Truk, Palau
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 43 to 48 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 5 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dives usually limited to 50 or 60 minutes depending on location. Depth/Deco limited only by experience and total runtime.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales >2
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Rinse tank, large camera table with chargers outside. E6, Light table, 2 TVs inside.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was a 14 day trip starting in Juneau Alaska and finishing in Vancouver BC. We dove darn near everything in between. Diversity was the name of the game. We did reefs, pinnacles, walls, fjords, wrecks, piers, icebergs, freshwater streams and more. Visibility ranged from 5 feet underneath the icebergs to over 100 feet. Most of the time it was in the 40 to 50 foot range.

The sites near Sitka featured by far the most colorful and dense encrusting life I've ever seen. Truly unbelievable.Some of the other sites were more drab but nearly all were interesting in their own way. Other highlights included being scared out of the water by rambunctious Stellar Sea Lions, an amazing school of moon jellies rivaling or surpassing Palau's Jellyfish Lake, deep trimix dives on pinnacles that probably have never been seen before, snorkeling in a Salmon Stream (next year we'll time it right so we get actual Salmon and not just trout!) and more.

Dive difficulty varied as much as the content. Many of the dives were perfectly suitable for less experienced divers; assuming they have proper cold water training. Someone trained in Seattle or Monterey with a few dozen experience dives would have a good time on this boat. Once-a-year Caribbean divers maybe not so much. Drysuits are a must. The extra effort in training and gear is worth it though, as this is truly world class diving.

Note that a trip like this doesn't offer quite as much time underwater as a warm water trip. My dive buddy and I made 31 dives in 14 days. This is due a) to the cold and b) the fact that many dives are controlled by the tides and the good sites are only diveable at slack, and c) the other activities offered were fun too such as kayaking, whale watching, cultural tours, hiking etc.

This was my 4th trip on the boat and it was terrific as usual. How many other livaboards happily accomodate you when you ask for 4 K bottles each of He and O2 for tech diving? While at the same time offering great diving for the more laid back single tankers?

Of particular note is the dramatic improvement in the food which is now top-notch. I'll be on the boat again for New Years and Alaska again next summer. Another plus is that you only have to fly to Vancouver which is a heckuva lot easier that going to New Guinea!

I've got something like 16 hours of video to sort through so it may be a bit before my website is updated. Until then I have other pictures and reports from this boat available now:

[metridium.com
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Similarly you can see shots by my dive buddy here:

[kelpdiver.com link]
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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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