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Dive Review of Nautilus Explorer in
The Continental USA/Alaska

Nautilus Explorer, Jul, 2005,

by Rich Orman, CO, USA` . Report 1792.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents, noCurrents
Water Temp 45 to 52 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 20 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Back to safety stop with 500psi. Divers doing deco diving had profiles checked by divemaster prior to dive.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales >2
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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 Very large area devoted exclusively to uw cameras and video equipment. Two freshwater tanks exclusively devoted to uw cameras and video. There was a seperate area next to the camer tables devoted exclusively to battery chargers for the uw equipment, with a plethora of plugs available.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We did a 7 day Juneau Alaska-Prince Rupert, British Columbia trip aboard the Nautilus Explorer in July 2005. All the diving took place in Alaska. This was our first trip on the Nautilus Explorer, and it was a wonderful experience from first to last. The boat, in my opinion, is the most perfectly designed live-aboard dive boat possible. Most of the diving is done from a skiff, which also has a wonderful design, complete with four entry-exit points, and a recessed handrail running down the outside of both gunwales so you can hang on while waiting for a ladder or having a divemaster pull off your fins.

Of course, the diving was cold water diving, but there was an incredible amount of life and beauty in the waters of Alaska. The dives consisted of a variety of wrecks and reefs, including one exploratory dive site that had never been scuba dived before, at least to the captain and the crew's knowledge. We had five days of diving, and I logged 13 dives. One day was devoted to Tracy Arms, which is a beautiful fjord with a tidewater glacier at the end. We put on our drysuits and snorkled with the icebergs that had calved off the glacier. How many live-aboards can boast that kind of activity? There was also plenty for my non-diving spouse to do, including sea-kayaking and bear-watching trips.

The accomadations were great, and the food was tasty and plentiful, but the crown jewel of this trip was the diving. They don't hold your hand on this boat, they let you dive. You don't get saddled with a buddy that you don't want. They don't tell you how deep to go. If you want to dive rebreathers, they have the stuff you need. If you want to do deco-dives, that's okay, although they generally have a one-hour dive time limit because the slack tide only lasts that long. They have nitrox availalbe, steel tanks available, and even tri-mix available. The boat and crew really cater to all levels of experienced divers, and the facilities for photographers and videographers are world class. The diving in Alaska was the most striking that I have ever seen, and the "macro" stuff was everywhere. I would give this operation, and this trip, 11 points out of a possible 10.
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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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