Today the group split up to hike the Lake Eva trail and explore nearby Katherine Island. It was a misty morning, typical for Southeast Alaska in August, and we were happy that the fog lifted for us to see more of our surroundings.
While guests explored, the undersea team dove the rocky outcropping on the north side of the bay. Taking advantage of the morning’s very low tide to look for some deep-water emergent species, we found a steep, rocky drop-off at about 75 feet after some searching. It was amazing! Every inch of rock was covered in bunches of feathery hydroids that were absolutely full of tiny nudibranchs. Large, and possibly quite ancient, sponges (and even a barrel sponge!) stood tall in the darkness. A “big” skate with a wingspan of approximately four feet rested on a small muddy plateau at about 90 feet. Truly, the fjords’ benthos is one of the wonders of the world!