Friday Fun Dives
As the state starts to loosen up restrictions on travel and recreation, here are a handful of day trips based out of the Anchorage area that are quick, easy, and affordable for you and your buddies! Below are all the resources you need to guarantee a day of great diving and fresh air around Southcentral Alaska.
All these outings are specifically geared towards folks who may be new to the local dive scene and looking for some inexpensive, accessible, dive opportunities. They’re easy, affordable, and promise some awesome diving!
The Fox Island Spit (Seward): Give Miller’s Landing Water Taxi a call, and reserve a spot on one of their water taxis to the Fox Island Spit. Directly in front of the campsite on the spit (literally, directly in front, just keep walking) is a great dive site. Featuring a wrecked Navy barge, countless nudibranchs, dusky rockfish, and Giant Pacific Octopus, this can be a day trip from Anchorage, or an entire weekend of camping and diving.
Cost is roughly $75 for a round-trip ticket from Miller’s in Seward, and all you need to do is schedule your drop-off and pick-up times with them. Please be courteous, as their boats run on tight schedules, and have all your gear loaded and ready to leave at the listed departure and pick-up times.
Also bear in mind that you will need to bring essentials such as food, water, and toilet paper, as there are no available resources on the spit.
Resurrection Bay (Seward): Want to experience some of the best diving that Resurrection Bay has to offer? Give Bixler a call at Seward Ocean Excursions, and book a half-day, two-tank dive from one of his comfortable and versatile boats. His boats run 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and he’s incredibly helpful with accommodating requests.
Cost is $150 per person, with a minimum of three people, but keep in mind, that’s a total dollar figure, not a minimum (i.e. two people can go for $225). Give him a call and see if he’s running any specials, and get your next boat diving trip scheduled today!
Kachemak Bay (Homer): A little bit longer drive than some of these other options, Kachemak Bay offers some stunning scenery above and below the water. Whether you want to freedive and spearfish halibut, or just explore some walls with incredible invertebrate life, K-Bay is stunning.
Your ticket to an affordable trip out of Homer is Coldwater Water Taxi. You can either book online, or if you have a couple friends, give them a call and see if you can schedule a pick-up/drop-off at a nearby site that they would recommend for diving. The more people you have with you, the cheaper the taxi service will be, and don’t be afraid to take their advice on local sites!
A water taxi trip for 3-4 people would be in the $100-ballpark per person.
Matanuska Lake (Palmer): Last, but not least, is Matanuska Lake, in the Kepler-Bradley State Recreation Area. Located just before the Palmer Fairgrounds, Matanuska Lake is the cleanest and deepest lake of the locally available lakes that make for halfway decent diving.
Cost for parking is $7, and while we encourage paying to support our state parks, if you mention you’re a diver, they may let you park for free, as we frequently host community cleanups of the lake. If you do park for free, please grab some trash out of the water on your way out!
Editor’s Note: Regardless of your views on the COVID pandemic, please be mindful and courteous of our neighbors across the state. Even if you may disagree with some of the practices that local businesses and charters are asking their customers to practice, remember that they’re small businesses who are trying to make a living in an incredibly uncertain time. Many industries are under an increased amount of scrutiny, and are just trying to survive. Please be respectful of the humans operating these services
We love you all. Let’s have an awesome weekend, and let’s go diving!