Final day on St. George

Yesterday was my last day on the island.

Upon returning to the whirlwind of Anchorage life sometime in the early evening I was surprised at how autumn was much further along in Anchorage (termination dust on mt tops, leaves halfway there) than in St. George--although yesterday morning before my flight I did notice a bit of nip in the air. And as I swam my final swim with the seal pups (the most that I'd seen in Village Cove below town!) I could feel it as the cold nipped through my dry suit and past my Patagonia puffball. My extremities were screaming for thaw as I exited the water after over an hour of swimming with the seals.

I have to say that swimming with those pups yesterday morning was one of the highlights of my life. I would hover there with my camera, clumsy and human as a circus of pups--20 or more individuals at a time--played with my flippers, bumped their faces into mine, swam along my outstretched hand so I could pet them, and swam over the top of my partly submerged back. It was such a sweet experience. I wanted to be seal so bad and ride the waves, propel myself out of the water, and wind around rocks with ease. But I couldn't hang...just too sluggish.

Here are a few photo highlights, although I think I'll save the best for publication.


  1. Wow friend. Second pic down is really interesting! Crazy angle.

  2. Un-be-liev-a-ble! I can't wait 'til Jenny sees these - I can just sense a huge donation to the World Wildlife Fund coming soon!

    I never knew you took underwater shots - you'll have to tell me how you did it in such cold temps.

    I've swum with stingrays, turtles, and dolphins, but I'd love to go "under the sea" to hang with these wee beasties. Awesome stuff.

  3. What wonderful photos throughout your blog..Alaska is definately a place I would love to photograph

  4. Hey! Either I was in a coma and didn't realize what you've been up to since you've been back in AK or I just haven't been paying attention. Probably the latter :-/ Beautiful photos! I knew you were talented I just didn't know much you were talented.

  5. Nathaniel, this is the stuff, man. I mean, this is it. Forget the photos, just play with seal pups every day. Forever.

    Hey, were you able to help the seal caught in the packing band?