Updated: Oct 2, 2020
We are full swing into this cruise and the dive team has deployed twice, despite the sustained winds over 20 knots.
One tricky thing about picking dive sites in this area... is that a lot of the bathymetry data is patchy at best. ‘Satellite estimated’ they call it! Right. The depths are really off. We keep driving over ‘land’ at 20 m.
So there we are, steaming out to the dive site that we pretty much picked blind. Hoping we will find a Kelp Forest. (And starting to have second thoughts about how easy that will be).
But about a km away from the carefully selected location, we start seeing these large floating shapes on the surface.
It is large sugar kelp! They are floating on the surface from a hollow air bubble at the end of their stipe.
We kit up and drop in at 15 m depth. And find this:
A forest of 3 to 5 m high canopies made up of these tall giants. It was the most incredible underwater world! A mix of 3 different species, Saccharina latissima, Alaria esculenta, and Laminaria solidungula. Saccharina latissima kelps had long blades over a meter wide that floated down from suspended stipes and stretched out over the sea floor. Some of these plants were 10 to 15 meters in total length. It took our breathe away. Logan our Inuit guide was also impressed! He couldn’t believe these forests had been hiding here.
So moment of wow. Nice kelp forests, Nunavut!