Monday, March 16, 2009

The North Island: An Underwater Perspective

*Coastal Voices Note: All of the pictures included in this posting, courtesy of Glen Miller

The North Island: An Underwater Perspective
I'm reminded every day as the sun rises, of how fortunate I am (we are) to live in a place bursting with natural beauty. Because of the wildly fluctuating climate, the North Island is not the place for everyone and that fact alone is one of the most endearing traits of our area. Taking a trip south is proof enough why we should not, for a second, take this place for granted. Spending a whole day exploring a beach; seeing its character change with the tide; coming to realize that during this wonderful day you've not seen another person - is what makes the North Island such a special place.

From the forest to the waterline, there is enough stuff for a lifetime of discovery. That I am fortunate enough to be able to take my curiosity and adventurous spirit under the water, is an honor that humbles me every time I peer into the depths. Looking at the surface of our ocean as its icy chill pours over the tops of your boots, you can be forgiven for thinking there is nothing of interest down there for you. Not everyone is able to cope with the demands of our frigid waters, paying the price Mother Ocean demands of us to view her splendor.

Being one of a small percentage of the world's divers who explores cold water is a unique position to be in . Call it what you like, crazy, nuts, insane - but being under the waters of our North Island is an experience that is always cherished for what it is, special. It makes where we live so good. Casually drifting along a wall that is so covered with life, if you put your finger on it you would harm something; or being on a seemingly barren, muddy bottom but having 1000 kg Steller sea lions displaying their awesome agility - these are situations that are impossible to describe without being repetitive. The same words keep popping up: awesome, incredible, fantastic, beautiful, lucky, fortunate.
I don't think i've ever dived and not marveled at some form of life or some aspect of being under water, even after 20 plus years of avidly scuba diving. I guess all I can hope for is that nothing happens to these places we call special and my health and the oceans health stays strong.

About the Author: when long-time Port McNeill resident Glen Miller is not under water taking pictures, he can be found cruising around in his sailboat (weather-permitting!). Bird watching, puttering around the yard, and "serious kicking back" also consume Glen's time. In order to finance these pursuits, this North Islander also works as a hydraulic grapple operator.


  1. well said, we are indeed fortunate! Incredible photographs, thanks for sharing your thoughts and images.

  2. What amazing photos! Thank you for sharing them!