Salmon Sharks With Boone Hodgin

SALMON SHARK
SNORKELING WITH
BOONE HODGIN

Join this unique Alaskan expedition with the original backcountry guide that developed and poineered the one and only techinique that allows underwater photographers around the world to capture amazing imagery and max time with these predators.

Only snorkel experience is 

required for this tour.

Alaska's ultimate photography tour!

Both above and below. 

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Salmon Sharks (lamna ditropis) are a pelagic species of shark that can be found roaming the open ocean and close to inland waters during migration periods.

Found largely in the North Pacific, between Japan and the west coast of North America.  Female sharks live up to 20 years and mature at 6-9 years of age, while males can live up to 27 years and mature as soon as 3-5 years of age. ​Masters of heat regulation to help with bursts of speed in icy waters for prey and to increase their vertical range in the water column.  Salmon Sharks are part of the endothermic Lamnidae family.  Meaning they are able to thermoregulate or maintain a body temperature above the temperature of the surrounding water.  Most other marine life is ectothermic, which means they maintain an internal temperature that matches the surrounding water.  Lamnids have vascular counter-current heat exchangers or retes, that enable them to retain the heat produced by their metabolism.  These retes are located near the muscles used for locomotion and in their viscera or body cavity organs.  They are also able to regulate their temperature using vascular shunts that enable them to alter and re-route blood flow.  Giving them the advantage to raise their internal body temperature anywhere from 10-15 degree's above the surrounding water. ​Although curious by nature, these sharks can sometimes be hard to approach without the correct technique.  There are a wide variety of prey fishes that Salmon sharks feed on, which include steelhead trout, herring, sardines, pollock, Alaska cod, tomcod, lancetfishes and mackerel.  But one is the most likely reason for their migratory pattern to Alaska each summer, Pacific Salmon.

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​Trip leaders, production companies and divers around the world have used us to gain unparalled access to a pelagic fish that had previously been extremely hard to find and even harder to swim with.  Come see how Boone and Gina have opened the door to shark adventures by combining their wealth of knowledge and interactions over the years, to bring you an expedition experience like no other, in the last frontier! North 60 has all the amenities you'd need for a comfortable stay in the wilderness of Alaska.  You'll also find that not only does the lodge cater to several different types of clientele, its also setup with snorkel/scuba divers in mind with freshwater to rinse gear and hot showers to soak in at the end of the day. Why is this only a snorkel trip? We've found over the years that we don't often have time during the day to pull out the dive tanks and get some bottom time when the majority of the day is spent finding the right sharks to interact with. So we'll spend as much time on the surface as we can, giving you the best moments during a weather window that starts early in the morning and usually ends by lunch. But if you still have energy after swimming with a Salmon Shark, you'll have time for self-guided activities such as snorkeling off the dock or hiking on the lodges 240 acre property.

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SALMON SHARK HISTORY

Salmon Sharks have been a frequent visitor to the Sound long before the first European Explores set foot on the shores of Alaska. Recorded stories and photo's go back to the early 1900's of fisherman catching these mighty creatures, as they skirted the coastlines in search of food. ​Each summer these salmon sharks can be seen moving up the coastlines of Port Fidalgo to congregate in an area known as the "Razors Edge".  This deep rocky sub-structure makes ambushing salmon runs relatively easy for them.  And although looking like their larger Great White shark cousins, they don't have as fierce a reputation when it comes to humans.  Snorkelers that frequent the lodge, regularly swim with these creatures without incident.  These sharks have been found to grow to lengths of 10 feet long and 900 pounds. With dazzling displays of acrobatic abilities when chasing salmon, sometimes breaching the water line, 2-3 feet in the air. Salmon Sharks are relatively warm-blooded.  Their body temperatures are warmer than the surrounding water, making them the hottest bodies in the shark world (in water that's 36 degrees, their bodies can be 61 degrees).  Enabling them the ability for increased bursts of speed to catch their prey.  The U.S. Navy has clocked these icy predators at nearly 50 mph.

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Image by Sarah Lee
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SHARK SNORKELING

We are cage free during this tour, so please be aware that you are swimming freely with these large animals.  With that being said, please  be respectful of  their environment and follow our safe practices and standards given during orientation.  Over the years, we've never had an accident and will continue to keep this record. 

Image by Angus Gray
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EXPEDITION PACKAGE INCLUDES

SNORKELING WITH LIONS MANE JELLYFISH

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JUST KEEP SWIMMING NEMO

Lions Mane Jellyfish start to make their way into Alaska each summer in preparation to feast on the incoming mass migration of Moon Jellyfish that come to our waters.

Each day while we look for sharks, we'll cruise the coastline to find small pockets of Lions Mane at the surface.  You'll find that most jellyfish have a hitch-hiker riding along using the bell as a home.  At first you might think they are symbiotioc team working together to harvest food while providing protection to each other such as a Clown fish.  But in reality, these small fish can be seen eating their home as it travels along the current.  Snorkelers can swim up to these jellyfish to capture some unique images.  But be careful, because this jellyfish can sting as strong as a bee sting and have tentacles reaching 20'.  So always approach from the bell side.

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SNORKELING UNDER LODGE DOCK

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NUDIBRANCH
GARDEN

Just below the dock, free divers and snorkelers can enjoy a diverse world of nudibranchs.  Snorkelers that need shallow water can wait until low tide to see them up close.

Colors pop in these Alaskan cold waters and photographers will be rewarded with some outstanding imagery.  You'll want to bring a macro lens to capture the best shots.

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ORCA'S AND HUMPBACK WHALES

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ALASKA MARINE WILDLIFE

During your stay at the lodge, we'll take you into the heart of Prince William Sound and focus on the explosion of whale activity that happens in the spring.  

Herring move into the Sound in massive numbers, bringing with them a feast that large and small animals simply can not ignore.  During this tour we look for all manner of aquatic wildlife such as Humpback Whales, Grey Whales, Minke Whales, Dall Porpoise, Orca's, Sea Lions, Harbor Seals and Sea Otters. 

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ICEBERG SNORKELING AT COLUMBIA GLACIER

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GLACIER AND
ICEBERG SNORKELING

Snorkel with an iceberg (tours usually reserved for Antartica or the Artic)

We've put together one-of-a-kind diving tours that focus on getting you maximum time under the surface, coupled with equally unique snorkeling adventures and topside photography. Snorkelers will have the chance to jump in with recently calved iceberg. But this can be dangerous and we spend time finding you the safest one to swim up to. There are many factors picking the right iceberg to play with and we will brief you on how to approach each one safely. These are trips not offered anywhere else in the world and will leave you with an unforgettable experience that can't be beat.  Let us show why these trips are quickly becoming "bucket list" trips for many divers across the world.  Be assured, you'll be snapping photos from sunrise to after the sunset for northern lights.

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EVENING EXCURSIONS IN PORT FIDALGO

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TOPSIDE
EVENING
SKIFF TOUR

Each evening we'll head out after dinner to look for topside animals.  So don't forget your telephoto lens.

Bears will be our main focus on these trips, but there will be many other aquitic and land based animals to see each animal as we travel the coastlines looking for animal movement. Port Fidalgo is a large area, but there are particular creeks we'll go in search for bears. Along the way, we may encounter whales, sea lions, sea otters, land otters, eagles, seals, deer and many other critters. so keep your head on a swivel and your camera at the ready.

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WORLD CLASS EAGLE PHOTOGRAPHY

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Witness Eagle predation on the annual 

Herring run in Prince William Sound. 

UNPARALLELED ACCESS
TO ALASKAN WILDERNESS

During salmon shark season our resident eagle population will feed on the incoming herring spawn that occurs in our area.  Birds will often and reliably be seen perched in wait for a fish to break the surface and quickly scream down to snatch it.  We’ve had overwhelming success with our topside photographers producing some amazing topside shoots with birds in flight, talons stretched out in anticipation of the meal to come. ​ Each year we've had many photographers leave with outstanding photo's.  Evening trips are best for this tour but be assured if you've never tried to photograph an eagle, you'll be a pro by the end of your trip.  These birds are plentiful and we work with a couple of pairs of resident eagles in the area that have are accustom to seeing snorkelers and boats traversing the area.

Image by Luca Bravo
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AREAS WE VISIT IN PRICE WILLIAM SOUND

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This expedition takes you to varying landscapes that include towing mountains that are often referred  to as "the mini alps of North America". 

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During the day we'll visit parts of Prince William Sound where whales are often found playing and forging.  The area hosts a variety of animals and we will take you to known spots of peak activity to see these animals.  At the end of the day, you can relax and share stories at the lodge.  These are full days packed with lots of opportunities to fill memory cards! During the trip we'll spend time on the eastern side of Prince William Sound exploring from Port Fidalgo to Columbia Bay.  We'll visit known hot spots for wildlife both above and below the surface. Most of the whale activity happens in the Valdez Arm of Prince William Sound, so we'll cross this area several times during the week to put us in the direct path of the annual movement of whales that inhabit the area.  In our travels we'll come across little islands that dot the area that are home to many different species of bird life.  Bulls Head will also be an area we'll visit where you'll see an active Sea Lion colony with Puffins nesting in the cliffs next door.

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EXPEDITION PACKAGE ITINERARY

Image by Sarah Lee

Trip synopsis: During your week, we will primarily focus on salmon shark interactions which occur at specific times in the morning and during specific weather windows each day.  Package details: 7 day/6 night Shark Package.  First and last days are travel days.  Includes 5 total days snorkeling/free diving, meals, and weights (snorkel gear can be provided for an additional price if needed). Transportation from Valdez, AK to the remote Ravencroft Lodge and back is also included. Accomodations are single occupancy.  Self-guided paddleboards available at lodge for evening use. Alcohol/soft drinks, large heavy snacks & gratuities not included. Travel details: Fly to Anchorage, AK.  Then fly on a smaller commercial flight to Valdez, AK.  We recommend that you arrive a day before and leave the following morning from your departure day from the lodge.  Guests should arrive the day before to allow for weather delays into Valdez, AK that may happen from time to time.  But arriving early allows you to take advantage of visiting Valdez and Solomon Hatchery where bears, sea lions and eagles can be found feasting on salmon runs.  Ask for more details. Disclaimer: Even though we only offer trips during the peak migration, please remember that all animals are free to roam the open ocean.  They are not caged and thus not released by us at specific times during the day to ensure sightings.  So please keep in mind that interactions are highly likely during the week, but not guaranteed.  Group Size: 6 person Experience Level: Snorkeling experience and healthy enough to be mobile in and out of water/climb dive ladder. Time Period: Please call, as this is a highly kept secret from local fisherman. Tour Focus:  Salmon Shark Snorkeling Other Activities/Animals:  Columbia Glacier, Eagles, Sea Lions, Puffins, Orca's, Humpback's, Brown and Black Bears, Stika Blacktail deer, Sea Otters, Lions Mane Jellyfish Day 1: Travel day from Valdez, AK to Lodge.  Depart at 10am. Lunch not included, so be sure to bring a lunch when you arrive.  We'll swing by Columbia Glacier for a quick snorkel dip and look for sea lions, whales and otters (weather permitting).  Then check into rooms and prep gear, with trip briefing/orientation on shark snorkeling procedures after dinner. Day 2-6: Salmon Shark/Lions Mane Jellyfish snorkeling starts at 6am. Breakfast and Lunch are to go. Guided adventures end at 12pm. If you still have energy after shark time, you'll have free time to 5pm for self-guided adventures such as hiking, beachcoming, paddleboarding, dock snorkeling or just simply hang out at the main lodge with other guests until dinner is served at 5:30pm. Evening topside photography trips for eagles, bears and whales are 7-8pm. Day 7: Travel day back to Valdez, AK.  Sit down breakfast 7:30am at lodge. Depart at 9am for Valdez.

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SALMON SHARK SNORKELING

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COLUMBIA

GLACIER

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ICEBERG SNORKELING

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LIONS MANE 

JELLYFISH SNORKELING

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ORCA'S AND

HUMPBACK'S

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SEA LION

ROOKERY

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LODGE DOCK

NUDIBRANCHS

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BLACK AND BROWN

BEARS

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PUFFIN 

ROOKERY

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EAGLE

PHOTOGRAPHY

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SEA OTTER

PHOTOGRAPHY

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LODGE

HIKING

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