The Obvious and Not-So-Obvious Differences between Snorkeling in Alaska and Aruba. Also an Engagement.

First of all this activity made me realize what I sacrifice because of my beard.  I haven’t gone snorkeling without having a leaky mask in so long.  It’s time to start shaving before vacation I guess.

Now on to the difference.  One is really cold, the other is not so much…

I mean at a reductionist level that’s really it.

So we went snorkeling in Ketchikan, Alaska which boasts its salmon dishes.  I will say it was easily the best salmon I’ve ever had too and I’ll get more into that another time.  This was a trip done through Snorkel Alaska and it seemed to have a ton of great reviews so we figured why not.  The only downside to this is that, of course, the water is super cold so the wetsuits and prep time is about an hour and once that wetsuit is on and until you get into the water it is pretty miserable plus mobility is tricky.

She couldn’t put her arms all the way down.

Before you ask, yes they tell you to just pee in the suit.  Compared to Aruba where it’s just swim trunks, snorkel mask, then jump….wait you can’t take your rum with you into the water so leave that…then jump.

Best shot I have of them pouring liquor into my snorkel between dives

Yes that did happen to me…the Aruba snorkel had an open bar…


If you are curious we booked that trip through Red Sail Aruba.

As far as scenery differences the Aruban sail had a wider variety of fish and clear water.  Along with a really cool shipwreck which is one thing Aruban snorkel is known for.  The Alaskan trip did have more jellyfish though.  Most of which were harmless, and a few that weren’t so really it depends on the kind of experience you are going for.

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The harmless kind…it was the red ones you needed to be wary of…

Also the guides on the Alaskan snorkel did get us some up close experiences with some slimey and spiky specimens.

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Both offer a level of adventure in the form of colder, less hospitable waters compared to my best attempts at swimming very very drunk.

Where I passed out from about 6pm to 1am.

You may also be asking where are the comparison photos from underwater in Aruba?  Well the lense fogged up and I didn’t notice for reason already established…

So just take my word on the water clarity I suppose.  I’m going to try and clean up a shot of the sunken ship later.

I am also sorry for everyone that came into this article hoping for a more in depth comparison as that was my intention.  However the night before the Aruba snorkel I ended up getting engaged and was riding that endorphin high pretty hard the next day…


It made that trip a bit of an engagement trip and after that it was hard to keep track of useful information…

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