Captain, Crew & Guides
Captain and naturalist Dean Rand began his Alaskan maritime experience in the Bering Sea crab fisheries in the 1970’s. Upon his arrival in Southeast Alaska, he continued with commercial fishing ventures as well as forestry projects, and in the late 1980’s evolved to providing logistic support for maritime scientific research studies in Prince William Sound. He and his two daughters started the tourism business aboard the Discovery in 1992 in the coastal community of Cordova. In 1997, they relocated to the little town of Whittier, in Western Prince William Sound. As owner/operator of Discovery Voyages and the full-time captain of the Discovery, Dean is fully committed to sharing his knowledge and experience with you to ensure you have the vacation of a lifetime.
Considered by many to be one of the most knowledgeable mariners in Prince William Sound, Dean’s extensive involvement with a broad range of scientific research conducted throughout the Sound have provided him with a well-rounded background in the region’s natural history.
Dean is a master shipwright and marine mechanic with nearly 40 years of full-time service in the marine trades on the Alaska coast.
He is active in local and national land and water use management and carries extensive experience in wilderness tourism and scientific research. He was co-recipient (with the Chugach School District of Prince William Sound) of the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award for supporting and participating in the education of all children.
As an established and skilled, licensed marine vessel captain, Dean safely pilots you through the Sound’s narrow saltwater passages and winding fjords. The Discovery is a U.S. Coast Guard inspected vessel, fully certified for passenger service in Alaska’s often extreme traveling conditions.
The qualified and experienced guides and special guests that join the Discovery enrich your Alaska experience. They are hand-picked by Discovery Voyages to compliment your journey in Prince William Sound.
Heather is Captain Dean’s oldest daughter, and grew up aboard the Discovery. She acquired her USCG 100-ton Captain’s License at 22. Heather likes to learn, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology with a minor in History from the University of Alaska, an Associate’s in General Science, is currently enrolled in a mechanical engineering program, and holds various culinary certifications.
Before she transitioned into the galley, most of Heather’s early years aboard the Discovery were spent guiding guests on excursions. Heather’s culinary touch came from a life-long experience observing and assisting chefs, and being exposed to the rich foods Alaska has to offer. Her menu is authentically Alaskan, prepared in a way that only someone who enjoys eating as much as they enjoy cooking, can. Having gathered recipes from years of Discovery cooks, Heather has put together an arrangement that features her top picks. Heather also has a particular fondness for baking, and insists on ending each day with a sweet treat.
In the off-season, Heather’s home base is in Anchorage, where she has a house with her husband, Edward, and their daughter, Jasmine.
Megan is the voice you hear when you contact the office of Discovery Voyages, and is also a part-time crew member, when her job as a Physical Therapist allows. She began her adventures in Alaska in 2004, and joined Discovery in 2010. She and Captain Dean were married on the shores of Prince William Sound in May of 2015. Megan enjoys hiking, wildlife viewing and exploring all Alaska has to offer. You’ll intermittently see Megan driving guests to and from the harbor, as well as guiding excursions mainly in August and September.
Hugh Rose, Photographer and Natural History Guide
Special Guest Hugh Rose has lived in northern climates most of his life and currently makes Fairbanks, Alaska home. Compelled by Alaska’s natural beauty, he left a 10-year career in geology to explore and photograph the vast landscapes and wildlife of the north.
Both nature and a camera have intrigued Hugh since childhood and he continues to explore these worlds through photography and guiding. Hugh is a skilled birder, and with a masters degree in geology, blends a keen mix of natural history with his people and photography skills. He travels worldwide sharing the the wonders of the natural world with his clients.