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.
Matt’s culinary journey began when he was 15, baking bagels and pastries in Salt Lake City. Since, he has gained experience in fine dining throughout the state of Alaska. An avid fisherman himself, Matt’s cuisine emphasizes Alaska’s abundance of fresh local seafood caught in the pristine waters of Prince William Sound. The seasonal lifestyle that comes with cooking on the Discovery fits Matt well. During his months off he travels around the world, enjoying foreign dishes that might just inspire a dish he serves during your trip!
Heather is the Discovery’s first mate, Captain Dean’s oldest daughter, and has lived on the Discovery since she was three years old. She joined the crew when she turned 18, and acquired her 100-ton Captain’s License at 22. If she’s not in the wheelhouse learning from her father, she’s identifying plant life on hikes or chatting with guests in the lounge.
A lifelong learner, Heather loves sharing the natural history of Prince William Sound and entertaining everyone with stories of growing up in it. She’ll ask you every question under the sun about “what you do,” and loves to listen to stories of guests travels. While it’s generally recommended that you avoid playing dice or poker with her, you can usually distract her with a request for her signature peanut butter pie.
In the off -season, Heather attends school part-time at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Her English degree will be completed “eventually” between the frequent bouts of wanderlust that have sent her adventuring to all corners of the globe.
Despite her frequent world travel, Heather will be the first to tell you that Prince William Sound remains the most beautiful place she’s ever been. She has boundless enthusiasm for sharing her “back yard” with the Discovery’s guests.
Madison is born and raised Alaskan, in south Anchorage. She enjoys all things Alaskan, from fishing and clamming, to hiking and kayaking, to skiing and snowboarding. When she is not guiding on the Discovery, she is pursuing her degree at University of Alaska Anchorage in business management. Her easy going nature and pleasant demeanor make her a great asset to every voyage.
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. Megan enjoys hiking, wildlife viewing and exploring all Alaska has to offer.
Hugh Rose, Photographer and Natural History Guide
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.
Patrick J. Endres, Professional Photographer
Patrick has worked and photographed in Prince William Sound for 13 years, and has traveled extensively throughout Alaska photographing and observing the delicate balance of nature in the arctic and sub-arctic environments.
He holds a bachelor of arts in Theology and resides in Fairbanks, Alaska where he works professionally as a freelance photographer and photography guide. His photographs have appeared in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, USA Today, National Wildlife Magazine, National Parks Magazine, Alaska Magazine, and numerous other books and publications.
Aaron Meyer, Concert Rock Violinist
The cutting edge music of concert violinist Aaron Meyer is a unique and powerful instrumental style bridging the gap between classical, contemporary pop/rock and world genres. Audiences of all ages genuinely connect with Meyer and his magnetic energy!
A classically trained violinist since the age of 5, Meyer soloed with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 11, and has subsequently soloed with major international symphony orchestras, ballet companies, as well as worked with artists such as Pink Martini, Smokey Robinson, Aaron Neville, The Temptations and Everclear. Aaron is a masterful educator as well as performer, and enjoys traveling to other parts of the world regularly and engages himself in the music from other cultures. Visit www.aaronmeyer.com to find out more about the variety of Aaron’s music and performances.