Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baranof Warm Springs

After a week or more of cruising I begin to monitor the water gauge and the fruit bowl… well, provisions in general. Should we head to a town to refill the tanks and refrigerator, or stay remote and have some “creative” menus? Easy decision: we opted to stay out longer and just work the water issue. We returned to the dock at Baranof Warm Springs with it’s beautiful scenery, hot spring pools and abundant dockside supply of fresh water. Laundry and longer showers won out over fresh produce or wi-fi connections.

Southern regions have now opened for commercial fishing so there wasn’t a seine boat in sight this week, though we did see a few trollers still working the inside waters locally. The absence of seiners meant we had our choice of spots at the Warm Springs dock. This was a very relaxing three-day stay.

Highlights of this Warm Springs visit:
o     We enjoyed days of unending sunshine, balmy weather and light breezes that keep the bugs away.
o     The sheer beauty of this unique setting is a delight with towering peaks, small isolated coves, hot mineral pools adjacent to the top of a thundering waterfall, and greenery everywhere. 

o     Tempting blueberry, blackberry, huckleberry and salmonberry bushes thrive in sunny spots everywhere around the bay. The berries were huge and plentiful, picking was easy and I have berry-stained fingers and a purple smile to prove it. Other people bake pies, I eat berries. (You have to specialize, right?)

o     Late one afternoon a humpback whale circled the bay, startling everyone with noisy spouts and splashes as it cruised near the falls and passed close to the dock. At the same time a Stellar sea lion kept a wary distance and worked the opposite side of the bay.
o     We met interesting people; cabin owners, a biologist taking an animal inventory of nearby valleys, a pilot on a contract project to survey the condition of SE floatplane docks, and a number of charter boat, fishing boat and private cruiser crews. (I kept busy socializing and forgot to take many people pictures)  

Most birds in the bay kept their distance, but this heron agreed to pose for a photo. I wish the whales and otter were as cooperative.

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