Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baranof Warm Springs

August 13-14: Baranof Warm Springs

We were delighted to find room to tie up at the dock. Blue skies and sunshine welcomed us to Warm Springs and stayed with us all day. Who wouldn’t prefer sunshine to rain for hiking the boardwalk up to the pools and beyond to the lake?!

Salmonberries come in a variety of reds and golds
A raft of seine boats... and two hanging fish
The seiners began to arrive late in the day, trickling in to offload fish at the packer and eventually rafting 4 and 5 boats deep across the dock from us. The packer and several other boats, seiners and commercial charters, anchored out in the harbor, their skiffs darting around like busy mosquitos as they ferried crew in to the dock. Most of the fishing boats were the smaller, older craft of the seine fleet, arriving at Baranof to use the pools and work on equipment repairs until the next salmon fishing opening. Note the two hanging fish in the photo above: I had a few thoughts (link) about that sight.

Slone and Peter departed by float plane, heading over the mountains back to Sitka. We stayed put for another day to do some boat chores and plan the next leg of the cruise. 

August 15
A weather system moved into the area; wind gusts of 37 knots rocked the boat, white caps topped the ocean swells that rolled into the bay, and float plane service was suspended. What happened to yesterday’s warm sunshine and settled weather? I can't complain, since we remained comfortable at the dock with access to shore, hot springs, hiking trails, and fresh water. As other boats arrived we heard reports of 55-60 knot winds, dragging anchors and miserable conditions outside the bay. Warm Springs never looked better, even in the rain. 

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