Day 23 | Flotilla to Alaska | Red Bluff Bay to Warm Springs Bay

After yesterday’s wildlife extravaganza, today’s trip up Chatham Strait was a little boring. We did see a few humpbacks as we left Red Bluff Bay, but after that we struck out. The water was reasonably calm, though, and the Baranof Island shoreline is so mountainous, rugged, and snow-capped that the lack of wildlife didn’t matter. We just focused our attention on the scenery.

Usually we can squeeze in somewhere on the dock at Warm Springs Bay, but not today. Several boats were anchored in front of the waterfall, too. So we scooted around to an unnamed arm of the bay that juts south. It’s a stunning spot, certainly prettier than being at the dock, but also a challenging anchorage. It’s at least 80 feet everywhere, the holding isn’t great, and there’s not much swinging room, but everyone got set just fine.

We didn’t have any group activities planned today, but people dinghied over to the Baranof Warm Springs dock and walked up to the hot springs throughout the afternoon. The boardwalk community is picturesque, the walk is welcome after being at anchor for a week, and the hot springs are perfect for soaking.

The hot springs themselves are nestled among the rocks next to a large waterfall.

For those wanting more privacy (and maybe a bit less moss), there is also a public bathhouse (three separate rooms) with hot springs water piped into tubs that empty between users.

We passed John and LuAnne (and Henry) on their way back from a walk up to Baranof Lake.

Baranof Lake:

Since we usually tie to the dock here, we’ve not explored by dinghy. A small lagoon has always tempted us to explore, and this time the timing worked out. At lower tides, the entrance is a waterfall and impossible to navigate. But near high tide, it’s a narrow, calm channel that opens up to a small but scenic saltwater lagoon.

Later in the evening a lone brown bear appeared on shore at the head of the bay where we were anchored. We dinghied in for a closer look.

21.7nm today
995.3nm total