2020 Alaska Flotilla: Leg 4: Day 7: Warm Springs Bay Lay Day | NW Explorations
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2020 Alaska Flotilla: Leg 4: Day 7: Warm Springs Bay Lay Day

After a restful night in a cove off Warm Springs Bay, we woke to find a purse seiner anchored nearby seeking refuge from last night’s wind and waves in the main harbor. The sun was trying to break through suggesting a strong possibility for a sunny day.

Many guests were eager to stretch their legs so when the offer to walk the boardwalks with an off-trail expedition and/or kayaking possibility came up, we had a full dingy headed to Warm Springs. Holden and Joe took their own dingy and hiked up to the lake for a refreshing swim, BRR! Mindy and Steve from Arctic star and Robert and Bailey from Thea all went hiking with Chris and Jane and we met the boys just as they were exiting the lake. The boys set off for the hot springs and the rest of us found a path that led us up into the tundra. We found an overlook with a view of the lake and the swift river as it raced down towards the falls. The six of us kept up a lively conversation with plenty of laughter to remind any nearby bears of our presence.

After the walk, we returned to the small picturesque hamlet and walked the boardwalk to the falls for pictures. Mindy and I decided to go kayaking into the nearby lagoon but the current was too strong so we paddled our way back to our anchorage. Later in the evening, we tried again and found the current with an easy flood to carry us right in. The lagoon was a hidden gem. Exposed white ricks encircled the verdant green island with open meadows and a few stunted spruce trees. Joe and Holden were on the island with their dingy but Mindy and I decided to head out before the current became too strong. After my failed attempt to buck the current, Mindy triumphed and I followed her path and was able to exit too.

Mindy and Jane quietly paddled along the shore looking at the birds and moss laden trees as we headed back to our anchorage. When we arrived, we noticed another kayaker quietly studying the shore intently. Had the bear returned again tonight? Sure enough, as we quietly made our way over, we spotted a brown bear leisurely ambling along the shore grazing on sedge grass.  We both watched the bear for a good half hour while others decided to join us.  The bear had quite an audience, but we were all quiet, still and very respectful so the bear ignored us and continued to graze.

Eventually, hunger beckoned us too so, each in turn, returned to our boats for dinner and a restful evening after a full day in the wilderness.

 

 

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