The fleet woke to another flat calm, sunny morning. We weighed anchors and were underway by 8:00am. After passing Point Thatcher, we ran into a cloudbank, so we throttled back a bit. The clouds lifted and the cruising was clear and sunny again with periodic humpback whale sittings being shared between the boats.
About four miles north of our destination, we moved closer to Waterfall Cove and watched three purse seiners working the waters just off the point. Each boat in the fleet moved in closer to the falls for a photo-op and was dwarfed by the towering cascade!
There was no room at the dock at Warm Springs Bay so we devised a plan to raft in cozy, protected, “Schooner Cove”. Bonum Vitae anchored in their own private cove just around the point. After we were settled, may of us ventured into Warm Springs in our dinghies for a short hike around the area. Warm Springs is a tiny community alongside a massive waterfall that provides water and power for the community.
A charming boardwalk services the cabins along the shore and branches up the hill to the hot springs and Lake Baranof. We sampled a few salmon berries on our way to the waterfall and then hiked the boardwalk up to the turquoise lake surrounded by steep snow-capped mountains. The surrounding snowfields feed the lake making it very cold, and no one was brave enough to swim this time.
On our way back, we took the side path to the scenic warm spring pools nestled in spruce and hemlock forests. The pools overlook the raging waterfall boiling over the rocks and cascading down one hundred feet to the bay, creating a permanent suspended mist in the air. Mike, Bob, Russell, and Emmanuel all took a soak with Emmanuel providing the entertainment as he demonstrated his impressions of humpbacks surfacing and breeching.
After returning to the rafted vessels, Judy and Todd invited the fleet over to La Vida for refreshments and a chance to socialize. We all admired their beautiful spacious boat with plenty of room for us all to mingle and get to know each other better. Stories of past travels and boating experiences were shared along with plenty of jokes and laughter. Shortly before returning to our boats, a tiny harbor seal delighted us all when it popped its head up to see what all the hub-bub was about. Later, we all returned to our boats for dinner and enjoyed the evening of quiet stillness.
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