Leaving Baranof Warm Springs Bay, we came across a humpback whale feeding right along the shoreline. From our vantage it looked like he was on the beach! We watched him maneuver through the shallow water, using his large pectoral fins to turn quickly and agilely. The fishing must have been good because we watched him cruise the shoreline for a while.
The weather changed today and we experienced the full nature of the temperate rainforest we’ve been cruising through. Even on these rainy days, the scenery is beautiful. Low clouds obscured the tallest of the peaks and rolled down through the valleys. Mist seems to rise from the forest itself on these days. It was choppier out in the strait than what we’d experienced prior, but our crews handled it well and worked together to call out the logs in the water.
We arrived in Appleton Cove in the early afternoon. The crews of Eldean and Arctic Star joined Deception for a walk along some of the abandoned logging roads in the area. We encountered some large piles of bear scat early on the walk and began making a lot of noise as we trekked along the road. After encountering a much fresher pile of scat and a footprint larger than any of ours, we decided the area would be better seen from our dinghies and made a rather quick retreat to the boats.
The rest of the afternoon was spent dropping crab pots and fishing for halibut. The Arctic Star crew caught a few good-sized Dungeness crabs. And then, the real excitement of the night came when Andy, from Deception’s crew, landed a 70lb halibut! With renewed enthusiasm for fishing, the crews of Deception, Arctic Star and Thea all suited up and went out in the rainy evening to give it a go. A few small lingcod and rockfish were caught and released, but the halibut had quit biting.
Later that evening, our shore crew was validated in their decision to retreat by the many brown bear sightings along the same beach. Despite being fairly spread out in the anchorage all of our crews had their own private bear viewing. The bear in front of Arctic Star laid down in the sedges for a lazy meal and stayed on the beach munching on grasses for over an hour. We were excited to have such a great view of the bears and relieved that we were seeing them from the safety of our boats.
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