2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 3, Day 8 – Warm Springs Lay Day | NW Explorations

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2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 3, Day 8 – Warm Springs Lay Day

When offered the opportunity to walk up to Baranof Lake, almost the entire fleet jumped at the chance! We headed over in our dingies and kayaks for our next adventure. We all met at the Warm Springs dock and walked up a well-maintained board walk. On the way, we had scenic views of the cute cabins along the board walk that offer great photo-ops and passed the bath house where warm spring water is piped into clean baths for those who prefer a less rustic setting.

As we walked up the approximately 1/3-mile board walk, we saw huge 4-5 foot-long leaves of skunk cabbage and delicate white flowers of the bunch berry while grazing on salmon berries growing along the path. We arrived at Lake Baranof to a stunning scene that offered photo-ops. Vanessa challenged us to a “head dunking contest” in the chilly lake waters. Anna was the only one brave enough to take her up on it, but Darren went for the full-body submersion, taking a very short swim.

As we returned to the dock, some split off to go to the hot spring pool overlooking the head waters of the roaring Warms Spring waterfall where Lake Baranof flows into Warm Spring Bay. This year the water was significantly higher than last year, and locals informed us that they had had 28 feet of snow this winter! Others continued down the board walk to the bathhouse, while the rest of us walked up to the base of the falls. The water was roaring and crashing with such intensity that it created a thick mist and slippery rocks. After a few photos, we returned to the dock, where everyone loaded into nine kayaks and headed into the lagoon.

Venturing into the lagoon requires a bit of pre-planning to account for the current that passes from Warm Springs Bay through a very narrow entrance into a large lagoon. We timed it well and had a safe but thrilling rapids ride into the lagoon. There was a lot of whooping and laughing as we were swept along with the current one at a time. Once inside, we would have about an hour before the current would slow enough for us to paddle against it to get out. It is a beautiful lagoon, so we were happy to be there. La Vida had entered before us in their dingy but was hesitant to try to leave before the water rose a bit higher. They left with their motor fighting the current. Darren was keen to try his hand at attempting the escape. He tried a few times and eventually got out, only to turn around and ride the current back in just for fun.

We waited a bit longer and then each of us made it out one at a time. Once on the other side, we collected as a cheer-squad to encourage the others still in transit. Everyone made it on their first try and we all laughed and congratulated each other on our prowess! We made our way back to our boats and settled in for a relaxing evening.

P.S. Is Alaska on your bucket list? We can take you there! Email us to reserve your spot on our 2023 Mother Goose AK Flotilla. charters@nwexplorations.com 

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