Today was a lay day to give everyone time to explore Warm Springs however they pleased, taking a hot tub soak in the natural warm springs by the side of the river, checking out the power of the falls at the base of the falls, hike to the lake or kayak around the shoreline.
As a group, many of us walked up to Baranof Lake, a large clear blue lake surrounded by snowcapped peaks that feed the waterfall which empties into the head of Warm Springs Bay. The small community of Warm Springs has access to plenty of water, both cold and hot! The hike to the lake is about a half mile, much of it on boardwalks surrounded by salmon berry bushes, white bunch berry flowers and large Sitka spruce trees.
Off the main trail is a path to three natural pools that vary in temperature. The largest backs up directly to the river at the very top of the falls. It is a beautiful setting to soak tired muscles and relax surrounded by nature and a roaring waterfall.
Many of us ventured out on kayaks to explore other bays in the area. Two golden eagles were spotted in one of the bays. These birds are very similar to bald eagles in size and shape but differ by their color patterns include a golden head, black edging in their white tail and feathered legs. A young harbor seal fished behind the raft of boats and provided a bit of morning entertainment to accompany a leisurely cup of coffee.
That afternoon, Arctic Star invited everyone over to their boat for a social gathering on the bow. We all shared stories, snacks and drinks and it provided an opportunity to get to know each other better. The day had been sunny and without the regular push of moving to another anchorage, everyone enjoyed the day of unscheduled rest. Tonight and tomorrow’s forecast calls for more of the same weather for our short cruise further south along the Baranof Island coast to Red Bluff Bay.