We are not superstitious but…. As we are pulling away from the fuel docks at Hoonah on Friday the 13 Th., I do a double take as I am on the bow handling our lines. There is oil oozing out from under our anchor windlass. Yikes!! We recognize this problem immediately. We had the same issue last year and after a complete replacement of the seals, thought the unit would be trouble free for many years. Do we turn around and go back to a Hoonah or continue on for the next week to Petersburg where good mechanical services are available? We decide to continue on hoping that our anchor windlass will hold up until then. We depend on the anchor daily.
Our day improves greatly as we are heading east in Icy Strait. We spot a pod of humpbacks feeding just ahead. As we slow to watch them, we see that they are bubble net feeding. For the next hour we watch as the eight whales work together to corral and consume herring. The whales dive deep for two and a half minutes and emit a ring of bubbles that surround the school of fish. As the herring are driven to the surface the whales charge up through the school rocketing out of the water to consume the herring. We watch as this is repeated a dozen more times. What a special treat it is to see this example of cooperative feeding behavior.
After anchoring for the evening in Pavlov Harbor, we continue working our way south on Chatham Strait along the east side of Baranof Island. This area is known as the “Waterfall Coast” due to the large number of waterfalls. With strong winds forecast, we anchor in Takatz Bay for two nights. Two other Krogens, Rekindle and Sunbreak are here also. High mountain peaks surround us with several stunning waterfalls leading down into this all weather anchorage. It is a beautiful place.
After two rainy days, we poke our nose out in Chatham Strait for a short ten mile trip to Warm Springs Bay. We are glad it is a short day as the seas are four foot on the nose making for a lumpy ride. Just as we are approaching the 250 foot long public float at Warm Springs, a small cruiser passes us and proceeds to take the last spot on the dock. Jeff goes out on the bow and chats with the boater for several minutes. Turns out they are only here for a few hours and agree to let us take the dock space and raft to us, provided we can fit in the tight space. Jeff again works his magic, and the sailboat on the end agrees to move forward several feet giving us a little more maneuver room . It is a really tight squeeze but Jeff does a great job getting Idyll Time in the small space. No damage done!
We are here to visit the hot springs. Just up the hill from the public float is a cottage lined boardwalk trail that leads into the forrest. Amy and Jim on Rekindle join us for the half mile hike to the natural springs. We take note of the warning sign at the trail head cautioning hikers about the resident brown bear. Jeff does have the 12 gauge shotgun. The springs are a series of three pools located right on the river banks next to a huge waterfall. At 104 degrees, we enjoy a nice soak in the middle pool. No bears around just some old scat. The wilderness settings makes for a truly unique and relaxing experience. A half mile further, the trail leads us to Baranof Lake. We then retrace our steps down the trail to the harbor without the first bear sighting.
In addition to the natural pools, there is a bathhouse just up the hill from the docks that contains three rooms each with a huge tub. Free flowing water is piped in from the hot springs. We find the bath house and tubs extremely clean and enjoy a second soak here later in the evening with a commanding view of the harbor and waterfall from inside our little room. Warm Springs is neat stop.
Total Miles This Year: 2149