Kayaking in Warm Springs Bay
We had a great day last week to take a little paddle in the kayaks--the rain stopped, the sun came out (almost), and there was no wind. We paddled up to the townsite--you can see Baranof Falls and some of the cabins in "town" straight ahead.
Baranof Falls runs harder in the summer, but will all the rain we've had this winter, it still has a pretty healthy flow.
Anytime you do anything with Jen, you have to stop for lots of photos!
This could be a poster for the definition of "calm water".
You can see how clear the water is in the winter as we paddle over some shallows. We get plankton blooms in the summer that actually make the water much murkier.
Paddling back to the lodge.
We made it!
A Visit from the M/V Lituya
Our friends Chase and Hillary Bell stopped by the bay not too long ago. They were delivering propane up to a place in Hood Bay on Admiralty Island, so they stopped by for a quick visit on their way back to Petersburg.
Their boat, the Lituya, is a big landing craft. They run freight and supplies to remote areas in Southeast Alaska. The night they got here it was calm enough for them to tie up to the lodge dock.
Since they were sitting there with all that propane, we topped up as many empty tanks as we could find here at the lodge.
These 25-gallon tanks weigh about 170 pounds when full. We had over 30 of them and it was a high tide project to haul them back up to the storage area out behind the workshop. That was over 5000 pounds of propane tanks to lug up the ramp and boardwalk. Jen had such a good time, she has kept a small tank on a hand truck. Now when she walks the boardwalk for exercise we can say she is walking the propane.
A trip to Admiralty Island
We've been waiting for a calm day to take the skiff across Chatham Strait to visit our friends Dave and Anke who are caretaking at Tyee. Tyee is the site of an abandoned cannery site and whaling station located in Murder Cove on the south side of Admiralty Island. Chatham Strait in winter is known for big wind and waves. Last month we had a day with a relatively calm forecast of 15 kts and 3 foot seas and decided to go for it. We threw a bunch of extra safety gear into the boat, donned all the clothes we could find, and headed out. When we got just outside the bay we hit a wave that threw Jen off her seat in the bow. I can't repeat exactly what she said, but it was to the effect of, "Please, Rick, I would like to return to the lodge right now!" So, the trip got postponed for a while.
A perfect day finally graced us a few weeks later and off we went. It was a perfect day--glassy water and dry. We buzzed across in about 45 minutes (the skiff goes pretty fast in flat water). We passed a pod of Dall's Porpoise, saw Steller Sea Lions, Sea Otters, Bald Eagles, and watched a Cormorant catch and eat (more like swallow in one great gulp) a rock fish.
Sea Otters checking us out
I't's hard to tell, but this Muppet-like critter is the cormorant finishing off his big Gulp 'O Fish--you can see how much fatter his neck is than usual.
These two eagles are sitting watching over the navigation tower on Point Gardner, where on a normal winter day we would never be able to sit and watch, because of how rough and nasty the current and waves are.
The head of Murder Cove is very protected and very shallow. A lot of it goes dry at low tide. Dave and Anke pulled their boat up at high tide when they first got to Murder Cover and will leave it high and dry until they're ready to leave.
Hiking back to the cabin for lunch, you can see the new lodge on the left side as well as the fog that rolled in. Murphy's Law says that the first foggy day you see in months will happen on the day you're miles from home across a big body of water. I borrowed a little hand-held compass from Dave and somehow we managed to find our way home. I'd rather be lucky than good any day!
Dave and Anke in front of the cabin they stay in while caretaking.