Monday, April 22, 2013

Hot Springs, Otters, and Whales

Yesterday we went out in a skiff (a Boston Whaler) to go find some hot springs. There were 7 of us-Camilla, her husband Captain Caven, their daughter Ivy, their friends Owen and Cassie, and Sarah and me. The ride was about an hour and again we had beautiful weather! The sun was shining, the sky was a deep blue and the clouds were fluffy. We packed the boat full with picnic supplies and all the accoutrements the baby needed and packed in like sardines, we took off. There were a bunch of sea otters floating on their backs, seeming to wave at us as we passed. Caven and Owen saw a whale spouting in the distance but it must have dove deep because when we sailed closer, we couldn't find it.

After about an hour of smooth seas, we got to the hot springs. There was only one other boat on the beach, so we were really lucky. There were little sheds over two different pools. There were people in the pools when we got there so we decided to make lunch before soaking.

True to their Wisconsin roots, we had a yummy lunch of beer and brats. I had a fair number of IPAs and enjoyed sitting on the beach, enjoying the sun. There were a pair of bald eagles who had a nest nearby. We watched them flying and gliding all around. They were pretty noisy. I had never heard the sounds of bald eagle calls before.

After lunch the other group got into their boat and left so we had the pools to ourselves. Ivy was pretty good, sitting in her bouncy chair while we all soaked in the steaming, slightly sulfur tinged water. We immersed ourselves until we were heated to our cores. Then we went on a short hike down the beach. It was fairly rocky and tough going for Camilla holding the baby, so Sarah, Camilla, and I sat on the rocks and chatted while the others hiked.

The ride back to Sitka was a little more choppy. I felt like I was on a trotting horse and wished there was a good way to post to avoid the jarring impacts and we sailed through the waves. This time all of us saw a humpback whale as it spouted and enjoyed the mountains all around. By the time we got home and ate some dinner, I was wiped out. I collapsed happily into bed. It was a great time!

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