Monday 4 May 2020

Hot Springs in Warm Springs Bay

Warm Springs Bay with its 100 ft waterfall
By October it was more than late enough to be getting further south.  There was a bit of a break in the weather so we headed towards Warm Spring Bay on Baranof Island.  We have certainly seen lots of whales and dolphins in Alaska, but we were surprised to see two deer crossing a strait as we headed south.  We were also surprised just after sunrise to not just see a log in the water but a whole massive tree with roots and all.  Liz managed to see it in time and maneuver around it.  After this experience, we decided to stick to daylight passages for inshore waters!

Deer crossing.
Apparently Warm Springs Bay is ridiculously busy in the summer - not our kind of place - but it sounded more interesting out of season and it was about as far south as we could get before the weather got nasty.  We arrived in the early morning and found plenty of space on the free and well-maintained dock (there is a fee in-season).  By the end of the next day there were just two yachts but more interestingly there were fishermen avoiding the weather and two boats for the winter caretakers for the village and lodge - all interesting people to get to the know.  The caretakers for the village were possibly too "interesting" and were fired the following week (we actually got an e-mail asking if we would turn around and care-take the village for the winter) but the other couple were absolutely delightful.  We wish we could have spent more time with them: Dave and Anke of SV WAYWARD.  They travel around Alaska in the sail- and oar-powered boat (no engine) David and Anke designed and built, and they are very productive foraging from the land and sea.  We enjoyed their fruit wine and pickled bull kelp.  If you are interested in their travels and their designs you can look here and here.  The fishermen are of course always great folks to be around and as usual we were given fish by the generous fishermen.

Entering Warm Springs Bay in the early morning

Of course, the main attraction of Warm Springs Bay are the hot springs.  There are natural hot springs about 15 minutes walk away.  One of the pools is right beside the raging river which is really nice.  Also, in the village - really more of a collection of summer homes - there is a building with "by donation" single rooms with massive tubs fed by very hot or cold spring water and an open air view over the bay.  Amazing.

Hanging out with fishing boats.

Halibut !

David and Anke's cool SV Wayward

Heading off to the hot springs.  Pretty luxurious hiking with the boardwalk.

Hot springs !

Hot springs by the river.

Family photo by the waterfall.  Rather a damp week.

One of the awesome tubs with a view. (From

The red arrow points to Warm Springs Bay

Warm Springs Bay


  1. We'll be heading that way soon... Great photos [and no doubt memories...] I'm so glad you got to meet Dave and Anke...

    1. Thanks Bill. It was a great stop mostly because of Dave and Anke. What fun it would have been to spend the winter there with them.


  2. Awesome photos! We met David and Anke in 2011 in Tenekee Springs when we sailed the Inside Passage aboard a Catalina 27. Great folks!

    1. Thanks guys. David and Anke are awesome. We are so lucky to meet so many interesting people while travelling !


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