At breakfast, the captain proposes a plan. Because the weather isn't especially great (it's raining, but not hard) he thinks we should cruise all the way across Frederick Sound to Baranoff Hot Springs. He imagines we will see whales along the way and hopes the weather will be nicer at Baranoff. The agreeable crowd of which I'm a part quickly concedes and soon we are motoring west, toward Baranoff.
I enjoy a much deserved nap and wake to find quite a spectacle.
A group of almost a dozen Dall porpoise are swimming in the bow wave of our boat, just beneath the front deck. They dart from side to side and pop out of the water, putting on quite a show.
As we pass Admirality Island , the weather breaks up and we soon find ourselves basking in the sunlight. We see all sorts of shorebirds, hawks, and eagles along the shores of this huge island, which boasts one of the highest per capita grizzly populations in the world. Baranoff Hot springs is our next destination, and what a destination it would prove to be. After getting onto the little dock, I made my way past several buildings; there are a few homes here, as well as a gallery featuring some work from local artists. There is also a huge river pouring down a nearby hill.
Hiking along this river with our guide and some of the other passengers, we soon find ourselves at the hot springs I have heard so much about. I just couldn't resist and hopped right into one of the pools. Some were more reluctant then others, but soon the rest of the passengers had found their way into the water with me.
Feeling greatly relaxed after my soak in the hot springs , I was looking very forward to dinner, and the chef did not disappoint. Earlier in the day he had made a point to ask all of the guests if we liked thai food, and what type of curry we enjoyed most. We all happened to be Thai enthusiasts, so we were eager to see what he was working on. After we were all seated, he presented us with spicy green Thai chicken, served with white rice and a hot cucumber salad. I don't think there were more then thirty words said at dinner, music to any chef's ears.
Fueled by afternoon naps and a full day of excitement, I stay up with some of my fellow passengers and crew late into the night, trading stories and laughing heartily.