Sunday, May 22, 2011

Alaska Trip: Day 3

We spent the morning at Red Bluff Bay where we dropped anchor the night before.  I opted to sleep in rather than kayak before breakfast.  After breakfast, Karl took some of us out in the skiff to look for wildlife.  We saw many starfish in the water and a few birds.  I was amazed at how many arms sunburst starfish have!  As with most of my wildlife photos, the photos I took through the water of the starfish didn't come out too well, but a couple are posted below.  I also got a couple shots of a bald eagle.

After lunch, we docked at Baranof Island and hiked first to Baranof Lake and then to the hot springs nearby.  Mom and I opted not to go in either the lake or the hot springs, but I enjoyed the scenery.  While we didn't spot any wildlife, we did spot a bear print in the mud!  The crew members who came along brought chocolate and champagne for everyone to enjoy in the hot springs.  While enjoying the hot springs, the sun decided to come out from behind the clouds and it turned into a beautiful afternoon!  I stopped to take photos quite a few times on the way back down to the dock.  I also learned that skunk cabbage is definitely named for its smell.

We then made our way to our overnight spot in Takatz Harbor where we we went out for a skiff ride before dinner.  We saw a few other boats and got a tour of the salmon fishery there.  They raise salmon to the fry size in net pens and then release them into the wild.  The fish we saw were just about ready to be released.  We also learned that one smart humpback whale has somehow figured out when the fry are released and comes to feed on the poor young salmon.  All the hard work of Benji and Lindsay (who man this fishery) gone in one big gulp!  Edward, one of our fellow passengers, entertained us at dinner by trying to figure out a solution to the whale problem. 

Photos from day 3 are below.  As before, click on any of them to enlarge.

Morning View of Redbluff Bay

Avalanche Destruction

Bald Eagle (if you look closely)

Bald Eagle in flight

Best pictures I got of Sunburst Starfish

Falls from around Redbluff

Redbluff as we were leaving

Bear print in the mud

Baranof Lake through trees

View from hot springs

Top hot springs pool (which was too hot to go in)

Looking back at the path to get down to hot springs

Skunk Cabbage (a favorite spring food of bear)

Safari Quest at the Dock

Funky titled houses on shore as we approached the dock from hike

Shots from skiff ride at Takatz

Salmon Fishery at Takatz

Reflection of mountains on the water

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