Afloat in Thunder Bay

Let Your Troubles Float Away

Tracey and Gavin Barrett, decided to open Afloat in early 2014 after floating in Minneapolis. The benefits they experienced from that first float inspired them to bring it to their hometown of Thunder Bay.

"We were excited about floating's potential to really help people. And so far the response has been amazing," says Tracey.


Operating in the Bay and Algoma District, Afloat offers floatation therapy to Thunder Bay. Floating is also referred to as sensory deprivation. It involves lying in a large pod, filled with 10 inches of water and 600lbs of Epson Salt. The water is heated to skin temperature (93.5 degrees) and if you choose to close the lid and turn off the light and music, you can float effortlessly, free from gravity, in an environment unlike any other. After a short time in the tank, you may lose sensation of the water on your skin and actually feel as though you're floating in space.


Float sessions are 90 minutes in length and customers get the room for 2 hours to be able shower before and afterwards. All the amenities are provided so all you need may need is a hairbrush. The time in the pod allows you to completely unwind and take a break from the frantic pace of daily life. Free from gravity, muscles and joints are able to loosen and relax. People leave the pod feeling relaxed and refreshed.


The benefits of floating include relief from chronic pain, increased athletic recovery, improved mental focus and reduced stress and anxiety. Regardless of their reason for entering the tank, people of all ages have left feeling incredible and told their friends about this new thing called "floating."


One local fan, Hannah explains, “The first time I went I was eight months pregnant so it was all about realigning my spine. I could actually hear popping sounds from my spine. I could feel my back straightening. I felt so much taller and lighter when I got out of the tub. The next time I went it was more about my head. I went in with a couple mental blocks and I came out with answers and I wasn’t stressed any more.”

About Duncan Weller

A writer and visual artist, Duncan Weller is a Governor General's Award winner who lives in Thunder Bay. You can visit his website at His latest two books are a novel, Flight of the Silk, and an expanded edition of the award-winning children's picture book, The Boy from the Sun.

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