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125 astern, to a position about 134 miles southward of the yellow bluff at the east entrance point of Koyuktolik Bay.
Then steer 307° true with the sharp southwest peak of Pearl Island showing over the middle of the low valley in Elizabeth Island approximately astern, to a position 11/2 miles southwestward of Point Adam.
BARREN ISLANDS (chart 8532), a group of mountainous islands, lie nearly in the middle of the entrance to Cook Inlet between Chugach Islands and Shuyak Island, and cover an area about 13 miles long and 5 miles wide. East and West Amatuli Islands are bold and precipitous and devoid of trees. They are thickly covered with grass in the depressions and on the less-precipitous slopes. In general, the anchorages around Ushagat Island are preferable to the others in the group.
Tidal Currents of considerable velocity are found in the passages north and south of the Barren Islands, the flood current setting approximately northwestward and the ebb southeastward. Heavy tide rips occur with strong winds in the vicinity of the islands, and are frequently dangerous for small vessels. The wind among the Barren Islands is generally stronger than it is a few miles away, :
In the deep water areas of the passages north and south of the Barren Islands and approaches thereto, the current is usually regular and appears to have less force than along the sides of the passages. At the edges of the banks bordering the islands and on the detached 20and 30-fathom (37 and 55 m) banks, in fact wherever there is much change in depth, the current increases greatly in force. This condition is usually, but not always, marked by ripples, eddies, or boils.
Ebb currents set strongly to the eastward along the edge of the bank bordering the north side of the Barren Islands,
to the southward between Ushagat and Amatuli Islands and to the eastward north of Sugarloaf Island. Otherwise the ebb currents are variable for a few miles southward from the Barren Islands before assuming their steady flow in a southeasterly direction.
On the flood a narrow band of strong current will be felt a few miles north of the Barren Islands. Some lee from the flood current is afforded closer inshore, but even here there generally will be found a steady set to the westward.
The current in general probably does not exceed 4 knots. Reports indicate that the slack waters do not occur at the times of local high and low tides and the navigator is cautioned against assuming such a relation to exist. (See currents for Chugach Passage, p. 124, and for vicinity of Latax Rocks, page 156.)
Caution.-Operators of small boats should take particular care to avoid being caught in tide rips off the Barren Islands. With a moderate westerly sea, wind force 4 to 5, coaming seas in series of three to four high waves have been seen north of Nord Island of sufficient height and force to seriously endanger if not swamp the ordinary fishing launch. It is recommended that small boats in these islands in moderate weather do not leave them until the current sets with the
Dangers. In the seaward approach to the locality of the Barren Islands is a submerged pinnacle rock having a depth of 412 fathoms (8.2 m). It lies 1634 miles 88° true from Puffin Peak, East Amatuli Island. The top of the rock is of very small area. It forms apparently the high point of a larger shoal. It may or may not be marked by a current slick.
A rock awash at half tide lies 113_miles northwestward from the northernmost point of West Amatuli Island.
There is a bare rock 8 feet (2.4 m) high about 34 mile west-southwest from the northwest point of Ushagat Island. A rock awash at half tide lies 220 yards west-northwest of it and another rock awash at half tide lies 12 mile eastward of it.
A survey of the passage between the Barren Islands and Shuyak Island indicates that the breakers previously reported in this passage do not exist.
East Amatuli Island (chart 8532), at the eastern end of the group, is about 2 miles long in an east and west direction. It has high peaks along its length except 34 mile from its southwest end, where it drops to a valley having a level of less than 200 feet (61 m). A rocky islet, 118 feet (36 m) high, lies 200 yards off its eastern end and on this islet is located a light. A breaker lies 250 yards eastward from the light.
Puffin Peak, on East Amatuli Island and 1,540 feet (469 m) high, is the highest peak in the eastern group of the Barren Islands. It has a conical top.
Amatuli Cove is on the north side of East Amatuli Island and close to the west end. It is about 1/2 mile in extent and affords fair anchorage for small craft in 6 to 8 fathoms (11 to 14.6 m), sand and gravel bottom, near the head of the cove. With a heavy northeast wind, considerable sea makes into the cove and the williwaws are heavy. Winds draw through the cove with great strength, especially when from the southeast and south. The holding ground is not good. Kelp grows along the shores, and there is a small stream at the head of the cove.
West Amatuli Island, about 21/2 miles long, is mountainous. A cluster of rocks about 30 feet (9.1 m) high lies 1/2 mile eastward from the northeast end of the island, with a reef between. A rock 6 feet (1.8 m) high lies 370 yards off the north point of the island. A rock awash at halftide and which does not always break lies 1 mile 357° true from the above mentioned rock.
Sugarloaf Island, 11/8 miles southward from East Amatuli Island, is about 34 mile long. It is 1,202 feet (366 m) high, with deep water between it and the other Barren Islands. A large, grass-covered rock, 95 feet (29 m) high, lies 38 mile southeastward from Sugarloaf Island with foul ground between. A rock awash lies 200 yards from the southwest corner of Sugarloaf Island. A 10-fathom bank on which tide rips are common lies about 38 mile westward from Sugarloaf Island.
Nord Island, 114 miles northward from the eastern end of Ushagat, with deep water between, is about 1/2 mile in diameter. Its southern half is a dome 672 feet (204 m) high, while its northern half is lower and irregular.
Sud Island, 11/8 miles off the southeast end of Ushagat, is 11/8 miles long and about 960 feet (293 m) high near its southwestern end. Near its northeastern end is a knob 203 feet (62 m) high. Sunken rocks and rocks awash extend out 300 yards in many places around the island.
127 A small rocky, grass-topped island, 348 feet (106 m) high, lies 113 miles southeastward from the southwest point of Ushagat Island. Foul ground surrounds the island and extends almost to a bare rock, 48 feet (14.6 m) high, which lies about 1 mile to the southward. A low rock lies between the island and the bare rock. There are strong tide rips in this vicinity, extending to the southwest end of Ushagat Island. A barrier against the ebb current is formed by the island, rocks, and shoal area, thereby materially decreasing the strength of this current along the southeast shore of Ushagat Island.
Ushagat Island, the westernmost and largest of the Barren Islands, is 634 miles long and 31,2 miles wide near its western end. Ushagat Island is grass-covered except on the tops of peaks and where the cliffs are steep. The trees are spruce, ranging from about 50 feet high near the lake to 3 feet high near the west end. It is practically inaccessible except at the low neck near the northeast
nd and at several beaches fronting the valley in its north west part. The summit of the island, 1,965 feet (599 m), is the highest in the Barrier Islands. Table Mountain, at the northeast end, is 1,292 feet (394 m) high, and is separated from the other high land of the island by a low, narrow neck. There are several brackish lakes which are probably fresh in the spring.
Two rocks nearly awash at high water lie 3g mile northward from the northwest end of Ushagat Island. The dangers 34 mile to the westward are described on page 126. Bare rocks extend 38 mile southwestward from the southwest end of the island.
The west side of Ushagat Island is indented about 1 mile by an open bay, about 21,2 miles long, and having two bights. A good anchorage for all easterly winds inay be had in the bight at the north end of the bay. To enter from westward, give the northwest end of the island a berth of 1 mile and pass about 1/2 mile westward and southward of the bare rock lying 34 mile westward from the northwest end. Then steer 92° true for Table Mountain and anchor about 3/8 mile from shore in 6 to 8 fathoms (11 to 14.6 m), hard bottom. Kelp extends some distance off the point dividing the bights on the east side of the bay.
Anchorage with shelter from southerly weather may be had off the north side of Ushagat Island near the head of the deep bight 21/2 miles from the northwest promontory of the island. Some protection is gained here from westerly weather. Anchor in 12 to 15 fathoms (21.9 to 27.4 m) rock bottom about 12 mile off the two small sand beaches. A small boat can get more shelter by anchoring close in.
Good protection in northerly or westerly weather may be had by anchoring in the bight on the south side of Ushagat Island, northward of Sud Island. Williwaws are heavy, but a small boat can avoid the worst of them by anchoring under the cliffs to the west of the head of the bight. A large vessel should anchor in 12 to 18 fathoms (21.9 to 33 m), rock bottom.
7. COOK INLET
COOK INLET (chart 8502) merges with Shelikof Strait through a wide unobstructed passage westward of the Barren Islands. There are three passages leading from the Gulf of Alaska to Cook Inlet : Chugach Passage (p. 133), inside Pearl and Elizabeth Islands, and the passages northward and southward of the Barren Islands (pp. 125 and 156). A submerged pinnacle rock, having a depth of 442 fathoms (8.2 m) lies about 17 miles eastward of the Barren Islands in the seaward approach to these passages.
Prominent features. The shore on both sides of the inlet can be seen in clear weather, but it is sometimes difficult to locate the position on account of the lack of marked features on the eastern shore and the currents are so strong that logged distances are deceptive. Augustine, Iliamna, and Redoubt Volcanoes are conspicuous and useful marks in the lower inlet, and Mounts Susitna and Spurr in the upper inlet. The numerous peaks of the high land southward of Kachemak Bay and northward from Kamishak Bay, Anchor Point, the 1,900-foot (579 m) hill lying 10 miles from the east shore between Capes Starichkof and Ninilchik, Chisik Island, Kalgin Island, East, West, and North Forelands, Point Possession, and Fire Island are prominent in their respective localities.
Dangers.-The shoals in Cook Inlet are generally strewn with boulders, which lie on the otherwise flat bottom, give no indication to the lead unless it strikes them, and are not marked by kelp. Most of those located by the survey were found by sighting them at low water. It was noted in places that the boulders rise as much as 30 feet (9.1 m) above the general level of the bottom. As a measure of caution, therefore, it is considered advisable for vessels to avoid areas having depths not more than 30 feet (9.1 m) greater than the draft. At low water deep-draft vessels should avoid areas with a charted depth less than 10 fathoms (18.3 m).
În general the shoal banks fronting the marshy parts of the shores in the upper inlet are free from boulders, the deposit having been sufficient, apparently, to cover them; but there are indications that boulders do occur in the deeper water outside these banks.
With an average tidal current there are swirls throughout the inlet, but they do not necessarily indicate dangers as they show in depths of 15 fathoms (27.4 m) if the bottom is uneven. Heavy swirls with slight overfalls should be avoided, and any disturbance which has a recognized wake in the water should be considered as indicating a dangerous rock or shoal.
The waters of the inlet are much discolored by glacial silt. At low water the discoloration may extend to the mouth of the inlet, and at high tide the water may be comparatively clear to East and West Forelands or even above. Frequently with either a flood or ebb current the water above the Forelands appears as a liquid mud.
HARBORS AND WEATHER
Fish traps. A large number of salmon traps line the eastern shore of Cook Inlet. They are pile structures and are required to carry lights at the outer end.
Harbors and anchorages.- Port Graham, Seldovia Bay, Kahsitsnah Bay, and Coal Bay in Kachemak Bay, Iniskin Bay, Tuxedni Channel, and Knik Arm are the secure harbors in the inlet, and the anchorage at East Foreland (Nikishka) is sheltered from all easterly winds. Temporary anchorage in thick weather can be selected at most places in the inlet with the aid of the chart. On account of the great range of the tides, the stage of the tide must always be kept in mind when anchoring to insure a depth sufficient to lie afloat and have swinging room at low water.
Settlements and supplies. There are stores and settlements at Port Graham, Seldovia, Kenai, Susitna, Anchorage, Knik, Hope, and Sunrise, and at the canneries operating during the summer at Kenai and Kasilof.
Water is piped to the wharf at Port Graham. It can also be readily obtained from numerous streams along all of the high shores. In the upper inlet water is difficult to obtain and is accessible only at high water. The streams at.East Foreland (Nikishka), the north side of Point Possession, and in Knik Arm are the only cnes known where a vessel can approach the shore closely enough to permit boating water in any quantity.
Weather.— The prevailing winds during the summer are easterly with rain, the gales during that time being from the same direction. In the late summer and early fall, fresh southwesterly winds with hazy weather but without rain are of frequent occurrence in the lower inlet, but they seldom blow with much force above the Forelands. Fresh northwesterly winds may occur during the early summer; they are generally accompanied by rain and last from one to two days. At such times navigation in the inlet, except southward with an ebb tide, is uncomfortable and even dangerous for small vessels.
Easterly gales become more frequent in the fall, and southeast gales may also be expected in and following September. Snowstorms may be expected from the 1st of October to the last of April. Cloud caps forming about the high peaks are generally followed by easterly weather and rain.
Fog may be expected occasionally during the summer. Its duration without partially clearing is generally short, although spells of generally foggy weather may last several days.
Ice.—The winter of 1915–16 was the first in which there had been any attempt at navigating the upper inlet after the ice had begun to form. The data as yet available are very meager, but the following statement will furnish a close approximation of prevailing conditions:
The upper part of the inlet is more or less obstructed by floating ice, which forms on the flats and in the shallower waters from December to April. The determining factor is the severity of the winter, which varies greatly from year to year.
During a mild winter or after a period of several days of mild weather, vessels will probably have no difficulty in reaching the head of the inlet and lying at anchor long enough to discharge their cargoes to lighters alongside.