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8. KODIAK AND AFOGNAK ISLANDS AND SHELIKOF
Kodiak and Afognak Islands, lying close together southwestward of Cook Inlet, and separated from the mainland by Shelikof Strait, are large and have numerous small islands along their shores. The group is about 155 by 54 miles in extent, with its greatest length in a southwesterly direction.
The land is rugged and mountainous, with elevations of 2,000 to 3,000 feet (610 to 914 m) along the shores, and in excess of 4,500 feet (1,372 m) in the interior. The shores are rugged and rocky and are indented by numerous deep, narrow inlets, in which are numerous rocks and reefs.
The eruption of Katmai Volcano in 1912 covered this group with a thick deposit of volcanic ash. The effects of the eruption have gradually disappeared and the ash deposits in quantity are no longer apparent except in a few places.
Strong winds carry volcanic dust from the Katmai region causing a very hazy condition. There is at times a marked division between a very clear atmosphere on the one side and the dust-filled air on the other; this condition may be observed off the eastern coast of Kodiak Island when there is a strong wind from the northwest. The snow remaining in the mountains during the summer is discolored by the dust.
There are a number of canneries engaged in canning salmon during the season, and the cod, halibut, and herring fisheries are important. The halibut fishing fleet operates on Albatross and Portlock Banks. There is a whaling station at Port Hobron and whaling steamers operate off the southeast coast of Kodiak Island.
Kodiak, on Kodiak Island, is the principal business center in this region. A fognak Island is mostly timbered and is a Government forest
Some cattle and sheep raising is carried on, and a few mineral prospects have been located.
There are longer periods of good weather on these islands than on the adjacent mainland, and considerable success has been attained in growing vegetables and foodstuffs.
AFOGNAK ISLAND (chart 8556) is separated from Kodiak Island by Marmot Bay, Kupreanof Strait (p. 167), and the passages on either side of Whale Island. These waters provide a direct route between Kodiak Harbor and Shelikof Strait. "Kodiak (p. 181), on the northeast coast of Kodiak Island, lies back of the islands in the northwestern part of Chiniak Bay. There are two approaches to Kodiak; one from the northward, the other from the southeast through Chiniak Bay.
SHUYAK ISLAND appears as part of the northern end of Afognak Island, but is separated from it by Shuyak Strait. The southern portion is densely wooded with the higher hills showing bare, rocky outcrops. Proceeding northward the trees gradually disappear, and the northern part is entirely grass-covered.
The passage (p. 125) between the Barren Islands and Shuyak Island is readily navigable during the day, and in clear weather, however, the passage northward of the Barren Islands is generally used if bound for Shelikof Strait from the eastward.
Latax Rocks (chart 8532), the northernmost feature of the Kodiak-Afognak-Shuyak Island Group, are three rocky islets lying in the line of the trend of the west coast of Shuyak Island. They are 32, 27, and 17 feet (9.8, 8.2, and 5.1 m) high, the outer one being the lowest and the most ragged. A rock awash at half tide lies about 38 mile northward of the outermost rock, and a reef bare at half tide lies about 38 mile westward of the outermost rock. Several detached shoals lie in the vicinity of Latax Rocks. Ships using the passage between Barren Islands and Shuyak Islands should pass northward of Latax Rocks.
Current.-In the vicinity of Latax Rocks it has been noted that the current flows in a westerly direction on a rising tide and easterly on a falling tide with velocities reaching about 3 to 4 knots. The current appears to be less in the deeper water in the passage northward of Latax Rocks (see page 125). On one occasion slack water occurred 2 hours earlier than high water.
Tide rips in the vicinity of Latax Rocks are particularly heavy and should be avoided by small vessels. See caution as to tide rips in the locality of the Barren Islands, page 125.
Party Cape is the northwest end of Shuyak Island. It is 183 feet (56 m) high and grass-covered for a mile or more back.
Dark Island, between Party Cape and Latax Rocks, is about 34 mile in diameter, 108 feet (33 m) high, and grass-covered. There are several large black rocks off the southwest end of Dark Island. Star Rocks, bare at low water, lie between Dark Island and the eastern part of Party Cape.
The passage between Latax Rocks and Dark Island has a 5-fathom (9.1 m) shoal near the middle of it and should be avoided on account of strong currents.
Dark Passage, between Star Rocks and Party Cape, may be navigated by keeping 38 mile off the cape and passing northward of a rock 3 feet (0.9 m) high lying 78 mile westward (magnetic) of Party Cape. Due to strong currents and heavy tide rips, the passage should be avoided.
Shag Islet and the west coast of Shuyak Island are described on The northern coast of Shuyak Island from Party Cape to Point Banks is very irregular and fringed with numerous rocks and islets. Heavy currents and tide rips are found along this coast. Carry Inlet and Shangin Bay, the main indentations, are narrow and tortuous. They may be used only by small craft with local knowledge. Carry Inlet has its entrance channel about 2 miles eastward (magnetic) of Party Cape. The narrowest part of Shangin Bay, 11/4 miles from its entrance, contains a mid-channel rock baring at minus tides.
157 Perevalnie Islands (chart 8532) lie close to the north shore of Shuyak Island and 1/2 mile westward of Point Banks. They are grass-covered with a maximum elevation of 95 feet (29 m). The passage between the island and the mainland may be used as a boat passage with a depth of about 5 feet (1.5 m).
Temporary anchorage during southerly weather appears feasible 38 mile westward of the point 5/8 mile southwestward of the western end of the Perevalnie Islands.
POINT BANKS (chart 8533) is an island about 38 mile long, 130 feet (40 m) high, and entirely grass-covered. The narrow passage between it and the northeastern end of Shuyak Island contains several rocks and is choked with kelp.
A rock, 33 feet (10 m) high, lying 78 mile northwestward from Point Banks, affords a good landmark from an easterly or westerly direction. Its sides are nearly vertical.
Fronting the east coast of Shuyak Island at a distance of 11/2 to 31/2 miles offshore are a series of reefs and rocks separated by broken bottom areas and extending 7 miles in an approximately true south direction-from a 272-fathom (4.6 m) reef, 138 miles southeastward of Point Banks, to the vicinity of a bare rock 52 feet (15.8 m) high. A similar series crosses the former in the latitude of Sea Otter Island.
Vessels using the passage along the east coast of Shuyak Island, inside the series of reefs and rocks, should proceed with caution. The bottom in this passage is extremely broken, and it is considered that only a wire-drag survey would prove the absence of all dangers. The known dangers may be avoided by rounding the southeastern end of Point Banks Island at a distance of 12 mile until the eastern end of the island bears true north. Then proceed 534 miles on course 175° true until prominent group of rocks (highest, 15 feet) are a little less than 34 mile on the starboard beam. Then steer 155° true into Perenosa Bay. Tidal currents are very strong.
The main approach from seaward to Andreon Bay, Shuyak Strait and Perenosa Bay is southward of the rocks southeastward of Sea Otter Island and between the 52-foot (15.8 m) bare rock and Seal Islands, but its use by large vessels cannot be recommended. Indications of shoals along the approach are numerous and they have not been examined with the wire drag. There are evidently pinnacle formations in this region. A course 282° true from seaward, passing 314 miles northward of Tolstoi Point, then 178 miles southward of the large rock, 52 feet (15.8 m) high, lying southwestward of Sea Otter Island, and then passing 11/2 miles northward of the sharp black rocks lying northward of Cape Posliedni, avoids the known areas of extreme broken bottom.
Sea Otter Island, lying 712 miles southeastward from Point Banks, is grass-covered, 38 mile long, and 105 feet (32 m) high. Bare rocks and breakers extend to the east and southeast for a distance of 214 miles.
Little Fort Island, off the east coast of Shuyak Island and 8 miles southward of Point Banks, is grass-covered and marks the entrance to Andreon Bay (chart 8555). Big Fort Island forms the south side of the bay. Big Fort Channel separates the island from the mainland. This channel bares at half tide. Anchorage for small boats may be had in Andreon Bay near the entrance to Big Fort Channel in 12 fathoms (21.9 m) of water, muddy bottom. The axis of the entrance channel is a little less than 12 the way from the northeastern end of Big Fort Island to Little Fort Island, it then follows the rounded northern end of Big Fort Island at a distance of about 350 to 400 yards.
Shuyak Strait has a navigable entrance at its western end and is described on page 216.
Perenosa Bay (chart 8556), on the north side of Afognak Island, lies between the east entrance to Shuyak Strait and Posliedni Cape. The northwestern part of the bay is foul. Anchorages may be found in several arms of Perenosa Bay, but the approach to the bay from seaward is characterized by very broken bottom, see page 157.
Delphin Bay is the western one of the southern arms of Perenosa Bay. The channel westward of Delphin Island (tree-covered) is foul. There are also rocks in the center of the passage eastward of the island and the best water is 270 yards off the eastern points of Delphin Island. Boats can anchor in 16 fathoms, hard bottom, in the center of the head of the arm, after passing the island. A heavy swell comes into Delphin Bay in northerly weather.
Discoverer Bay, the southeast arm of Perenosa Bay, has an excellent anchorage in 15 fathoms (27.4 m), muddy bottom, east of the northern island (tree-covered). A 334-fathom (6.8 m) shoal lies about 1/2 mile northwest from the east entrance point, and a 1-fathom (1.8 m) lies between the shoal and the point. Small boats can enter the channel on the west side of the island and go to the head of the arm.
Phoenix Bay (chart 8533), the arm of Perenosa Bay just west of Posliedni Cape, is a good anchorage for all weather except northwest. Anchorage can be had in 10 to 17 fathoms (18.3 to 31 m), muddy bottom, 114 miles from the entrance.
Seal Bay (chart 8533) in general extends from Cape Posliedni to Cape Tolstoi. Beginning at a point 118 miles northward from Cape Posliedni there is a series of rocky islands and reefs extending in an ESE. direction across Seal Bay. Navigation in this area should not be attempted without local information.
Tonki Bay, on the west side of Tonki Cape, has two arms separated by a headland. A high rocky islet lies 1/4 mile northward of the headland. Three rocks, covered at high water, lie about 14 mile from the eastern shore and 2 miles southward of Tonki Cape. There is anchorage about 14 mile from the head of the eastern arm in 10 fathoms (18.3 m) soft bottom, but it is not secure with northerly winds. Small boats may anchor in the small cove on the east side of the head of the eastern arm in 8 fathoms (14.6 m) muddy bottom, in any weather.
The western arm of Tonki Bay extends 612 miles south of the headland separating the two arms. Anchorage may be had in 18 fathoms (33 m), muddy bottom, about 13 mile from head of the arm.
On the eastern part of Afognak Island is a series of mountain ridges with low depressions between them running through the island from north to south. From a distance Marmot Island appears as the easternmost of these ridges. The lower parts of Afognak Island are wooded, except its eastern coast, and its southwestern end southward of Paramanof Bay.
159 Caution.—In making Tonki Cape or Marmot Strait from the northward, a very irregular set to the westward has been experienced. In foggy weather a vessel is liable to be too close to the breakers off Sea Otter Island unless precautions are taken. Likewise in running to this locality from Seward, abnormal set has been experienced. From the experience of a survey vessel making these runs and in lying-to offshore, there seem to be two factors for which allowance should be made. First, if the run is made during the time of a flood spring tide, extra allowance should be made for set to the westward. Second, if the course of the vessel passes over a bank or even a locality where the water is shoaled, extra allowance for a stronger current should be made.
TONKI CAPE, the northeastern end of Afognak Island, is a narrow grass-covered point 87 feet (26.5 m) high near its northern extremity. Å low-lying gap connects it with the ridge separating Tonki Bay and Marmot Straits. A short reef extends northward from the cape 14 mile, terminating in a rock awash at mean high water. It is recommended that vessels clear the north end of the cape at least 112 miles.
Tonki Cape is marked by an unwatched flashing white light, 87 feet (26.5 m) above the water, and visible 11 miles.
Sealion Rocks lie 512 miles east-northeastward from Tonki Cape and 4 miles northward from Marmot Island. They are two bare rocks, close together, the larger one about 35 feet (10.7 m) high, and a reef, bare at low water, lying 5/8 mile northeastward from the bare rocks.
MARMOT ISLAND, about 612 miles long, parallels the eastern side of Afognak Island and between them is the passage called Marmot Strait. Marmot Island is wooded to a height of about 500 feet (152 m). The north end is low and rises gradually to the high land. The eastern side and southern end of the island are bluffs over 1,000 feet (305 m) high in places. The western shore is also steep but lower. There are three high rocks close to Marmot Cape, the south end of the island and two close to its southeast side.
Shoal areas adjacent to the northwest shore of Marmot Island extend northward toward Sealion Rocks and border the north approach to Marmot Strait. A 4-fathom (7.3 m) spot in this area lies 21/4 miles off the north end of Marmot Island, and a sunken rock lies 1 mile off.
The point on the northwest shore of Marmot Island, 11/2 miles from the north end, is marked by a rock, about 6 feet (1.8 m) high, 600 yards offshore.
Two sunken rocks, on which the sea generally breaks at low water, lie about 1 mile apart and 21,2 miles eastward of Cape St. Hermogenes, the eastern end of Marmot Island. The northern rock lies in the bearing 288° true to the northern end of the island. The southern rock lies in the bearing 225° true to the southeastern end of the island. Two pinnacle rocks close to the southeast side of Marmot Island bear 232° true when in range—the range passes southeastward of both breakers. A vessel should pass over 2 miles outside the breakers to avoid broken bottom.