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CAPE KARLUK TO CAPE ALITAK
Ayakulik Island is small and about 220 feet (67 m) in height. A reef extends eastward from the east point of the island to a sand spit on the mainland of Kodiak Island. At a distance of 300 yards west and north of the island there are bare rocks and rocks awash.
Small launches will find shelter in southeasterly or easterly weather in 5 fathoms (9.1 m), 300 yards northeast of the island. Larger vessels will find shelter from easterly weather in 7 fathoms (12.8 m), 12 mile north of the island.
Ayakulik River (known locally as Red River) discharges at a point 134 miles southeast of Ayakulik Island. With local knowledge, the river can be entered at high tide in smooth weather by small launches. The Bureau of Fisheries maintains a station here during the salmon season.
From a point 3 miles north of Ayakulik Island to Low Cape, the shoreline runs in a nearly north and south true direction and is marked by earth bluffs varying from a few feet to 268 feet (81 m) in height.
A prominent high dark-colored earth bluff lies a little over 3 miles north of Low Cape, and in approaching from Cape Ikolik, this bluff is apt to be mistaken by a stranger for Low Cape.
LOW CAPE, lying 1142 miles 323° true from Cape Alitak is the western extremity of the low land in this vicinity. The extremity of the cape is marked by a peak-shaped, light-colored earth bluff about 90 feet (27.4 m) high. A spit, bare at low water, extends nearly 14 mile off the cape. The water deepens gradually, the 10 fathom (18.3 m) curve lying 21/4 miles off the cape.
From a position 2 miles westward of Low Cape a heavy kelp bed extends in an east-southeasterly direction. Soundings in this kelp. showed depths of from 3 to 7 fathoms (5.5 to 12.8 m), but much, shoaler water probably exists.
In passing, Low Cape should be given a berth of about 3 miles. Sukhoi Bay has its entrance about 6 miles south of Low Cape. The entrance is narrow and lies between two sand bars. It has a depth of about 6 feet (1.8 m), but should not be attempted except with local knowledge.
The coast from Low Cape to Cape Alitak apparently has no offlying dangers.
Cape Alitak.–See page 209 for a description of this cape. Directions, Cape Karluk to Cape Alitak.–From a point 2 miles off Cape Karluk, steer 222° true for 51,2 miles to a position with Sturgeon Head (a high white eroded cliff7_abeam. Then change to 213° true for 1142 miles until Tombstone Rock is on the port beam, distant 2 miles.
Then change to 1960 true for 4 miles or until Outer Seal Rock (a sail shaped pinnacle) is a little abaft the beam, distant 2 miles.
Then change to 154° true for 231/4 miles to pass 23/4 miles off Low Cape. On this course Low Cape should be passed in a depth of 14 fathoms (25.6 m).
When Low Cape Bears 83° true, distant 3 miles, haul to 132° true for 1212 miles passing about 114 miles off Cape Alitak to a position with the cape bearing 10° true, distant 112 miles. If bound to Alitak Bay, follow directions on page 213.
9. ALASKA PENINSULA
General remarks. The south coast of the Alaska Peninsula, from Cape Douglas to Cape Pankof, has a length of about 425 miles. It is irregular and greatly broken by numerous indentations affording anchorages. Many of its points are rugged cliffs of great height which cannot be approached too closely on account of reefs at the bases of them, while others are low with more or less shoal water off them.
The mountains on the peninsula are high, irregular, and bold, and many of the peaks reach heights of 2,000 to 9,000 feet (610 to 2,743 m).
Pavlof Volcano, the most prominent of several on the peninsula, is about 9,000 feet (2,743 m) high, lies on the west side of Pavlof Bay, and has three peaks lying in a general north and south line, the middle one being the highest. These peaks are very symmetrical. Smoke is frequently seen issuing from the central one, and it has been in active eruption several times in recent years.
Frosty Peak, a noticeable snow-capped mountain near the southwest end of the peninsula, is 5,800 feet (1,768 m) high; it is not very regular in outline and has several peaks, one of which, however, rises above the others.
Many lakes and sizable streams are found inland and there are several portages across the peninsula and between the adjacent bays.
Occasional settlements, canneries, and fishing stations are scattered along the coast and among the off-lying islands.
There are numerous off-lying islands and groups of islands with navigable passages between them, and good harbors on their coasts.
The weather along the Alaska Peninsula is moist and cool throughout the year.
Rain and snow falls are excessive and there are long periods of rainy, moist, and cloudy weather. Snow may fall at the water level until June and on the peaks until late in the summer. It extends far down the slopes at the close of September and may be expected at the water level early in October. In mid-winter small vessels ice down.
Fog and mist may be expected at any time from spring until fall and often last for several days.
All harbors on the south side of the peninsula are free from ice and open to navigation throughout the year. Pack ice has been known to drift through Isanotski Strait and interfere with navigation in Ikatan Bay.
Fog.–Fog may be encountered at any time during the summer months, but it is more prevalent during the months of June, July, and August. There is much less fog on the north side of the Alaska Peninsula east of Unimak Pass. The southeast winds bring in the fog from the great fog banks that lie in the North Pacific.
WEATHER AND CURRENTS
237 Fog often hangs about the headlands and entrances to bays when the upper parts of the bays are clear. During the summer of 1929, the vicinity of Shelikof Strait was almost free from fog. Fog is much more prevalent on the southeast side of Kodiak Island than in. Shelikof Strait. See page 309 for statistics of fog at Scotch Cap.
Winds. During the winter and early spring, very strong northwest winds predominate, often reaching gale intensity; but there are intervening days of fine weather with little or no wind. During the summer months the winds are variable but are mostly southeast to southwest. With September the northerly winds again become prevalent. The strong northwest winds are usually accompanied with clear weather.
The southeast and southwest gales of summer are usually accompanied with rain and thick weather, these last from 1 day to 1 week.
Strong winds draw in and out of the various bays and inlets and a ship coasting will often experience a variety of weather in a short distance.
With the exception of an occasional fine summer, the weather of the Alaska Peninsula can be classed as bad, and the difficulties of navigation are many.
It is good practice to plot the movement of storms from daily weather reports by radio, see page 20. Some storms reach the Alaska Peninsula from the south or southeast, but most of the disturbances are cyclonic storms approaching from the west.
CURRENTS, Alaska Peninsula.—There is a continual current of considerable strength following the coast all the way from Shelikof Strait to the Aleutian Islands. This coastal current flowing to the westward is considered as an eddy which accompanies the general eastward drift across the Pacific southward of latitude 50° N., and forms a part of the general circulation of the North Pacific Ocean.
The current along the Alaska Peninsula has been called a warm current originating in the Gulf of Alaska, and it doubtless assists in causing the southern side of the peninsula to be warmer than Bering Sea. It is well known that all the islands off this coast have a milder climate than the mainland; the inhabitants choose the islands and almost the entire population is found on them in preference to the mainland shore. This current searches out all the passages, large and small, between and around the many islands, and in some of them it becomes strong enough to be important. The tidal current has little effect upon it, for the tidal current sets generally on and offshore, while this current sets along the coast. For this reason a vessel generally finds it setting her ahead or back along the course and not to one side. An approaching northeast storm gives warning by strengthening this current; in many places the current will indicate northeast weather a day before the barometer falls. Westerly winds weaken the current. may be that on some occasions this current turns in the other direction on its offshore side, near the 100-fathom (183 m) curve, but this is not frequent, and there are no reports that it turns in the inshore part near the land.
On three runs made between Chirikof Island and Castle Rock, the Surveyor experienced a southerly set indicating an average strength of current of as much as 112 knots.
The tidal currents in the locality of the Alaska Peninsula are in general weak, probably never exceeding 11/2 knots.
Kelp.—The navigator cannot rely on seeing kelp or rocks and shoals; many rocks and gravel banks bear no kelp, especially early or late in the summer. Many others have only a light growth of thin ribbon kelp which cannot be seen until the vessel's stem enters it, and which is often drawn under by a current or sea.
Commerce.—There is only one small steamer which makes regular trips along this coast. Stops are made regularly at the post offices at Chignik, Unga, Sand Point, Belkofski, King Cove, and False Pass; stops are made at other places on payment of a bonus. Many other vessels irregularly use the south Alaska Peninsula passage, however, in voyages between southeast Alaska and Bering Sea.
From about March to September, the vessels of the Pacific American Fisheries make regular trips from Bellingham, Wash., to the following canneries: Zachar Bay, Lazy Bay, Squaw Harbor, King Cove, Ikatan, and Port Moller on the north side of the peninsula. These vessels are common carriers.
Practically all the canneries operate radio stations during the fishing season. Government radio stations are located at Kodiak, Squaw Harbor, and Dutch Harbor.
Local attraction has been reported in the vicinity of Arch Point, in the passage between Dolgoi and Goloi Islands, and off King Cove.
CAPE DOUGLAS (chart 8556), the mainland promontory on the western side of the northern end of Shelikof Strait (p. 214), is a grassy peninsula about 3 miles long
and 190 feet (58 m) high. At its western end it breaks off in a bluff to a low, narrow neck which connects it to the mainland. Rocks bare at low water extend about 12 mile eastward from the cape.
Note.-Cape Douglas and other prominent points and most of offlying islands on the western side of Shelikof Strait are correctly charted with respect to the surveyed coast of Kodiak and Afognak Islands. Otherwise this stretch is inadequately surveyed.
Shaw Island (chart 8554) lies 10 miles northwestward from Cape Douglas and 134 miles from shore. It is 5/8 mile long, about 50 feet (15.2 m) high, flat and grass covered. A depth of 12 fathoms (21.9. m) was found midway between it and the shore. Ledges extend northwestward from the island to a greatest distance of 34 mile from its northern end.
The two bluff points 134 miles southward and 5 miles southeastward of Shaw Island are the ends of two sharp, rocky ridges extending from the high land of Mount Douglas. Anchorage can be had in the bight between the points in 13 to 15 fathoms (23.8 to 27.4 m), sandy bottom, with shelter from southerly and westerly winds, but the williwaws are bad during westerly gales. At the head of the bight is a short valley with a glacier. Just clear of the bluff point at the southeast end of the bight is a pinnacle rock about as high as the bluff. The bight between this point and the northern point of Sukoi Bay appears shoal.
Sukoi Bay, on the north side of Cape Douglas, is shoal and can be used only by small craft with local knowledge. There are rocks:
bare at low water in the middle of the entrance, and a ledge bare at low water between the rocks and the south shore.
The bight (chart 8556) south of the neck back of Cape Douglas is an anchorage sheltered from northerly and westerly winds. There is some shelter from northeasterly winds, but if heavy, some swell rolls around the point. A stream enters the northeast end of the bight at the foot of the bluff, and this part of the bight is dry at low water nearly out to the southwest end of Cape Douglas. The anchorage is in the middle of the bight, with the two points on the south side of Cape Douglas in range, bearing 114° true, in 6 fathoms (11 m), sandy bottom.
Mount Douglas, 7,064 feet (2,151 m), and Fourpeaked Mountain, 6,903 feet (2,100 m) high, are two snow-covered mountains lying west and southwest, respectively, from Cape Douglas.
DOUGLAS REEF, lying 542 miles 187° true from Cape Douglas, is about 2 miles long north and south. The reef is partly bare at low water, and near its middle is a rock 28 feet (8.5 m) high. A sounding of 634 fathoms (12.3 m) with 40 to 60 fathoms (73 to 110 m) close-to was found 1 mile 810 true from the rock, and vessels should keep well clear of the reef.
Two rocks, close together and awash at high water, lie 23/4 miles southwestward of Douglas Reef and 11/2 miles from shore. A reef bare at low water extends about 34 mile southeastward from them. About 10 miles southward of
Cape Douglas is a point marked by a hill 673 feet (205 m) high. There is a small glacier in the valley south of the point. Lying 114 miles from the point and 168° true from the hill there is a rock awash at about half tide. There is no kelp on the rock, and the sea seldom breaks on it when it is covered
Two kelp patches lie about 112 miles southward of the preceding rock and the same distance from shore. The kelp shows well at low water only, and the sea seldom breaks on the rocks. The eastern patch lies 193° true from the hill mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
KIUKPALIK ISLAND lies 1712 miles southward of Cape Douglas and 2 miles from shore. It is 174 miles long, 155 feet (47 m) high, nearly level, and grass covered. A shoal scantily marked by kelp lies about 12 mile northwest from the north end of the island, and there is no safe channel between them. A temporary anchorage with shelter from easterly winds may be had in the bight on the west side near the south end of the island, in 8 or 9 fathoms (14.6 or 16.5 m), muddy bottom. The shore of the mainland inside the island should be avoided, as there is a possibility of shoals on that side.
Shakun Rock, a prominent dark pinnacle 50 feet (15.2 m) high, lies 5 miles 232° true from Kiukpalik Island. From the rock a semicircular reef, partly bare at low water, extends southward and westward to the south end of the chain of grass-covered Shakun Islets. There is foul ground between Shakun Rock and the islets, and the latter are apparently connected with the shore northwestward by a reef.
Swikshak Bay is a lagoon which is practically closed at all stages of the tide. The entrance is about 200 feet wide.
Kaguyak is a village behind a large, bare rock which is connected to the beach at low water. Approaching from the southeastward, a