Page images
PDF
EPUB

KISKA

375 a course was continued until the entrance of the passage between Little Sitkin and Rat Islands was reached. Along the course, 87 fathoms (159 m) was indicated, and midway between Little Sitkin and Rat Islands 38 fathoms (69 m) was obtained. (NOTE.--A small island is reported in this locality, see text below.)

Constantine Harbor (chart 9196), near the easternmost point of Amchitka Island, on the northern side, is said to be the only harbor on the island. It is open to the northeastward, and is said to afford anchorage in 8 to 12 fathoms (14.6 to 21.9 m), but from reports of the Coast Guard it is not to be recommended. The chart shows all the existing information.

Kirilof Bay (chart 8851) is said to be only a small boat harbor inside the reef; vessels should not attempt to find a sheltered anchorage here.

Little Sitkin, Chugul (also called Iron Island), Davidof, and Khwostof Islands form a group of four; their positions have be disputed from time to time. The two largest are high volcanic cones with smooth slopes. Little Sitkin shows a long flat point at the northern side.

There is a fox rancher's house on the north side of Little Sitkin Island. It is reported that the best anchorage is 342 miles west and south of the house. The anchorage is marked by a very prominent slide.

There is also a fox rancher's house on the bight on the west side of Chugul Island off which small launches may anchor.

It is reported that there is a small island about midway between Little Sitkin and Rat Island. It is also reported that there is a reef all the way from Rat Island to the south end of Kiska Island, and that bottom can be seen all the way across; vessels have therefore regarded that passage with suspicion.

There is a fox rancher's house on the north coast of Rat Island and anchorage for small launches may be found off the house. There is no further information available.

KISKA ISLAND.-The general trend of the island is north-northeast and south-southwest, with a ridge of mountains as a backbone, having elevations of 4,050 feet (1,234 m) at the northern end and 1,200 to 1,500 feet (366 to 457 m) in the southern part. The shores are hilly and rocky.

The northeast coast, from Northeast Cape to Kiska Harbor, is bold with numerous points and bays, with outlying rocks to a maxiinum distance of about 11,2 miles.

McArthur Reef, a rocky patch about 1/2 by 13 mile in extent, and nearly awash at low water, lies about midway of, and on a line between, the peak on Chugul Island and the peak on the north end of Kiska.

Tanadak Island is flat-topped, resembling a mesa when seen from a distance.

Tanadak Pass, between Little Kiska and Tanadak Islands, should be used with caution.

South Pass, between Kiska and Little Kiska Islands, is foul and should not be used.

Kiska Harbor is closed to foreign shipping.

BULDIR ISLAND, about 95 miles eastward of Attu Island, is an important landmark while cruising in Bering Sea to and from Attu Island. Its position has often been disputed, but is considered to be approximately correct as now charted. The island is said to be 1,145 feet (349 m) high. Vessels have passed along the north shore, but the south shore has been regarded as dangerous. Vessels have found temporary anchorage near the western point in 10 to 15 fathoms (18.3 to 27.4 m) about 1 mile offshore.

The north anchorage is about halfway between the two reefs shown on the chart, one off the north shore and the other off the northwest point. The depth at the anchorage is 15 fathoms, hard sand bottom. În approaching the anchorage avoid the reef on the north shore and stand in on a 163° true course nearly parallel to the reefs off the northwest point. This reef consists of a low, round knuckle directly off the point and two fairly high islands. Foul ground exists close around the islands. The north reef at low water shows two rocks close inshore, and more foul ground is supposed to exist. It is stated that almost the only possible boat landing on the island is at this anchorage.

The southwest anchorage is in 10 fathoms (18.3 m) with the sealion rookery bearing 41° true, distant 1 mile. Heavy tide rips may be encountered westward of Buldir Island.

The passage between Kiska and Buldir Islands is about 50 miles wide; but can not be considered safe until it is more carefully explored. It is chiefly noted on account of a line of tide rips, breakers, and overfalls which are often seen extending well across between the two islands. The current amounts to a knot or more at times. The rips occur on banks of less than 100 fathoms (183 m) surrounded by deeper water, and until the region is well explored a vessel must proceed through them with caution, and should take soundings at all times. The United States Coast Guard considers that the waters between Buldir and Kiska Islands are unsafe and should not be entered unnecessarily. Breakers have been reported to exist in many places in this region. Although many believe the water disturbances to be tide rips, there is no information to prove or disprove the existence of shoals. The few soundings shown on the chart indicate that pinnacle rocks and reefs could easily exist.

There may be a dangerous shoal near the 15-fathom (27.4 m) sounding charted 10 miles from Buldir on a line toward the middle of Kiska; breakers have been reported here. There are indications that there may be a dangerous shoal halfway between Buldir and the south end of Kiska; and there have been reports to that effect. There is no information to verify the two reefs marked "P. D. sunken rocks" 10 miles southward and 6 miles southeastward of Buldir, and they may be anywhere in a wide region round about. One report places them about 14 miles southwestward of the island.

TAHOMA REEF, on which the revenue cutter Tahoma was lost in 1914, is a reef of sunken rocks about 2 miles in extent, marked by heavy kelp fields, lying 189o true, distant 31 miles from the peak of Buldir Island. Breakers were seen in about 2 fathoms (3.7 m), but there are no rocks above water. There are other breakers about 2 miles 108° true from the position located. Depths of 60 fathoms (110 m) were found 6 miles distant southward and westward, with a regular slope from the reef to this distance.

ATTU ISLAND

377 INGENSTREM ROCKS consist of a number of small black pinnacles about 20 feet (6.1 m) high, with breakers near them. The water shoals to 50 fathoms (91 m) within 3 miles of them, and there is moderately shallow water between them and the Semichi Islands. The latest information places their position 13 miles 121° true from the southeastern end of the Semichi group.

The SEMICHI ISLANDS are a group of three, of which the two eastern ones are low and the western one higher. There are reefs extending about 112 miles southeastward and northeastward from the eastern point of the group. The passages between the islands are narrow and appear to be foul. A safe track was found 2 miles off the southern coast. Temporary anchorage may be found southward of the eastern island.

AGATTU ISLAND, one of the Near Islands which include Attu Island, has high mountains upon it, while the extreme western point is low. There are reports that the shape does not agree with the chart. It is reported that the northeast and southeast points are in range on a bearing 12° true, and that the range passes through the western end of Alaid Island of the Semichi Islands. A course from the Semichi Islands to the western point of Agattu indicates that this point is charted about 4 miles too far westward. The southern coast of Agattu is dangerous, with numerous outlying rocks and breakers. A vessel should keep at least 3 miles off shore. It is reported that the island is surrounded by kelp beds.

McDonald Cove (chart 8851) is an open anchorage on the east coast. Approaching it from northward, bring Krugloi Point (northeast end of Agattu Island) to bear 241° true distant 3 miles, and then steer 213° true until it bears abeam. Then steer for Monolith Point at the north point of the cove on a course 255° true, and when Cone Peak bears 325° true with a waterfall about in range, round to and anchor in 15 fathoms (27.4 m), sand bottom, about 1/2 mile offshore.

ATTU ISLAND is the westernmost of the Aleutian Islands and the westernmost of the possessions of the United States in the North Pacific.

It is about 20 by 35 miles in extent and is indented by many bays and long inlets; there are mountains 3,000 feet (914 m) high upon it. There are many rocks and reefs off its shores, and a vessel should exercise extreme caution in the vicinity. It is reported that there is a rock about 15 feet (4.6 m) high, connected with the land by a line of breakers, located 3 miles 125°'true from Chirikof Point (East Cape), and that the cape should be given a berth of at least 4 miles.

The chart shows several deep bays on the south coast and many offshore dangers, but there is no other information about them. Sarana Bay on the northeast coast and Chichagof Harbor on the north coast are the only bays for which there is available information.

Chichagof Harbor (chart 9196) is small, but offers good shelter for a vessel of less than 14 feet (4.3 m) draft. The chart is said to be correct in all essentials for navigation, but there may be considerable difficulty in finding the bay in bad weather. A vessel should therefore proceed with caution, especially in bad northerly weather. Strong currents set northeastward and southwestward past Chirikof

Point (East Cape), which are possibly influenced more by the weather than by the tide.

The small native village of Attu is located at the head of this harbor. There is a church, and a trading post maintained by a white man. Vessels of the Coast Guard visit Attu each

year,

but otherwise there is little communication with the outside world.

The Territory of Alaska maintains radio station KDE.

There are rocks for a distance of about 1 mile eastward of Khlebnikof Point, which is the landfall in the approach from Chirikof Point (East Cape) or from northeastward. Cooper Island is high and dome-shaped, and Gibson Island is lower and flat-topped. Pisa Tower is a leaning conical rock at the east entrance point, which is used as a front range mark. An outer anchorage is reported in 14 fathoms (25.6 m) with Cooper Island dome bearing 3090 true and Pisa Tower bearing 185° true (S. mag.).

To enter the inner harbor steer for Pisa Tower on a bearing that will lead clear of Gibson Island. When within 38 mile of Pisa Tower steer 241° true with Range Point a little on the port bow. Stand through the middle of the passage between Range Point and Inner Rocks, and round to 275° true, heading for the southernmost of five jagged heads on the shore just above the water line. Keep both leads going, and when the dome of Cooper Island shows in the open, round slowly to a course about 224° true, heading about halfway between the gulch and the village. Anchor in the middle of the harbor in 5 fathoms (9.1 m), sticky bottom. A vessel must be maneuvered smartly, as the turns are sharp and there is little room.

Sarana Bay is a deep indentation on the northeast shore of Attu Island between Khlebnikof and Chirikof Points. The Coast Guard cutter Tahoma anchored in the cove at the head of the bay, and the available information is furnished on a sketch by that vessel. The sketch shows foul ground extending about 1 mile eastward from Khlebnikof Point and off the western shore of the bay. The south shore apparently is bold from the head of the bay to Square Point, but is foul eastward of the point; there is a cascade eastward of Square Point.

The Tahoma entered on a 196° true course for Square Point open eastward of a notch in the mountain, until close to Square Point, and then followed the south shore and á 269° true course, midway between an islet and the south shore, and anchored in 9 fathoms (16.5 m) soft bottom, close to the head of the bay. The anchorage is exposed from about north to east.

Tides. High and low water in Chichagof Harbor occur about 34 hour later than at Dutch Harbor. The mean range of the tide is 2 feet (0.6 m) and the range between mean lower low water and mean higher high water is about 31/2 feet (1.1 m).

Directions, routes northward of Aleutian Islands.—On account of lack of surveys, directions are not available for reentering the North Pacific in the region of Attu Island to effect the transpacific route via the Bering Sea.

Coast Guard vessels cruising along the Aleutian Chain in the Bering Sea have proceeded as follows:

From Atka to Attu the following courses were steered, checked by observations on the entire run: Stood out from Nazan Bay and rounded Cape Shaw 3 miles off. With North Cape bearing 224° true distant 5 miles, set course 275° true for

WESTWARD OF ATTU

379 Attu. Obseryations at noon next day, after a 170 mile run, indicated a current of 0.5 knot per hour setting 38° true. During the next 250 miles westward, a current was noted setting 0.56 knot per hour, 56° true, which seems to indicate a constant northeasterly set into the Bering Sea.

From Attu to Islands of Four Mountains, took departure from Chichagof Harbor, stood 15 miles 45° true, thence 90° true for 230 miles. Thence 86° true to a landfall on Carlisle Island bearing 175° true distant 15 miles.

Ocean depths southward and westward of Attu Island.—A bank reported south of Attu by an "old-time sealer" was looked for in 1936. The Coast Guard Cutter Chelan failed to find the bank but instead learned that the Aleutian Trough or Deep was much narrower and deeper and closer to the south side of the Aleutian Chain. The axis of the trough passes about 70 miles southward of Kiska Island and about 60 miles southward of Attu Island. It has depths of over 4,000 fathoms (7,315 m). Southeastward of Unalaska Island, the greatest known depth is about 3,800 fathoms (6,949 m) in the Aleutian Deep.

Westward of Attu the exploratory soundings taken by the Chelan reveal a submarine ridge extending for at least 100 miles to 170° E. longitude. The ridge was crossed by a line of soundings at only one place about 50 miles from Attu and a depth of 49 fathoms (90 m) was obtained. Eastward of this crossing the ridge is about 15 miles wide between the 1,000-fathom (1,839 m) depth curves. Westward of the crossing there is considerable enlargement of the area within the 1,000-fathom (1,839 m) depth curves; however, no soundings were taken within. It is believed that further soundings will show highly irregular bottom and the existence of submerged pinnacles or peaks along the axis of the ridge.

61359-38-pt. 11-25

« PreviousContinue »