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Coast Pilot 9 - Chapter 8 - Edition 35, 2017


Bering Sea


(1) This chapter describes the north coast of the Alaska Peninsula, the west coast of Alaska including Bristol Bay, Norton Sound, and the numerous bays indenting these areas. Also described are the Pribilof Islands, and Nunivak, St. Matthew, and St. Lawrence Islands. The communities of Nome, Unalakleet, Bethel, King Salmon, Naknek, Port Moller, and St. George are also discussed.

(2) Chart 16006

(3) The south limit of the Bering Sea is a line running from Kabuch Point (54°49'N., 163°22'W.) on the Alaska Peninsula through the Aleutian Islands to the south extremes of the Komandorski Islands and on to Cape Kamchatka in such a way that all the narrow waters between Alaska and Kamchatka are included in the sea. The north limit is the Bering Strait.

(4) Much of this area has been only partially surveyed, and the charts must not be relied upon too closely, especially near shore. The currents are much influenced by the winds and are difficult to predict; dead reckoning is uncertain, and safety depends upon constant vigilance.

(5) The chapter area is entirely within the 100-fathom-depth curve, which extends NW from Unimak Pass and passes to the southwest of the Pribilof Islands. Depths vary more or less uniformly in the open sea except near the off-lying islands, which are volcanic and rocky and range in height to more than 2,000 feet.

(6) From the head of Bristol Bay to Norton Sound, shoals or banks formed by river deposits extend many miles from the mainland, in some places completely out of sight. Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers are the principal drainage systems along this stretch of coast. As fog and thick weather are common during the navigation season, coasting vessels are advised to sound constantly and to stay in depths greater than 10 fathoms unless feeling their way in to the land.

(7) Navigational aids are few, and all are seasonal. The rocky islands and the rocky parts of the mainland are frequented by thousands of birds whose constant cries may serve to indicate the approach to these places in thick weather. Port facilities are rare, and most of the villages scattered along the coast lighter their supplies from vessels anchored offshore. Good water can always be found in the vicinity of high land.

(8) The navigation season depends largely upon ice conditions, discussed later. During the winter, the ice and snow along the shore, as well as inland, are suitable for travel by dog team over many miles of established trail. Tractors could be driven over long stretches of this beach area when the lakes and protected bays are frozen solid enough to support them. Airplanes equipped with skis can also operate in winter from many points along the coastal and inland areas.

(9) Currents
(10) Strong tidal currents flow through the Aleutian Islands passes, setting into the Bering Sea on the flood and into the North Pacific Ocean on the ebb. Observed velocities have exceeded 8 knots in some of the passes, but the decrease is rapid once the passes are cleared. The tidal currents set north and south along the Bering coast and into and out of the various bays. The periodic tidal flow along the coast is completely masked at times by wind currents. In constricted bays the currents may have considerable velocities. The tidal current has an average velocity of 0.5 to 1 knot at the off-lying islands.

(11) Most reports indicate that during the open season there is a general drift north along the Bering coast and thence through the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean. During the winter, ice moves from the Arctic into the Bering Sea. The north drift is probably not more than 0.5 knot in the open sea well north of the Aleutian passes. Wind and atmospheric pressure are said to materially affect the drift. In a disturbed area the current will generally set with a strong wind or toward an atmospheric depression, and such a current may serve as a storm warning.

(12) Along the north side of Unimak Island, the currents are fairly strong and generally parallel the coast. They attain a maximum velocity of 2 knots 1 mile off Cape Mordvinof and probably do not exceed 2.5 knots anywhere along this coast. Velocities have been estimated at 2 to 2.5 knots as far as 12 miles from shore in depths of about 40 fathoms.

(13) Between St. Matthew Island and Nunivak Island, the current sets northwest with prevailing northeast winds during the navigation season and northeast with northwest or southwest winds. This north current continues and increases between St. Lawrence Island and the mainland, being stronger toward the mainland north of the Yukon River where it has a velocity of about 1 knot except in early summer when the Yukon freshets may increase it to 2 knots or more. A strong north current, amounting at times to 2.5 knots, has been observed setting on the Yukon flats. The current sets north across Norton Sound to Sledge Island and is strongly marked along the coast between Sledge Island and Bering Strait.

(14) Captain Covell, of the Coast Guard Cutter BEAR, said of the currents in this area: “After a southeast gale in the Bering Sea, during which the water is banked up against Siberia, a very marked current sets in the opposite direction. The reverse is true for a southwest gale. The exact interval between the gale and the strong countercurrent is, so far, undetermined. Of the existence of this countercurrent under such conditions, there is no doubt, and it demands consideration.”

(15) Weather, Bering Sea
(16) The weather over the Bering Sea is generally bad and very changeable. Good weather is the exception, and it does not last long when it does occur. Wind shifts are both frequent and rapid. The summer season has much fog and considerable rain. In early winter, the gales increase, the fogs lessen, and snow is likely any time after mid-September. Winter is the time of almost continuous storminess. Heavy winds from any direction are usually accompanied by precipitation; however, the rain or snow that comes with east or south winds is likely to continue steadily until the wind shifts, while rain or snow squalls are characteristic of the west and north winds. Skies tend to clear more quickly with the slackening of the speed if the winds have been blowing from north or west directions.

(17) Taking the area as a whole, the winds are most frequent from north and northeast directions from October through May and are variable, with predominating winds from directions in the south half of the compass at most stations during the period from June through September. The local topography, however, influences the prevailing wind so that the general wind circulation does not show conditions at the individual stations.

(18) Over Bristol Bay, winter winds blow mainly out of the north through east, while summer winds are more likely to come from the southwest through northwest. In winter, gales can be expected 5 to 10 percent of the time. At King Salmon, northerlies blow more than 20 percent of the time during the winter season, at average speeds of 10 to 12 knots. Calms occur about eight percent of the time. During June, July, and August, winds are out of the south through southwest about 40 percent of the time, at average speeds of 8 to 10 knots. Gales occur less than one percent of the time in winter. The annual mean wind speed is about 10 knots.

(19) At Bethel, the head of ocean navigation on the Kuskokwim River, winter winds are out of the north through northeast greater than 40 percent of the time; they blow at average speeds of 9 to 14 knots. Northwesterlies are also common from March through June, and then south through southwest winds become predominant in midsummer; these summer winds average 10 to 12 knots. Gales at Bethel blow less than one percent of the time even in winter and are unheard of from April through August. However, winds reach 17 knots or more up to 20 percent of the time. At Hooper Bay, winds are frequently out of the northeast from November through February, but quite variable the rest of the year. St. Paul Island is more exposed than many locations along the coast. Here winter winds blow at 15 to 19 knots on the average, and gales can be expected about two percent of the time. Winds are variable, but mainly out of the north through east during this season. By midsummer, south through southwest winds become prevalent, at average speeds of 10 to 12 knots. Northwesterlies are frequent during September and October. The annual mean wind speed is over 14 knots. The highest reported gust was 73 knots in September 1990. Winter winds are also strong in Norton Sound, where they blow at 28 knots or more on up to 13 days per month, at exposed locations like Unalakleet. Nome is more sheltered, and winds reach this speed on less than 4 days per month. At Nome, north through east winds prevail during the winter; calms are also common. Summer winds are more variable, but often blow out of the south through west. Maximum winds have reached 62 knots in December 1977. At Gambell, on the northernmost point of St. Lawrence Island, the prevailing winds are southwest in summer and generally north through northeast in winter. In general, south through southwest winds are prevalent over the north Bering Sea in the midsummer.

(20) Most of the precipitation over Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea falls from July through October. Annual average amounts are 20 to 25 inches (508 to 635 mm) in Bristol Bay. It rains about 20 to 25 days per month during the peak period. Snow totals 40 to 60 inches (1016 to 1524 mm) per year on the average and is most likely from November through April. From Kuskokwim Bay to Norton Sound, precipitation drops off to about 10 to 17 inches (254 to 432 mm) annually; rain falls on 10 to 25 days per month in late summer. St. Paul Island has an average of nearly 24 inches (610 mm) during the year and extremes have ranged from 36.6 inches (930 mm) in 1964 to 9.82 inches (249 mm) in 1977. To the other extreme for the region, Nome has an average annual precipitation total of 15.79 inches (401 mm). Annual extremes for Nome range from 24.25 inches (616 mm) in 1950 to 7.42 inches (189 mm) in 1962. At Bethel in August, it rains an average of 26 of the 31 days averaging about 3.5 inches (89 mm) for the month. Snowfall is much more uniform ranging from a maximum of 58.7 inches (1491 mm) in Nome to 46 inches (1168 mm) in King Salmon.

(21) Poor visibility can be a problem all year around along the Bering Sea coast. Visibility is restricted by land fog and snow in winter, and by sea fog and rain in summer. Sea fog is more frequent and more widespread. However, it does not drop visibility below 0.5 mile any more frequently than land fog.

(22) In general, sea fog or haze drops visibilities to 7 miles or less on 13 to 20 days per month in midsummer. St. Paul Island is the most exposed, and fog or haze occurs here 22 to 29 days per month from May through August. At King Salmon, Bethel, and Nome, July and August are usually the worst months. Sea fog drops visibilities to 0.5 mile or below on about 2 to 5 days per month in summer. Snow and land fog during the winter restrict visibilities to less than 7 miles on about 8 to 12 days per month, and to less than 0.5 mile on about 2 to 5 days per month. Upriver ports like Bethel are the most vulnerable.

(23) There is a large continental influence in temperatures. Sheltered or inland ports get much colder in winter and much warmer in summer, compared to those exposed to the sea. St. Paul Island and Pilot Point are at about the same latitude. However, the average daily maximum in February is 27°F (-2.8°C) at St. Paul, compared to 11°F (-11.7°C) at Pilot Point, while average minimums are 18°F (-7.8°C) and -7°F (-21.7°C), respectively. At St. Paul, temperatures have dropped as low as -26°F (-32.2°C) in January 1919, compared to a -44°F (-42.2°C) at Pilot Point. In summer, the reverse is true. Pilot Point daytime readings are frequently in the low sixties (17° to 18°C) with an 84°F (28.9°C) extreme. At St. Paul Island, average daytime temperatures run in the upper forties to low fifties (8° to 12°C), with a 66°F (18.9°C) extreme (August 1987). Along the coast, midwinter daytime temperatures usually climb to 20°F (-6.7°C) in the south, and 10°F (-12.2°C) in the north and at upriver ports. At night, readings frequently drop below 0 F (-18°C) at Bethel and Nome, while at King Salmon, 6°F (-14.4°C) readings are common. Extreme lows range from a -13°F (-25°C) at Port Heiden to a -55°F (-48.3°C) along the shores of Norton Sound. Significant warming takes place from March through May. Midsummer temperatures reach the mid-fifties to low sixties (12° to 17°C) during the day and drop to the mid-forties (6° to 8°C) at night. Extreme high temperatures have reached the low seventies to upper eighties (22° to 32°C). Highest temperatures occur at the more continental locations. Nome, Bethel, and King Salmon have each recorded all-time maximum temperature in the mid- to upper eighties (29° to 32°C) and extreme minimums approaching or surpassing -50°F (-45.5° C).

(24) Ice
(25) Except in sheltered places the ice of the Bering Sea is in detached fields, floes, and cakes, which are continually kept in motion, breaking up, piling, and telescoping by the action of variable winds and currents. At no time is the sea one solid sheet of ice, and in the winter, when it is forming, the ice is more scattered than in the spring, when the north movement begins and packs it closer together. The general south limit of ice is from Bristol Bay to the vicinity of St. George Island, and thence about west-northwest to the Siberian shore. The south edge is ragged and very much scattered, and continued north winds sometimes drive fields of ice far south. As a rule, no heavy ice will be encountered south of the Pribilof Islands and the ice in their vicinity is likely to be nothing more than detached fields.

(26) In the spring, beginning with April, the ice has a general north movement, the shore clearing ahead of the center of the sea; but the ice sometimes hangs on in the bays and around the islands later than in the open sea. The movement and position of the ice depend greatly on the winds. Generally, by June 1, the whole body of ice is well up with St. Lawrence Island, and a passage opens to its west side. The east side of the sea is likely to be obstructed a little later than the west side, and ice is often met between St. Lawrence Island and Nunivak Island in the early part of June. The breaking out of the rivers in the latter part of May clears the shores, but the ice is likely to remain in Norton Sound several weeks later. In general, for a vessel not fitted to encounter ice, Norton Sound is not navigable before the middle of June. At the opening of navigation the ice is likely to be heaviest and to remain longest on the north shore of Norton Sound; in general it is the latter part of June before that part of the sound is altogether clear.

(27) In the fall young ice begins to form on the rivers, and in the bays and sheltered places in October, and grows stronger and spreads according to the severity of the advancing season. At Nome, on the north side of Norton Sound, navigation is difficult from early December to early June and is usually suspended from late December to mid-May.

(28) The National Weather Service publishes a Marine Weather Services Chart of Alaska waters which shows ice limits, forecast areas, and radio stations that transmit marine weather and additional information of interest to mariners.

(29) Chart 16011

(30) Bristol Bay may be said to include all that part of the Bering Sea east of a line drawn from Cape Sarichef, Unimak Island, to the Kuskokwin River. Unimak Island and the Alaska Peninsula bound it on the south and east, and separate it from the Pacific Ocean. The Naknek River is at the head of deepwater navigation, while the bay itself terminates in the Kvichak River a few miles north. The region about Nushagak River, Kulukak Bay, and the Kuskokwim Bay forms its northwest boundary.

(31) The shores are generally low and nondistinctive, but high mountain ranges and volcanic cones extend along the central parts of Unimak Island and the Alaska Peninsula. These rugged snow-covered mountains and lofty peaks would serve as unmistakable landmarks were they not obscured by the almost constant fogs that prevail during the summer. The shore and objects near sea level are often seen beneath the fog when the higher lands are obscured, and, therefore, most of the available landmarks are found on or near the beach.

(32) The Bristol Bay region must be regarded as a dangerous locality to navigate; it is only by the greatest vigilance and constant sounding that disaster can be avoided upon approaching the land. This is particularly true of the northeast arms and approaches that receive the waters of the great salmon streams on which the Bering Sea canneries are located. The rivers discharge a great quantity of water into wide indentations which open on the arms of the great bay. The banks of the rivers are frequently marshy and generally muddy. The discolored waters of the rivers is charged with a large amount of sediment, which, when deposited forms shoal areas.

(33) The funnel-shaped configuration of the bay and river entrances creates tidal currents of great force, reaching, at times, velocities up to 6 knots. The diurnal range of tide averages about 18 feet at the river entrances. Vast areas of shoals uncover at low water, leaving only pools and narrow channels between them.

(34) In Bristol Bay and its tributaries, some lights and buoys are maintained by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game during the fishing season to mark fishing districts; they usually show quick flashing white lights and have no navigational significance. Marine lights and buoys are normally maintained only during the navigation season.

(35) Vessels operating in Bristol Bay, particularly at the head, are warned concerning the use of seawater as a cooling agent in internal combustion engines, heat exchangers, condensers, and evaporators. The heavy amount of silt in suspension in this area can do great damage to the machinery or equipment if overlooked. This is especially true of small diesel or gasoline engines with gear-type water pumps, since the fine sand will pack itself between the gears and cause them to bind. Also, the silt is likely to settle in various parts of the cooling system and accordingly the system may need regular flushing. Most small-boat operators in the salmon fishing area, such as Kvichak and Nushagak Bays, use freshwater cooling systems with piping led outboard.

(36) Reports of ice conditions at the head of Bristol Bay usually can be obtained from the National Weather Service Radio Weather Broadcast station at King Salmon near Naknek or the nearby canneries. On May 17, 1948, the survey ship PATHFINDER encountered floe ice about 20 miles northwest of Port Heiden and a solid field of drift ice about 10 miles west of Egegik Bay. At this time of the year, the run from off Port Moller to the head of Bristol Bay should be made during daylight because of possible ice. In 1948, several commercial vessels encountered difficulties attempting the run at night.

(37) Caution
(38) The State of Alaska has established a crab pot storage area in the Bering Sea between 57°00'N. to 58°00'N. and 164°00'W. to 166°00'W.

(39) Danger zone
(40) A danger zone of an air-to-air weapon range is in the north part of Bristol Bay. (See 33 CFR 334.1280 chapter 2, for limits and regulations.)

(41) Chart 16520

(42) Cape Sarichef (54°36.0'N., 164°55.7'W.), described in chapter 7, the west end of the south coast of Bristol Bay, is low, with detached rocks close inshore, around which strong tidal currents sweep. The land falls away east in a gentle curve forming Dublin Bay about 3 miles in depth and 16 miles across between the cape and Cave Point. This bay may be used as a temporary anchorage by vessels of any size. The holding ground is said to be good. From offshore the first 8 miles of this indentation is a smooth grassy slope gradually rising from low, rocky, grass-covered bluffs, about 60 to 100 feet high, to the mountains several miles inland.

(43) The beach is steep, and the surf breaks almost at the shoreline. The terrain leading back is quite rugged and is cut by numerous gullies. This part of the coast has several prominent hills ranging from 800 to 2,000 feet high at distances of 2 to 4 miles back from the shore. Red Hill although only 798 feet high, is a very distinctive formation near Cape Sarichef; it is isolated and closer to the shore than the other peaks in the vicinity. The hill is easily recognized by its reddish hue and is prominent from the north, northeast, and west. It is often clear when higher peaks are obscured by fog or clouds.

(44) A large valley, appearing not as a pass but as an indentation into the hills, is easily recognized from offshore. Beartrack Creek having a considerable drainage area, is a swift stream flowing through a bed strewn with small boulders. About 6 miles northeast of Cape Sarichef are several waterfalls that may serve as landmarks for vessels close inshore.

(45) The coast in the north half of this moderate indentation is a series of low sand dunes, and the shore is sandy. From the line of dunes along the beach a large marshy area extends back for 2 or 3 miles, where a low pass begins and leads between the peaks to the south side of Unimak Island. Two moderate-sized streams and a number of small ones empty into the Bering Sea.

(46) Southwest of Cave Point the bottom is generally even, of fine black sand, and good holding ground; the 10-fathom curve is from 0.4 to 0.8 mile from the beach. There are no charted shoals of any consequence, although the 10-fathom curve is a little farther off the points than off the bights and coves. The best anchorage is in about 19 fathoms, 7.5 miles 048° from Cape Sarichef Light. This anchorage affords protection from the northeast through the southeast, and around to the SW. In north and northwest weather the current may prevent a vessel at anchor from heading into the sea.

(47) Cave Point is a vertical rocky cliff formed by a ridge extending from the north side of Black Hill. It is named for a cave on its face inhabited by sea birds which in summer hover about it in the thousands, making it conspicuous in clear weather by their numbers and in fog by their constant cries.

(48) The point is very prominent and can be easily seen in clear weather from Cape Sarichef or from Cape Mordvinof. The water off Cave Point is deep; no shoals have been found. The 20-fathom curve runs about 1 mile off the point.

(49) Black Hill a black-looking hill about 3 miles east-southeast from Cave Point, is the highest peak near the shore; it can be plainly seen from the west to the north. The hill is covered with snow in the winter, but is bare in the summer.

(50) Between Cave Point and Oksenof Point, the westernmost point of Cape Mordvinof, is another moderate indentation in the coastline about 6.5 miles by 0.8 mile in size. The shore for 4 miles northeast of Cave Point is a sandy beach with a series of grass-covered dunes just back of the high-water line. From the line of dunes a large flat area extends back for several miles; in this area is a large pond which is about 0.5 mile northeast of Cave Point. Between this pond and the hills forming Cape Mordvinof is a large swamp. One large stream empties into the sea at the north end of the sand beach. Offshore the bottom is even and no shoals of any importance have been found. The 20-fathom curve runs from 1 to 1.5 miles off the beach. The indentation in the coastline between Cave Point and Cape Mordvinof is a fair anchorage, giving some protection from the northeast around to the south. In north and northwest weather, currents affect the heading of an anchored vessel.

(51) Snow-clad Pogromni Volcano 8.3 miles east of Cape Sarichef Light, forms a striking background to the low, monotonous coast. The top of the 4,040-foot peak, 1.9 miles north of Pogromni Volcano, is a ridge with no definite point. It is covered with snow most of the year and usually capped by clouds. However, at times, it is clear when Pogromni Volcano is not. On the northwest slope of the volcano is a prominent arrowhead-shaped peak about 1,300 feet high. It is very prominent on the skyline from the north and northeast, but is covered by clouds a great part of the time.

(52) Cape Mordvinof 26 miles northeast of Cape Sarichef, consists of a succession of points and coves at the end of a series of round-topped ridges separated by shallow valleys. The point, including Oksenof Point is characterized by precipitous rocky bluffs ranging from 450 feet high on the west side of the cape down to 100 feet on the east end. Small clear streams run through the valleys, and the terrain slopes upward from the bluff line to a group of rocky peaks about 2,000 feet high. These peaks are snow covered in the winter and bare in the summer. The valleys and ridges are covered with grass and tundra. Good landmarks are lacking on Cape Mordvinof; the peaks are not distinctive and usually are hidden by clouds.

(53) Good anchorage for large vessels is not found off the cape, but shelter from south winds can be had in two of the coves indenting the cape for boats no longer than 65 feet. The water deepens rapidly and evenly off the cape, and the 20-fathom curve is from 1 to 2 miles off the shoreline. No shoal of importance is known off the cape, and no danger to navigation has been found at distances greater than 1 mile offshore.

(54) By making good a course of 036° from 3 miles 270° of Cape Sarichef for 25 miles, vessels will be well outside the 20-fathom curve and the known dangers to navigation.

(55) East of Cape Mordvinof, the coast falls away slightly for 6 miles, where it turns abruptly east for 5 miles, and then takes a north direction forming Urilia Bay. This bay is open north, but affords protection from all winds from south of east or west. The approaches are clear, and the water shoals gradually to 6 fathoms, black sand bottom, about 0.8 mile from shore.

(56) From Urilia Bay to Isanotski Strait the coast trends northeast, is very low, and has several rocky patches extending 0.5 to 1 mile from shore. Shishaldin Volcano, near the middle of Unimak Island, is described in chapter 7.

(57) Swanson Lagoon is a shallow lagoon on the north side of Unimak Island 7 miles west from Chunak Point. It has a narrow entrance and during some years light-draft launches can enter, but at other times only pulling boats can. Inside it is mostly a mudflat at low water with crooked channels 1 to 3 feet deep flowing between tidal flats. The lakes draining into the lagoon are spawning places for salmon, and the lagoon is important only as a fishery. About 0.8 mile east of the entrance is a cone-shaped hill, 85 feet high.

(58) Isanotski Strait (False Pass), used only by small vessels, is described in chapter 6.

(59) For 20 miles northeast of Isanotski Strait to 175-foot-high Cape Glazenap the coast is low with some grassy 50- to 100-foot bluffs. Except off the entrance to Isanotski Strait, dangers are within 1 mile of the shore. Cape Glazenap is prominent, because it is higher than the other places in this area.

(60) The Kudiakof Islands low, narrow, and grass covered, extend from Cape Glazenap to Moffet Point, 16 miles to the northeast. The wreck of an old schooner on Glen Island the southwest island, and domes on Grant Point east of Glen Island, are conspicuous landmarks. The lights at the Cold Bay airport are visible over this general area on clear nights.

(61) Behind Cape Glazenap and the Kudiakof Islands is Izembek Lagoon which is crossed by many shallow sloughs. Most of the extensive lagoon area is bare or awash; the bottom is mud and sand. The sloughs are difficult to follow except at low stages of the tide and are not recommended for craft drawing more than 3 or 4 feet.

(62) The Cape Glazenap channel into Izembek Lagoon is narrow and shifting. The entrance is close to the cape and is between breakers that extend seaward about 1 mile. The entrance channel has a depth of about 6 feet. During the summer, fishermen mark the approach with a drum buoy.

(63) Charts 16520, 16011, 16363

(64) Moffet Point 95 miles northeast of Cape Sarichef, is a curving sandy hook with dunes 40 to 60 feet high. A channel leads into the northeast part of Izembek Lagoon between Moffet Point and the northeast end of the Kudiakof Islands. The depth over the bar is about 2 fathoms. The channel is between breakers, and during the summer is marked by drum buoys placed by local fishermen. Passage should not be attempted without local knowledge or by boats drawing more than 3 or 4 feet.

(65) Moffet Lagoon behind Moffet Point, is a shallow area similar to Izembek Lagoon, but much smaller in extent. The two lagoons are joined south of Moffet Point. Joshua Green River empties into the east side of Moffet Lagoon.

(66) Amak Island 10 miles north-northwest of Cape Glazenap, is of volcanic origin. Along the shores are bluffs and huge boulders except on the south side, where there is a small flat that was the site of a World War II airstrip.

(67) Foul ground extends about 1.1 miles off the north side of Amak Island. A reef that uncovers is off the southeast side of the island and extends east about 0.3 mile. A good anchorage, affording protection from north to southwest winds, is about 0.5 mile east of the island, 1 mile northeast of the rocky ledge off the southeast point, in 8½ fathoms, gravel bottom.

(68) The passage between Amak Island and the Kudiakof Islands is clear and is the usual track for small vessels. Depths in midpassage are 10 fathoms or more; currents are about 2 knots.

(69) Sealion Rocks are about 2.5 miles northwest of Amak Island. The largest of the rocks, 95 feet high and prominent, is marked by Sealion Rocks Light (55°27'52"N., 163°12'11"W.), 94 feet above the water and shown from a skeleton tower.

(70) Sealion Rocks is a Steller sea lion rookery site. There is a 3-mile vessel exclusionary buffer zone surrounding these rocks. (See 50 CFR 224.103 chapter 2, for limits and regulations.)

(71) From Moffet Point the low coast trends almost 70 miles east-northeast to Cape Rozhnof, on the west side of Port Moller. A strong inshore set is frequently noted in this area.

(72) Black Hill 24 miles northeast of Moffet Point and 3 miles inland, is prominent. About 16 miles to the northeast of Black Hill and 2 miles inshore is a low prominent sandhill known locally as Last Knoll as it is the last knoll on the coast to be seen by a vessel bound east. Local vessels use this hill extensively in checking their distance to Port Moller.

(73) Lagoon Point about 37 miles northeast of Black Hill, is on the west side of the entrance to Nelson Lagoon. Nelson Lagoon Light (56°00'39"N., 161°05'36"W.), 15 feet above the water, is shown from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark just east of Lagoon Point; this light marks the entrance to the lagoon. In 1986, extensive shoaling was reported to exist in the approaches and in Nelson Lagoon; caution is advised. A large L-shaped dock and a launching ramp are on the north side of Nelson Lagoon about 2 miles west of the east end of Lagoon Point.

(74) Chart 16363

(75) Herendeen Bay and Port Moller 175 miles northeast of Cape Sarichef, are mostly shallow, but deep channels lead almost to their heads. The common approach to both bays is over a very flat gently sloping bottom with low shores. Farther in are extensive sand and gravel flats between deep channels. The earth bluffs along the beaches have hills behind them that increase in height to the south. Herendeen Bay has deep water near its head, and the mountains are broken by several large valleys; the head of Port Moller is surrounded by high steep mountains, but deep water is restricted to narrow channels that apparently are kept open by tidal currents.

(76) Pilotage, Port Moller
(77) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the waters of the State of Alaska.

(78) The Bering Sea is served by the Alaska Marine Pilots and Southwest Alaska Pilots Association. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(79) In the event prior pilotage arrangements have not been made, a stranger in the area should radio the cannery and request assistance.

(80) The entrance channel to Port Moller is marked by seasonal buoys.

(81) Kudobin Islands on the west side of the entrance to Port Moller between Lagoon Point and Cape Rozhnof are low and difficult to identify. Walrus Island the easternmost island of the group, is marked by a light and at its east end by a distinctive 20-foot knob.

(82) Entrance Point on the east side of the entrance to Port Moller, is marked by Port Moller Light 5 (55°58'41N., 160°34'59W.), 18 feet above the water and shown from a tower with a square green daymark. A cannery is inside the point at the village of Port Moller.

(83) Harbor Point 4 miles south of Entrance Point and marked by a daybeacon, is a low, narrow, grassy, sand and shingle sandspit with high land behind it. Doe Point and Point Divide at the entrance to Herendeen Bay are bluffs that can be seen outside of Entrance Point.

(84) Extensive shoals just inside Port Moller are subject to frequent change.

(85) Anchorage
(86) Anchorage can be had 3 miles northwest of Entrance Point in 8 fathoms, fair to good holding ground. Discoloration of the water in this area is caused by streaks of sediment carried by the tidal currents. Tide rips are caused by sand waves rising above the general depths.

(87) Currents
(88) The current velocity at Port Moller is 1 to 2 knots. (See Tidal Current Tables for predictions.)

(89) The cannery pier inside Entrance Point is 350 feet long; depth alongside the face is about 6 feet. It is exposed to south and southeast winds that blow across the peninsula and through the divides. Winds appear stronger at Entrance Point than at the anchorage in the middle of the bay entrance.

(90) It is advisable to be ready to move on short notice if moored at the wharf as southeast winds come up very quickly, making it difficult to get away with the limited turning room. Many fishing vessels moor starboard side to the wharf in order to leave quickly. Larger supply vessels anchor in about 7 fathoms 1 mile south of the cannery.

(91) Fishing boats and barges find protection from the south and southeast storms on the northwest side of Harbor Point, 2.5 miles south of Entrance Point.

(92) Water is available at the pier at Entrance Point; gasoline, fuel oil, and diesel oil are stored for cannery use. A marine railway is maintained for cannery small boats. Limited provisions can be obtained at a store. A paramedic is at Port Moller in the summer and can be reached on 4125 kHz or VHF-FM channel 16. Air transportation is reported to be available. Radiotelephone and radiotelegraph communications are maintained.

(93) Point Divide 9.5 miles southwest of Entrance Point, has a 40-foot bluff with the land sloping gradually upward toward the mountain ranges. Doe Point the southeast end of Deer Island opposite Point Divide, is 50 feet high. The bluff on the east side of Deer Island is 150 feet high while the rest of the island and the mainland to the south and west are generally lower.

(94) Hague Channel marked by buoys and leading to Herendeen Bay, is 1 mile wide at the north entrance, but contracts to 700 yards between Point Divide and Doe Point. Tidal currents are very strong in the channel; as much as 4 knots on the spring flood. The current does not follow the axis of the channel, but sweeps across the flats and narrow channel. As a result the channel is subject to change. In 1983, a 3-fathom shoal was reported in Hague Channel about 2.5 miles west of Port Moller Light 5 in about 55°58'54"N., 160°39'10"W.

(95) A survey vessel anchored 3 miles northeast of Point Divide in 10 fathoms, sand and gravel bottom, and 2.8 miles west-southwest of Point Divide in 8 fathoms, mud bottom; holding ground was good in both places.

(96) On the flood tide, the current causes spectacular tide rips between Point Divide and Doe Point, with an extensive area of swirls farther inside Herendeen Bay. Small craft should use caution during flood tide, especially when the wind is against the current.

(97) Johnston Channel on the east side of Herendeen Bay, is 6 to 15 fathoms deep and very narrow with steep sides. Halftide Rock on the east side of the channel 3 miles south of Point Divide, is awash at half tide. The current velocity is about 1.5 knots near the rock. Eagle Rock near the east shore 3.8 miles south of Point Divide, is pyramid shaped and prominent.

(98) Small craft can find protection on either side of Shingle Point, in the small cove between Shingle Point and Bluff Point and in Mine Harbor. Larger vessels can anchor off Marble Point. Crow Reef off the entrance to Mine Harbor, bares at low water. The reef is an outlying danger in the upper bay. Midway Reef extending 0.4 mile from the east shore of Mine Harbor, shows at half tide. A reef extends 0.5 mile west from Crow Point.

(99) A trail leads from the head of Herendeen Bay to Balboa Bay on the Pacific side of the Alaska Peninsula.

(100) Chart 16011

(101) The coast is low between Port Moller and Cape Kutuzof 20 miles to the north-northeast. The cape rises in a rounded bluff to 150 feet.

(102) Cape Seniavin Light (56°23'57"N., 160°08'47"W.), 175 feet above the water, is shown from a small house with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark on rocky Cape Seniavin. Except for a cluster of small hillocks about 12 miles from the cape, low beach extends from Cape Seniavin to Seal Islands.

(103) Cape Seniavin is an important resting area (haulout) for Pacific walrus and nesting area for seabirds. Operating a watercraft in a manner which results in disturbing, harassing, herding, hazing or driving of walrus is prohibited under provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. To ensure that walrus are not disturbed, marine vessel operators are requested to avoid transiting or anchoring within 0.5 mile of the Cape Seniavin walrus haulout.

(104) Seal Islands 30 miles northeast of Cape Seniavin, are several barrier islets, barely above high water, strung along the coast for about 10 miles. It is reported that small boats can find protection behind the islands. The coast continues low from Seal Islands to Port Heiden.

(105) Chart 16343

(106) Port Heiden 250 miles northeast of Cape Sarichef, is 9 miles in greatest width and extends inland about the same distance. The seaward side of the bay is formed by barrier sandbars 5 to 10 feet above high water. Strogonof Point (56°53.3'N., 158°50.7'W.), is the northeast end of the barrier beach that extends from the SW. Farther to the northeast is crescent-shaped Chistiakof Island which extends nearly to the mainland on the northeast side of the bay.

(107) Pilotage, Port Heiden
(108) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the waters of the State of Alaska.

(109) The Bering Sea is served by the Alaska Marine Pilots. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(110) The approach to Port Heiden should be recognized by the high, bold headlands and the airfield installations on the north side, but the bight back of Seal Islands, 20 miles to the southwest, has been mistaken for the bay. Aniakchak Crater (see chart 16011) is about 15 miles east of Port Heiden, and Black Peak is about the same distance to the south.

(111) On the mainland back of Chistiakof Island is the village of Meshik. A commercial airfield, numerous radio towers, and several prominent buildings are about 4 miles north-northeast of the village.

(112) The seaward approach has a uniformly gently sloping bottom, with shoals extending considerably offshore. The 10-fathom curve is 6 to 8 miles off the bay, and the 20-fathom curve about 15 to 20 miles off. Over this area there is good holding bottom of fine sand and gravel, with some offshore sand waves lying perpendicular to the beach. Inshore of the 5-fathom curve the bottom tends to shoal abruptly.

(113) No passage is recommended between Strogonof Point and Chistiakof Island because of numerous shifting bars. Small boats, however, can approach Meshik around the northeast end of Chistiakof Island, with local knowledge and by exercising caution. In 1982, Chistiakof Island and the islands to the southwest were reported to be submerged, forming more bars which close much of Port Heiden during inclement weather.

(114) The bottom in Port Heiden is sand and mud, and the holding properties are considered poor. The landing area off the cannery at Meshik is long and sloping, and heavy loading should be done in the latter stages of a rising tide because of the flats that uncover at low water.

(115) Currents
(116) The current velocity is 1 knot; the ebb current seems to be increased by a southeast wind. Sea ice conditions are variable, with navigation seldom entirely suspended; drift ice usually restricts navigation to full-powered vessels from January through April.

(117) Chart 16011

(118) From Port Heiden the same low coast extends in nearly a direct line to Cape Menshikof (57°30.0'N., 157°55.0'W.), where the high land of Port Heiden gradually recedes from the coast. Cape Menshikof is a high bluff, extending some distance alongshore, with hilly country back of it.

(119) Cinder River about 10 miles southwest from Cape Menshikof, is a shallow indentation in the coastline that is often mistaken for the Ugashik River.

(120) Ugashik River empties into Ugashik Bay the wide indentation between Cape Menshikof and Cape Greig. The capes can be approached from west to within about 2 miles. The coast between the capes, including the river valley, appears low. Smoky Point a bluff on the north side of the entrance, is 7 miles south of Cape Greig. Here the river is about 4 miles wide at high water. The indentations between the capes, including the mouth of the river, are filled with shoals. A channel in the river has a depth of about 10 feet, but a stranger could not follow it with safety. Only launches can approach the cannery at low water because of boulders in the channel. The river is fresh at low water about 5 miles above Ugashik. Each year the cannery company anchors two floats on the north side of the channel at the entrance.

(121) A cannery is near the entrance at Pilot Point. The wharf is 144 feet long, but dries at low water. Water is available on the wharf. Gasoline, fuel, and diesel oils are stored for cannery use. A machine shop and scowway are maintained by the cannery; a 4-ton crane is on the wharf. Radiotelegraph communication is maintained.

(122) A cannery at the village of Ugashik 13 miles from the entrance, has a wharf 200 feet long with a depth of 14 feet at high water, but is reported dry at half tide. Water is available on the wharf and by barge at the anchorage. Gasoline and diesel oil are stored for cannery use. The wharf has a 2-ton crane. The cannery has a machine shop and a scowway. Small tenders are beached for light hull repairs.

(123) Pilotage, Ugashik Bay
(124) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the waters of the State of Alaska.

(125) The Bering Sea is served by the Alaska Marine Pilots. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(126) Cape Greig 7 miles north of Smoky Point, is a prominent brownish bluff, with a few yellow vertical stripes extending several miles alongshore. It appears to be the seaward end of a low ridge with low land on each side. This and a peculiar notched mountain some distance inland are good marks. Cape Greig Light (57°43'30"N., 157°41'47"W.), 350 feet above the water, is shown from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark.

(127) Cape Greig is probably the best landfall for the approach to Kvichak and Nushagak Bays from southwest. North of Cape Greig, the coast is low and has no distinguishing features, and even radar is not of much assistance until abeam of Egegik Bay. Particular care should be taken to clear the shoals off the entrance to this bay. After passing the bay, Middle Bluff can usually be identified, although the lights on this bluff and on Red Bluff are small structures not easily seen from offshore. Johnston Hill 357 feet high, is not readily identified by a stranger approaching from the southwest, but abeam of the hill and thence to the northeast a sharp tip on the north side is very prominent.

(128) Chart 16323

(129) Kvichak Bay the large arm at the head of Bristol Bay, extends northeast from a line between the south entrance point of Egegik River and Etolin Point. The bay is an important fishing area for red salmon and has several canneries in its north part. Kvichak Bay is navigable for deep-draft vessels as far as the anchorage about 270° from the entrance to the Naknek River. The approach from the southwest is restricted to a channel about 4 miles wide by Big Flat an extensive tide flat extending off the east shore, and by Dead Man Sands the large shoal in the middle of the bay northwest of Johnston Hill. This shoal uncovers about 8 feet, and the area north of it is very foul. Fishing boats and collecting barges use the area at half tide or higher. Caution is necessary as a number of fishermen have been lost when trapped by the tides.

(130) About midway between Middle Bluff and Johnston Hill are two low spits which, while not discernible visually from a vessel in midchannel, are quite prominent on a radarscope and hence are valuable landmarks during periods of low visibility.

(131) North of Naknek River are numerous shoals and uncovered banks. The best water is on the east side of the bay between Naknek River and Koggiung, but local knowledge is needed to avoid the shoals. The land is low and flat, but the tanks and buildings of the canneries and the lights, which are maintained during the canning season, are good landmarks.

(132) Kvichak River, which empties into the head of Kvichak Bay, is the outlet for Lakes Iliamna and Clark, on the west side of the mountain system that borders Cook Inlet. At maximum ebb, the confluence of discharges from Naknek and Kvichak Rivers is apt to cause overfalls that are dangerous to small boats. Winds in excess of 20 knots, opposed to currents, make the bay quite rough for vessels of light draft.

(133) Good holding ground is available any place in Kvichak Bay where depths are suitable for anchorage. The bottom appears to consist of a layer of coarse gravel, sand, and stones, with mud beneath. The shoal depths permit a generous scope of chain, which is necessary because of the strong currents and frequent blows. Only one anchor is recommended because a vessel tends to swing to the direction of the current, despite wind direction, with consequent fouling if moored with two anchors. Experience has shown that a scope of 8 or 10 to 1 will withstand the effects of a 60-knot wind and a 3.5-knot current. With a strong wind opposed to current, a vessel will usually lie broadside to both, and while such a condition sometimes causes an anchor to walk, no such tendency has been experienced in this area.

(134) Navigators are reminded that the great range of tide in this bay must be considered when selecting an anchorage.

(135) Currents
(136) In Kvichak Bay and River the current is very strong, and consequently the channel shifts more or less each year. The current velocity is 3.5 knots in the lower part of the bay and 2.5 knots in the main ship anchorage off Naknek. In Naknek River at the hole off Morakas Point, 4 miles above the entrance, the current velocities are about 1 knot on the flood and 2 knots on the ebb. (See the Tidal Current Tables for predictions.)

(137) It is recommended that vessels anchor against the current, when it is at maximum strength, so that engines may be used to offset the sudden strain when the anchor is let go. Caution must also be exercised, on flood current, to keep the vessel from being carried beyond the anchorage area while maneuvering. Since the currents usually follow the axes of the bay channels, navigators should make ample allowance when proceeding between Kvichak and Nushagak Bays; otherwise they are apt to be set to the north or to the south when they are on an east or west course.

(138) Weather, Kvichak and Nushagak Bays Vicinity
(139) The best weather in Kvichak and Nushagak Bays appears to be from the latter part of May through July. The bays are frozen over during the winter, and the ice usually does not break up until May. Vessels approaching the bays during this time of the year, which they frequently do in preparation for the fishing season, are cautioned to do so during daylight because of possible ice.

(140) Storms have a tendency to move into this area from the Aleutian Islands during August and September, and, while their intensity usually is diminished, their rate of movement is decreased and at times they remain stationary while the depressions fill, thus causing extended periods of poor weather. Fog is not as prevalent in these bays as farther to the southwest in Bristol Bay proper. Storms south of the Alaska Peninsula at times cause strong winds to draw through the valleys, such as that of the Egegik River, thus giving the effect of williwaws near the valley entrances.

(141) Mirages are seen frequently in the Kvichak Bay area during periods of calm, and particularly at low tide. They distort the appearance of bluffs and shorelines and make tanks and other elevated structures visible at greater distances than their altitudes warrant.

(142) Egegik River empties into Kvichak Bay 30 miles north of Cape Greig; Cape Chichagof is the north entrance point. It is a large river, 1 mile wide at the canneries, and is the outlet of Becharof Lake. (See also chart 16011.) It flows in a west direction for more than 28 miles.

(143) The lower part of the river forms Egegik Bay. A large part of its area is bare at low water. At the entrance, shoal water extends 6 miles offshore and should be given a wide berth by passing vessels. Entering vessels, depending upon their draft and condition of the sea, generally cross the entrance bar between half and full tide stages only. Moderately heavy seas will break over this bar with any stage of tide, although it has 4 fathoms over it at high water. It is considered the most dangerous bar in the Bristol Bay area.

(144) In 1982, extensive shoaling was reported in the entrance to Egegik Bay; local knowledge is advised. In 1994, a wreck was reported about 6.7 miles west-northwest of Coffee Point in about 58°15'19"N., 157°37'48"W.

(145) Pilotage, Egegik Bay
(146) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the waters of the State of Alaska.

(147) The Bering Sea is served by the Alaska Marine Pilots. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(148) Anchorage
(149) At the entrance to Egegik River are two partially protected anchorages with limited swinging room that are used by power scows and tugs. The principal one is the channel inside Coffee Point with depths up to 5 feet. A smaller anchorage is just east of the wharf at Egegik, with depths from 6 to 11 feet. Ebb current at the smaller anchorage is very strong.

(150) Egegik River is navigable to small boats for its entire length into and across Becharof Lake. Although tidal to the foot of the rapids, mean range in its lagoons is only 1 foot; 5- to 6-foot drafts can be carried through the river, but the small lagoon reduces this to 3 or 4 feet, depending upon water stage. The controlling depth of the ¼ - mile rapids of the lake outlet is 4 feet at low water stage. Although its midchannel current averages 5 knots, slow-speed powerboats run it frequently with and without handline aid from the shore. The river is open from May to October. In 1970, the river was obstructed by numerous boulders possibly carried in through ice action.

(151) Freight from oceangoing vessels is generally lightered into Egegik from the ship anchorage off Naknek. Egegik has limited facilities; a cannery wharf that is 80 feet long dries at low water. Water and a 5-ton crane are available. Gasoline and diesel fuel are available for local use only. A pier, 70 feet long and 40 feet wide, with dolphins 10 feet off each outer corner, is 0.2 mile east-northeast of the cannery, just north of the twin tanks. Depths of 6 to 11 feet are off the pier. A cannery wharf, across the river, is 150 feet long with little water at its face. This cannery is inoperative, but its marine railway is active and hauls out barges, piledrivers, and tugs for winter layup. A removable fish conveyor and three pile dolphins extend offshore from Coffee Point. The conveyor and dolphins are removed after the fishing season. Two stores remain open all year in Egegik. Their supplies are principally food staples and clothing.

(152) Radiotelegraph communications are maintained. Transportation is available by floatplane from May to October, and is usually obtained from Naknek village or King Salmon Airport.

(153) Naknek River enters Kvichak Bay on the east side, about 10 miles south of Koggiung. Cape Suworof is the point on the north side of the entrance. The large 60-mile-long river has its source in Lake Naknek where there are two villages.

(154) Anchorage
(155) Anchorage can be had off the entrance to Naknek River in 35 to 40 feet; this is the head of navigation for deep-draft vessels. The approach channel to this anchorage has depths of 33 to 60 feet.

(156) Shoals and banks, many of which uncover, fill the lower course of the river and extend 3 or 4 miles, then trend around north and join the body of the banks that fill the upper end of Kvichak Bay.

(157) Pilotage, Naknek
(158) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the waters of the State of Alaska.

(159) The Bering Sea is served by the Alaska Marine Pilots and Southwest Alaska Pilots Association. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(160) Vessels using Southwest Alaska Pilots Association pilots and en route to Naknek can contact the pilot boat by calling “NAKNEK PILOT BOAT” on VHF-FM channel 16 or on a prearranged frequency between pilot and agent/vessel.

(161) The Naknek River has several large salmon canneries; all have wharves that bare alongside at low water. Some of the canneries have not operated for years. Deep-draft vessels anchor about 6 miles off the entrance to the river and lighter their freight ashore in barges which are available at Naknek; the approaches to the anchorages vary little from year to year. Vessels drawing up to 10 feet can go alongside the cannery wharves at half tide, but can remain afloat at low water only by shifting to what is called the hole just east of Morakas Point which is 4 miles above the river mouth. The hole has depths of 9 to 14 feet at low water over a narrow crooked area 200 to 300 feet wide and about 0.5 mile long. Mooring buoys are maintained in this hole by the canneries on seasonal basis for use of power scows, tugs, and barges. Craft of these types, drawing up to about 12 feet, can proceed up the river with local knowledge some 12 miles from the mouth. In order to do this, vessels leave Naknek village 1 hour before high water. Beyond this point, small boats of 3-foot draft can proceed as far as the rapids, a distance of about 7.5 miles.

(162) An overhead power cable with a clearance of 48 feet crosses Naknek River about 1.3 miles above Morakas Point.

(163) All active canneries maintain radio communication. Limited repair facilities, including machine work, are available at the canneries, as well as water in any quantity. During the fishing season, water is available at the main ship anchorage by water barge. Diesel oil, gasoline, and lubricating oil are available in quantities sufficient for normal demands, and limited amounts of coal and stove oil also are available. Delivery can be made alongside the fuel dock for vessels drawing up to 10 feet at better than half tide or by drums to ships at anchorage. There is no fuel oil. Provisions in limited quantities are available.

(164) Naknek is on the north side of the Naknek River about 1.5 miles from the mouth. A nurse is on duty during the winter, and, during the cannery season, each cannery employs a doctor whose services are available to the public for a fee. Weekly mail service is by plane throughout the year. Regular scheduled steamers also carry mail during the summer. A road leads 0.8 mile inland to a lake used as a landing place for floatplanes; another road goes about 12 miles SE to King Salmon Airport. Transportation over land in this area is entirely by plane. Several floatplanes at the inland lake are available for hire or charter. The airport has scheduled freight and passenger service to Anchorage. There is a telephone line from Naknek to the airport. South Naknek is on the south side of the Naknek River, directly across from Naknek.

(165) Weather, King Salmon Vicinity
(166) Nearness to the ocean tends to provide King Salmon with a climate that is predominantly maritime in character, with diurnal and seasonal temperature ranges normally confined to rather narrow limits. However, the area occasionally experiences definite continental influences that cause temperature extremes which tend to exaggerate the climatic conditions generally prevailing. The extreme maximum temperature for King Salmon is 88°F (31.1°C) noted in June 1953, but days in summer with maximum readings reaching the 80°F (26.7°C) mark are extremely rare. In fact, July, the warmest month, averages only 5 days with temperatures reaching 70°F (21.1°C) or above. The coldest temperature on record is -48°F (-44.4° C) in January 1989.

(167) From December through March the area experiences rather strong winds, due to the passage of east moving Aleutian lows. The strongest winds are usually from a northerly direction, developing after the low centers have passed on east of the local area. Winds of 55 knots or more have occurred in all months with an extreme of 97 knots in November 1965.

(168) Cloud coverage in the King Salmon area is generally quite high, averaging about four-fifths the year around. Mountain ranges to the south, east, and west tend to provide uplift for air moving toward King Salmon from these directions and produce considerable cloudiness which is carried out across the local area. When the wind movement is inland from the southwest, the air arrives carrying a high moisture content to condense in low level cloudiness, and this action contributes to the frequent fog occurrences all months of the year. Fog development is most frequent during July and August. During the winter the high moisture content of the air causes substantial accumulations of frost on outside objects.

(169) Seasonal snowfall averages about 46 inches (1168 mm) and has ranged from 94 inches (2388 mm) to 16 inches (406 mm) for annual extremes. The maximum depth on the ground during the winter season averages about 10 inches (254 mm). This indicates the extent of melting that takes place with the snow accumulation. Although most of the snow is received during periods of general snowfall over most of the southwest mainland, a considerable amount of snow is brought in as snow showers that move inland from the Bristol Bay area. These showers are generally quite local and usually of short duration, but they often follow in rapid succession to bring sizable accumulations of snow within relatively short periods of time. December, with an average of about 9 inches (229 mm) of snowfall, has the greatest monthly average snowfall amount. Only July and August have never seen snowfall.

(170) Ice in the bay near King Salmon usually becomes safe for man around November 11, with the Naknek River becoming safe for man around November 25. Breakup on the bay averages about April 6; the breakup on the river averages about April 18.

(171) (See Appendix B for King Salmon Climatological table.)

(172) Libbyville on the east side of Kvichak Bay, 3.5 miles north of Naknek River entrance, has a cannery with a 100-foot-long wharf.

(173) Common practice in this area is to avoid all movement of vessels north of Naknek River at the lower stages of the tide or on a falling tide. At or near high water it is safe to navigate almost any part of the area with vessels drawing up to 7 or 8 feet; vessels going aground on a rising tide are floated in a very short time and may proceed. No known rocks exist on the shoals, and temporary groundings do not often damage vessels.

(174) Most of the area between Naknek and Kvichak Rivers bares at some stage of the tide.

(175) The east channel from Libbyville to Koggiuing has depths that vary from 3 to 23 feet at low water. Local knowledge is necessary to avoid grounding on a falling tide.

(176) Koggiung a village on the east side of Kvichak River, has several canneries. All of the wharves are dry at low water and have mud bottom alongside. All have water connections. Fuel oil, diesel oil, and gasoline are stored for cannery use.

(177) The longest wharf at Koggiung is 450 feet. The marine railway at this wharf can haul out vessels up to 60 tons at high water.

(178) Kvichak River (see chart 16013), from Koggiung to Iliamna Lake, is 50 miles long. In the upper half of its course it is much broken by islands and bars into narrow, shallow channels. The lower half is tidal.

(179) Occasionally vessels drawing 14 feet have ascended the river as far as the mouth of Alagnak River, but anchorage is difficult to find. Kvichak River is navigable for cannery tenders of 10-foot draft to Alagnak River 22 miles above the mouth of Kvichak River. Launches of 3- to 4-foot draft can go on up into Iliamna Lake.

(180) In 1984, the channels through the entrance to Kvichak River were reported to be extremely changeable. Local knowledge is advised.

(181) Anchorages
(182) The Kvichak River has four recommended anchorages where mooring buoys are maintained during the fishing season. Water is available at the canneries.

(183) At Graveyard Point near the mouth, fair protection is available in depths of 10 to 12 feet in all weather except strong southeast storms. The bottom is fine gray sand with good holding ground.

(184) Graveyard Point Light (58°52'03"N., 157°00'49"W.), 55 feet above the water, is shown from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark 0.7 mile south of Graveyard Point.

(185) Off Nakeen and the mouth of Squaw Creek good protection in all weather is afforded in depths of 13 to 23 feet. The bottom is fine gray sand; the holding ground is good.

(186) At Kvichak good protection is afforded in depths of 8 to 10 feet in all weather except a strong N storm. The bottom is gray sand; the holding ground is good.

(187) At Levelock (see chart 16011) good protection is afforded in all weather, in 8 to 10 feet, fine gray sand bottom, with good holding ground.

(188) Common practice on the Kvichak River is to restrict navigation to the direction of the current and to a stage about half tide, if possible. Vessels grounding on a rising tide are floated in a short time, and temporary groundings cause no damage since there are no rocks on the shoals.

(189) Local knowledge of the channels is necessary, and anyone not thoroughly familiar with the river is strongly advised to obtain a pilot from one of the canneries.

(190) Chart 16013

(191) Iliamna Lake is about 70 miles long and generally from 7 to 17 miles wide. It is about 50 feet above tidewater. Reported soundings indicate a depth at the east end of many hundred feet. The lake is usually frozen from late December until late in May; the snow leaves the low ground in April, remaining until June in the pass between Iliamna Lake and Cook Inlet. Some snow may be expected in September, but the ground is not permanently covered at low altitudes until some months later.

(192) Old Iliamna is an abandoned village 3.5 miles above the mouth of the Iliamna River which drains into the east end of Iliamna Lake.

(193) A 15.5-mile State-maintained gravel road connects Pile Bay, at the east end of Iliamna Lake, and Williamsport on the west shore of Iliamna Bay. The road is open from June to October. (See chapter 4, for a description of facilities available at Williamsport.)

(194) Newhalen River (59°41.5'N., 154°56.0'W.), about 20 miles long, connects Iliamna Lake with Lake Clark. The upper 10 miles can be navigated by canoes and poling boats. Rapids and reported falls make even canoe navigation impossible for the lower 10 miles. These rapids may be avoided by a 5-mile portage.

(195) Iliamna is near the mouth of Newhalen River. An airfield is adjacent to the village.

(196) Lake Clark is about 45 miles long and from 1 to 3.5 miles wide. It is about 220 feet above tidewater, and is tributary to Iliamna Lake and Newhalen River.

(197) Chart 16322

(198) Nushagak Bay and Nushagak River on the north side of Bristol Bay near its head, are important for the extensive salmon fishing and a number of large canneries that operate during the summer. The bay is 17.5 miles wide at the entrance between Protection Point and Etolin Point.

(199) The ice free season is typically mid-May to early October. During this time, many tug and barge vessels, which draft up to 13 feet, transit the area heading to Dillingham hauling fuel, gravel and other supplies. A fishing fleet of several hundred vessels operates in the area, fishing the various salmon openers (May through August). Approximately half a dozen large tenders and processors operate in the area throughout the fishing season, anchoring where needed, to service the fishing fleet. Fishing vessels from Dillingham not only harvest in Nushagak River and Nushagak Bay, but also transit to other areas of Bristol Bay to fish. Still more fishing vessels migrate to Nushagak Bay from Seattle, Bellingham and other ports outside Alaska. Fishing vessels operating in the area are typically no more than 33 feet in length with drafts of 3 to 7 feet.

(200) Nushagak Bay and River are shallow and highly changeable. Some areas have numerous shifting sandbars and shoals, while other areas remain relatively consistent. Strong currents are always prevalent and can be extreme due to the combination of both river and tidal constituents. The tide range is high, on the order of 13 to 20 feet daily. Unfavorable weather conditions and sea states are common, even in the summer. Local authorities state that this area is particularly subject to change on the ice runout each spring.

(201) Pilotage, Nushagak
(202) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the inside waters of the State of Alaska.

(203) The Bering Sea is served by the Alaska Marine Pilots. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(204) North of Dillingham is a sparse growth of timber, which becomes heavy farther inland, but to the south are only occasional clumps of alder bushes.

(205) The peninsula of Cape Constantine is low rolling tundra country, with bluffs in places. Nichols Hills 125 feet high, are small sand knolls, the highest part of a ridge that follows the E side of the cape, and is 5 miles NW of Protection Point.

(206) At the southwest end and on the southeast side of the cape are the entrances of two lagoons that can be entered by boats at high water when there is no surf. At low tide, water remains in the entrance and for a short distance inside the first lagoon; the second lagoon is bare.

(207) Shoals with little water on them in places extend 6 miles south from Cape Constantine, and the outer shoal, Ustiugof Shoal, is 8 to 9 miles southeast from the cape. These shoals are in the form of long ridges trending in the direction of the set of the tidal currents around the cape to and from Nushagak Bay. They are steep-to, especially on the offshore side, and soundings will not give sufficient warning to avoid them.

(208) Currents
(209) The tidal currents northeast of Sterling Shoal off Cape Constantine, have a velocity of about 2 knots. (See the Tidal Current Tables for predictions.)

(210) Ustiugof Shoal is a narrow ridge with a least depth of 13 feet, and has a length of 15 miles in a 052° direction. Close to its southeast side are depths of 11 fathoms or more. From a vessel near the shoal, Cape Constantine can be seen in clear weather. The greatest care is required when south or southeast of the cape. The shoaler ridges are generally indicated by rip or breakers at low water, but there is generally nothing to indicate Ustiugof Shoal.

(211) Protection Point the east end of Cape Constantine, is a low marshy spit which extends 1.5 miles from the higher land. On the north side of the point, 2 miles west-northwest of its end, is the entrance to a lagoon; small boats can anchor in, or close inside the entrance, but the current is strong on the ebb. The current velocity off the point is about 2 knots on the flood and 3 knots on the ebb. A narrow shoal which uncovers in places at low water extends 4.2 miles S from the point. The south half of the shoal is about a mile from shore; between the point and the north end of the shoal is a narrow channel. A detached shoal about 2 miles east from the point has a least depth of 15 feet.

(212) Nichols Spit east of Nichols Hills, forms a cove, dry at low water, that can be entered by boats at high water and affords shelter except from north winds.

(213) Igushik River 15 miles north of Protection Point, is a crooked winding river on the west side of the bay. There are two channels leading into the river; the northern channel is the deepest. These channels are highly changeable. The flat on the east side of the channel leading to the mouth of the river shows for nearly its full length at low water.

(214) Igushik Ridge on the west side of Igushik River, is prominent, being about 260 feet high near its north end, where it breaks sharply to the river. The peninsula east of the river is low.

(215) Togiak National Wildlife Refuge includes Igushik and Snake Rivers and is a Marine Protected Area.

(216) Snake River 10 miles north of the mouth of Igushik River, is used only by fishing boats. There are two channels into the river; the southern channel is the deepest. These channels are highly changeable.

(217) The land on the east side of the bay is low and rolling tundra, and the entrance point is rounding without a distinct point.

(218) Etolin Point the larger rounded point between Kvichak and Nushagak Bays, is flat, tundra covered, with several shallow lakes, some of which have been used for floatplane landings. The west extremity of the point is a 90-foot-high bluff. A 149-foot-high rounded hill, 2 miles east of the point, is a prominent landmark when approaching from seaward.

(219) Shoals covered less than 12 feet extend 5 miles south of the rounding point southeast of Etolin Point, while depths of 30 feet or less are more than 10 miles from the shore. The soundings are a good guide in approaching the east shore when just outside a line joining Etolin and Protection Points. Above this line in the east half of the bay are long shoals, most of which show in places at low water. A 341° lighted range marks the channel to Ekuk. The range line should be transited with caution especially on its north end where it transects a shoal area that is subject to change. In 2012, a least depth of 3 ft. was found along the range line in this area. Ekuk Bluff north-northwest of Etolin Point, is 170 feet high and prominent. Ekuk is a native village on a spit at the north end of the bluff. The lagoon inside the spit is bare at low water. The cannery wharf at Ekuk is 150 feet long with 7 feet alongside at high water. Gasoline, diesel oil, and fuel oil are stored for cannery use, and water is available.

(220) Clarks Point 1.5 miles north of Ekuk, is low and has an extensive gravel beach. On the point are a large abandoned cannery and the village of Clarks Point. The ridge, 169 feet high, terminates in a bluff at the shoreline 0.6 mile south of the point and is prominent from seaward. Several large water tanks near the shore end of the bluff are prominent landmarks.

(221) The Trident Seafoods wharf at Clarks Point is 175 feet long and has a depth alongside of about 8 feet at high water. Two large seasonal fish processing plant vessels operated by Trident Seafoods and Icicle Seafoods commonly anchor offshore Clark’s Point approximately May through August.

(222) Clark Slough 1.5 miles northeast of Clarks Point, is navigable for launches at high water for about 17 miles. The bar that must be crossed at the edge of Combine Flats when entering the slough bares at low water. Fishing craft and tenders use Clark Slough and the part of Combine Flats behind Clarks Point for shelter during heavy southwest weather.

(223) Nushagak Point on the east side of Nushagak Bay and 7 miles north from Clarks Point, is the outer end of a prominent 250-foot ridge, to the east of which is a deep valley. Nushagak a small village on the point has a fish camp during summer. There are no wharves. Vessels may approach as closely as their draft permits and use small boats or barges for reaching the shore. Landing at low water is difficult because of the very sticky mud on the flats, but a good landing can be made on the gravel beach at high water. Nushagak has no post office or supplies. Mail is received through Dillingham.

(224) From Coffee Point to Snag Point 9 miles to the northeast, the west shore of Nushagak Bay consists mostly of bluffs. Bradford Point between Coffee Point and Snag Point, is opposite Grassy Island which is awash at highest tides.

(225) Kanakanak at Bradford Point, is a small settlement which includes the former sites of Dillingham and Kanakanak, and is connected by roads with the present site of Dillingham at Snag Point. A hospital is in Kanakanak, about 7 miles from Dillingham.

(226) Dillingham is the principal settlement and source of supply in Nushagak Bay. The city has a school and churches, and hospital facilities at Kanakanak may be reached by road. Ordinary supplies are available at several general stores. Petroleum products, except fuel oil, can be obtained from the Delta Western, Dillingham Terminal Wharf. Bristol Alliance Fuels, just west of Dillingham small boat harbor, also carries petroleum products and can be accessed by large vessels at high water. The sea wall can be heavily battered by wave action when winds are from the south to southwest.

(227) Vessels drawing 23 feet ascend the bay on high tide and anchor just below Snag Point. Supplies are lightered to Dillingham either by the canneries’ equipment or by private equipment. The oil and cannery wharves can be approached only at high tide; vessels drawing 12 feet moor at these wharves on higher high tides. A 208-foot City Dock accommodates large ships and barges for unloading with a depth of 3 feet alongside.

(228) The Peter Pan Seafood Processing Facility at Dillingham operates May through July and has a wharf 300 feet long which is dry at low water but can be used by larger vessels at high tide. Gasoline, diesel oil, and fuel oils are stored for cannery use. Telephone service is available. The cannery maintains VHF communications May through July.

(229) Dillingham Small-Boat Harbor on the west side of Dillingham provides about 950 feet of float space for small fishing and pleasure craft. A set of red and green buoys mark the entrance to a dredged channel leading from Nushagak Bay to the basin. Observation of the channel at very low water will reveal the channel shape enabling safe navigation at high water. The basin retains less than 5 feet of water and vessels commonly ground in the mud at lower tides. The entrance channel and basin are subject to rapid shoaling due to sediments from Nushagak Bay, and annual maintenance dredging is attempted each year. The harbormaster’s office (907–842–1069) is across from the small boat harbor.

(230) An airport 1.5 miles west of the city, provides air services the year round. An aerolight is at the airport.

(231) Wood River has its entrance north of Snag Point, and has a length of about 24 miles to Lake Aleknagik. Its width varies from about 600 yards in its lower part to about 50 yards where it joins the lake. A depth of 3 to 3½ feet at low water can be carried 15 miles upriver and not more than 2½ feet to the lake; at high water 4 feet can be carried this distance. The lake is about 24 miles long and navigable for its entire length.

(232) Prominent features
(233) North of Nushagak Bay is a chain of prominent mountains that are snow-covered in early summer, but are bare except in the ravines by the middle of July. In clear weather the peaks show from a long distance seaward, but much of the time they are obscured by clouds and haze. Many of the summits are shown on the charts 16011 and 16006.

(234) Channels
(235) The controlling depth in Nushagak Bay and River is about 10 feet to Dillingham, 30 miles above the mouth. Small vessels of 2½-foot draft can continue up Nushagak River to Nunachuak 100 miles above the mouth.

(236) Anchorages
(237) Vessels can anchor in the outer part of Nushagak Bay in north weather. The wind from this direction does not appear to blow with force during the summer. This part of the bay is exposed to a heavy sea during east to south weather. The strong current causes a vessel at anchor to lie stern or broadside to the sea when the wind opposes the current. The bars seem to afford little protection. In southwest and northeast weather, the west and east sides of the bay, respectively, should be selected.

(238) Good anchorage can be found south of Ekuk Bluff, in 30 to 35 feet, mud bottom, where the current is not strong. During the fishing season, mooring buoys, placed in a line parallel to the beach, are maintained for tally barges in the area south of Ekuk Bluff and east of the main channel.

(239) In southwest weather, good anchorage in about 18 feet is offered to vessels drawing 12 feet or less, 1 mile 021° from Protection Point. Deeper draft vessels should anchor farther northeast.

(240) Above Ekuk good anchorage will be found wherever the depth will permit. This part of the bay is very choppy in heavy weather, but the sea seldom, if ever, is heavy enough to endanger a vessel. The bottom is sand, but the anchor holds well if given a scope of about 60 fathoms. The currents are strong, and care should be taken to avoid dragging. Vessels remaining long are anchored in line in the channel to interfere as little as possible with the nets. During the fishing season, mooring buoys are placed by the canneries in lines parallel to the channel off Ekuk Bluff and Clarks Point.

(241) Currents
(242) The currents in Nushagak Bay have considerable strength; velocities of about 4 knots have been observed on both the flood and the ebb. The ebb usually begins shortly before high water and continues to run after low water, roughly about 7 hours ebb and 5 hours flood. The period of slack water is usually short. The currents generally set fair with the channels, but in navigating the bay the course is often across the current and allowance must be made for it. The velocity is influenced by freshets and continued winds, which also affect the times of slack water. A current of over 5 knots may be experienced at times. (See Tidal Current Tables for predictions in Nushagak Bay.)

(243) Weather, Nushagak Bay Vicinity
(244) The weather is variable, but it is considered better than farther west. Spells of bad weather occur, and their duration increases in the late summer. Southwest winds sometimes predominate in the early summer and east winds later. East winds bring thick weather and rain, and are accompanied by a low or falling barometer. Moderate southwest winds bring fair weather; strong winds bring rain. Northeast winds bring fine clear weather, but seldom blow steadily. In settled weather the wind may be light from any direction, accompanied by showers. After a gale there is usually no shifting of the wind or sudden breaking of the storm, but the wind decreases, and there is a gradual return to fair weather. Fog sometimes sets in from the sea, but there is little fog during the summer

(245) Ice
(246) The movement of the ice is variable, depending upon the direction of the wind. It is said that the arrival of cannery vessels has been as late as June 17. The ice is not solid, but drifts in floes with the wind and current. Northeast winds drive the ice out of the upper bay to ground and breakup on the shores and sandbars of the west side of the bay. Cannery floating equipment is hauled out upon completion of the season in mid-August, and the salmon pack is taken out at that time. One winter supply vessel generally makes the last trip into the bay about the middle of September.

(247) Routes
(248) The channels and bars of Nushagak Bay and River are probably subject to constant change because of the action of currents and to a smaller extent by the action of the sea. Changes of considerable extent are reported by those of long experience. A margin of safety should therefore be allowed for the soundings found by the survey. It is also well to remember that with a very low tide the water may fall as much as 4½ feet below the plane of reference of the chart.

(249) The navigation of the bay is not easy, and a stranger should proceed with great caution. Tide rips may be taken as good evidence of shoals. The shoals are long ridges trending in the same directions as the tidal currents, and the danger of stranding is greatly increased if a course is set across the currents. A stranger should navigate only on a rising tide and is advised to communicate by radio with one of the canneries and arrange to have a pilot sent out.

(250) It is recommended that vessels bound to Nushagak make Cape Greig (see chart 16011), which is high and easily recognized and marked by a light, then shape the course for the entrance to the bay, favoring the Etolin Point side in preference to the Cape Constantine side. The currents that may be experienced when crossing from Cape Greig are not known, but there may be considerable set. Great care should therefore be exercised in approaching the entrance. The land at the entrance when first seen in approaching is indefinite, and presents no feature that can be readily identified.

(251) Enter the bay on the 341° lighted range through Ship Channel. Favor the east side of the range until clear of the 6-foot spot on the east edge of Long Sands. The area is highly changeable and caution should be taken on the north end of the bar where the eastern and western shoals merge somewhat. In 2012, NOAA hydrographic surveys found that the range line intersects a 3 ft sounding in this area. When through the cut on the bar, leave the range and follow the general trend of the shore to off Ekuk.

(252) Note.–On the flood, just inside the bar, cross a distinct rip and keep it about 150 feet off the port side. The waters of the upper bay and river carry heavy sediment, and the only indications of shoals usually are swirls or rips. On the ebb the waters of the upper bay are practically fresh, but they become brackish on the flood.

(253) From Clarks Point to the upper canneries, numerous mud and sandbars are exposed at low water in the central and west parts of the river. Shoal water in the middle of the river is extensive and restricts crossing during low water; nearly all navigation of this section is done on a rising or high tide. Navigation of this area should not be attempted by large vessels except on a rising tide and then only with local knowledge or with a local pilot. Local authorities state that the area is subject to change on the ice runoff each spring.

(254) Present traffic follows the east shore above Clarks Point, keeping about 1 mile off. The channel follows close along the edge of the east mudflats. The channel is 0.8 mile offshore at the north end of Combine Flats and 0.5 mile off at Nushagak Point. One mile north of Nushagak Point, vessels cross over and pass 0.3 mile off Bradford Point, then follow the west shore at this distance to the anchorage off Dillingham. Traffic generally starts upriver on half-flood tide.

(255) Repairs
(256) The large tides and the flats make it easy to beach a vessel of drafts up to about 18 feet.

(257) Communications
(258) The Northland Services and Alaska Logistics Marine Lines makes several trips a year into the Nushagak Bay area, the earliest about May 15 and the latest about September 15, depending upon ice conditions. Commercial airlines serve the area. Dog teams are used to some extent by natives and trappers during the winter, and small boats are used for local travel during the summer. Tankers and barges bring in diesel oil, gasoline, lubricating oil, and fuel oil. All canneries and their tenders are equipped with radiotelephone, and radio traffic can be handled through the cannery shore stations during the season. Radiotelephones are maintained by cannery caretakers during the winter.

(259) Charts 16011, 16315, 16305

(260) The area between Cape Constantine and Cape Newenham (58°40'N., 162°10'W.) is unsurveyed, and there are indications that the present charts are considerably in error. Vessels setting a course from outside Ustiugof Shoal (58°17.0'N., 158°39.0'W.), to pass about 2 miles off Cape Peirce (58°38.0'N., 161°45.0'W.), in thick but otherwise moderate weather, have reported making Hagemeister Island dead ahead. This undoubtedly is because of a N set in this vicinity. In the thick weather which prevails in this locality safety is assured only by constant sounding.

(261) Kulukak Bay entered between Kulukak Point 38 miles northwest of Cape Constantine, and Right Hand Point, about 9 miles west-southwest, is shoal; there is a depth of 3 fathoms just inside the entrance and the north half dries at low water. The buildings of an abandoned native village are above the bluff at the northwest corner of the bay.

(262) Togiak National Wildlife Refuge includes Kulukak Bay and is a Marine Protected Area.

(263) Pilotage, Kulukak Point
(264) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the waters of the State of Alaska.

(265) The Bering Sea is served by the Alaska Marine Pilots. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(266) Right Hand Point is the south extremity of a mountainous peninsula that separates Kulukak Bay from Togiak Bay.

(267) Walrus Islands consisting of three islands and three above-water rocks, are in the approach to Togiak Bay. Several shoals of 3 fathoms or less are between the islands as well as south of the group. Shoaling is rapid after reaching a depth of 3 fathoms, requiring continuous sounding while navigating these waters. Thick weather is frequent in this area, and often the higher islands are fog-capped when the weather is otherwise clear. The land areas and adjacent waters of Round Island, Crooked Island, High Island, Summit Island, The Twins, and Black Rock are established as the Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary.

(268) Round Island the easternmost of the group, is 1,410 feet high and is about 10 miles south-southwest of Right Hand Point. Access within a three mile radius of Round Island is prohibited without a permit from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The west side of the island is precipitous and bare in the lower elevations. A narrow beach makes around the east side. To the north the island terminates in a distinct pinnacle rock. A reef, bare in places and consisting of sand and smooth boulders, extends about 1.3 miles northwest of the pinnacle rock.

(269) Indifferent anchorage may be found about 1 mile northeast of the island in about 11 fathoms, hard sand bottom.

(270) Crooked Island 1,254 feet high, is 9 miles west-northwest of Round Island; it is almost entirely covered by tundra. There are large coves on both the southwest and east sides of the island. These coves have been reported to be shoal; the 3-fathom curve extending about 2 miles offshore on the west side of the island. About 0.5 mile off the east side of the island just south of the large cove, anchorage with protection from west to southwest winds and good holding ground can be found. A bank, covered 2 fathoms or less, is about 1.5 miles off the northwest side of the island. Shoal extends the full length of the west side of the island.

(271) High Island the westernmost of the Walrus group, is 1,716 feet high and is 2 miles west of Crooked Island; this island is steep-to on its east and west sides, with a few strips of sand beach.

(272) The Twins are two isolated rocks 3 miles south of Crooked Island. The larger is 300 feet high; the lower and southwest of the two is 100 feet high.

(273) Black Rock 131 feet high, is 3 miles east of the north part of Crooked Island. From the air the rock appears to be an upthrust on a submerged ridge, the axis of which parallels that of Crooked Island. Black Rock, the southeast tangent of Crooked Island, and the Twins are very nearly on range.

(274) Summit Island 801 feet and 505 feet high near the south and north ends, respectively, is 8.5 miles west-northwest of Right Hand Point, and 2 miles from the east shore of Togiak Bay. Good anchorage, in 5 to 6 fathoms and sheltered from southwest weather, may be had in a bight about 0.5 mile off the middle of the northeast side of the island in 5 to 6 fathoms, sand bottom.

(275) Togiak Bay north of the Walrus Islands, and about midway between Cape Constantine and Cape Newenham, is shoal; the head of the bay uncovers to the south for 3 to 4 miles. A submerged ledge and rock extend 0.2 and 0.5 mile, respectively, from Rocky Point at the east entrance of the bay.

(276) Togiak is near the head of the bay. The waters off Togiak are shallow and not navigable during low water. Good anchorage can be had for deeper draft vessels on the east side of the bay about 1 mile off Anchor Point in 5 to 6 fathoms of water, sand bottom.

(277) Pilotage, Togiak
(278) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the waters of the State of Alaska.

(279) The Bering Sea is served by the Alaska Marine Pilots. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(280) Hagemeister Island 10 miles west of High Island, is mountainous except for about 5 miles at the north end. Shoals surround the island and extend east 20 to 25 miles, including the area between Hagemeister Island and the Walrus group.

(281) Shoals and sand waves with depths less than 2 fathoms extend east and southeast from the northern half of Hagemeister Island in the direction of High Island. Ice has been observed grounded there. Foul ground is also reported as extending north of the north point of the island.

(282) Current
(283) Current observations were made in June 1948 for a period of about 10 hours, about 8 miles southwest of Hagemeister Island. The current sets approximately 335° and 165° with velocities at strength of about 0.8 knot and 1.5 knots, respectively. In 1985, the NOAA Ship RAINIER anchored 3 miles off the southeast corner of Hagemeister Island observed currents flooding 070° and ebbing 240° at velocities up to 4 knots.

(284) Hagemeister Strait is about 16 miles long between the island of that name and the mainland. It is 3 to 4 miles wide, but shingle spits contract it in two places to less than 2 miles. Good anchorage was found under Tongue Point the shingle spit making out from the mainland about midway of the channel. Good anchorage can be found throughout the strait avoiding the shoal areas northeast of Hagemeister Spit. In 1991 NOAA Ship RAINIER observed currents of 0.5 to 1.5 knots flooding 060° and ebbing 220° near Estus Point. Currents are significantly stronger near the western end of Hagenmeister Spit causing tide rips in the area. Strong currents and an unstable bottom result in shifting sand waves throughout the strait and its approaches. Shoal areas that lie directly south of the spits on both sides of the strait cause waves to break at times of heavy swell.

(285) The Osviak River empties into the strait about 13 miles west of Tongue Point. In 1991, NOAA Ship RAINIER reported an average river depth of 1.3 feet and that many portions of the river bare at low stages of tide. The channel runs approximately mid-stream. The river is navigable in this channel for two miles upstream of the entrance by shallow draft vessels when the tide is 5.3 feet or greater. The abandoned native village of Osviak is on the west bank of the river about 3 miles from the mouth.

(286) Cape Peirce (58°38.0'N., 161°45.0'W.), of moderate height and symmetrical form, is 22 miles west of the south end of Hagemeister Island, and 15 miles southeast of Cape Newenham. A shoal area, with depths of 2 to 3 fathoms over it and possibly less, is reported to extend some distance west from the cape. Depths of 19 fathoms, about 7 miles west-southwest of the cape, were found outside the charted 20-fathom curve. Depths of 10 fathoms are found 2 miles south of the cape, and good anchorage in 10 fathoms is found inside Shaiak Island (see chart 16300), just east of the cape. There are reports of good anchorage, sheltered from north weather, in the bight northwest of Cape Peirce. To make the anchorage from east, give Cape Peirce a berth of about 3 miles and steer 009° for the junction of the northwest end of the sand beach with the rocky shores; select anchorage at will off the sand beach. The approaches from west are clear except for the above-mentioned shoal.

(287) Cape Peirce is an important resting area (haulout) for Pacific walrus and nesting area for seabirds. Operating a boat in a manner which results in disturbing, harassing, herding, hazing or driving of walrus is prohibited under provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. To ensure that walrus are not disturbed, marine vessel operators are requested to avoid transiting or anchoring within 0.5 mile of the Cape Peirce walrus haulout.

(288) Charts 16300, 16006, 16305

(289) Kuskokwim Bay and Kuskokwim River open into the Bering Sea north of the entrance to Bristol Bay. The bay, filled with many flats, and hard steep-to shoals, is entered between Cape Newenham and Cape Avinof 93 miles northwest.

(290) The channels through the bay are not always apparent by the surface indications of the water. At times the channels will be smooth with rips on the shoals, and at other times the reverse will be true. The edges of the channels are often marked by long lines of foam, but occasionally the foam extends across the channels; it is well to approach these lines with caution. Navigation is recommended only at low water, when the mudflats are visible, enabling the channels between them to be followed. Because of the inequality of the tides, a vessel grounding at high water may not be refloated for several days.

(291) The 40-mile approach through Eek Channel to Kuskokwim River is a maze of shifting sandbars, both visible and covered, and blind channels. The channels in the bay and river undergo constant change from year to year, because of the action of the sea, currents, and ice; extreme caution and continuous soundings are necessary.

(292) The procedure usually followed is for a small pilot boat from Goodnews Bay to precede the vessel through these waters, constantly feeling out the channels and sounding.

(293) During south storms a heavy sea makes up the bay nearly to Eek Island, at the head of the bay, and vessels caught on a shoal are in danger of breaking up.

(294) The channel through Kuskokwim Bay and up Kuskokwim River to the junction with Johnson River is marked by seasonal buoys. The markers above Kuskokwim River Buoy 12 are not charted. The deepest draft that should attempt to reach Bethel is about 15 feet.

(295) Cape Newenham is the landfall for this region, and can be approached close-to with deep water. It is the end of a peninsula formed by a series of rough sawtoothed mountains. These mountains terminate in a level plateau that forms the immediate cape. In south weather a heavy sea and tide rips occur off Cape Newenham. In 1981, during heavy north winds, the NOAA Ship MILLER FREEMAN found a good anchorage in a small cove on the south side of the cape about 0.4 mile offshore south of Jagged Mountain in 10 fathoms, sand and mud bottom. Satisfactory anchorage for south or east weather can be had in about 8 fathoms off the small cove on the south side of the cape and about 3.5 miles from its outer end. An aero radiobeacon (58°39'20"N., 162°04'31"W.) is shown from the north side about 3 miles east from the outer end of the cape. About 1.3 miles east-southeast of the aero radiobeacon is a parabolic antenna.

(296) Cape Newenham is an important resting area (haulout) for Pacific walrus and nesting area for seabirds. Operating a watercraft in a manner which results in disturbing, harassing, herding, hazing or driving of walrus is prohibited under provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. To ensure that walrus are not disturbed, marine vessel operators are requested to avoid transiting or anchoring within 0.5 mile of the Cape Newenham walrus haulout.

(297) Jagged Mountain is a well-defined peak, the highest of the Cape Newenham group. Viewed from north, its slopes appear jagged.

(298) Security Cove 9 miles east-northeast of Cape Newenham, is a good anchorage except with northwest winds; the usual summer gales are southeast. The bottom is even and shoals gradually. The best anchorage in 3½ fathoms, mud bottom, is about 0.8 mile northeast of Castle Rock and on the range of Castle Rock and the first promontory southwest. Water can be obtained from a stream which enters the cove. There is also good anchorage in 2 fathoms with good holding ground in the middle of the bight on the southwest side of Castle Rock. This anchorage is less affected by the ground swell making along the coast from Cape Newenham than the anchorage in Security Cove.

(299) Castle Rock the southwest entrance point of Security Cove, is a small prominent headland, 260 feet high, joined to the land by a low neck. At the northeast entrance point of Security Cove is a conspicuous pinnacle rock, 169 feet high, covered with light tundra.

(300) Chagvan Mountain between Security Cove and Chagvan Bay, is smooth shaped and terminates in two high rounded knobs.

(301) Chagvan Bay has a narrow shoal entrance. Inside it is very shoal and cut up by bars that are bare at low water.

(302) Red Mountain just south of Goodnews Bay, is a reddish color and conspicuous. From north it appears as a long ridge with the highest part at its north end.

(303) Goodnews Bay is shoal except for a channel with depths ranging from 1¼ to 12 fathoms that leads through the entrance to a point about 1 mile inside. This channel affords good anchorage, either in the middle of the entrance or up to 0.8 mile inside the bay on a line approximately northeast of the south tangent of North Spit. Inside the entrance the strength of the tidal currents reaches a maximum of about 2.5 knots in a direction parallel to the axis of the channel. (See Tidal Current Tables for predictions.) Along the northeast shore of South Spit the ebb current is very strong, and during the flood an eddy sets north along this shore. The holding ground is good. Small craft can select from the chart a place that affords the best shelter. A restricted anchorage for small vessels is about 1 mile south of the south entrance point, but local knowledge is necessary for its use. The sea from the outside is broken by the shoals off the entrance and does not reach the anchorage. With south or east winds, tide rips dangerous for small craft occur in the channel. The spits at the entrance are shingle and steep-to.

(304) Platinum at the inner end of the spit on the south side of the entrance of Goodnews Bay, is the headquarters of a mining company and of most of the commercial activity in this area. The village has semiweekly airmail service during the summer and weekly service during the winter; an airplane landing strip is here. Radiotelephone and radiotelegraph communications are maintained.

(305) Groceries, general supplies, petroleum products, and water are available at Platinum. The small-boat basin just S of the oil-storage tanks on the northeast side of South Spit can be entered only at high water as the entrance bares at low water. A road leads from the village to the storage tanks and boat basin. The platinum mines are about 15 miles southeast of the village.

(306) Pilotage, Goodnews Bay
(307) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the waters of the State of Alaska.

(308) The Bering Sea is served by the Alaska Marine Pilots. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(309) Beluga Hill is a prominent conical hill, 924 feet high, with a steep, rocky face that rises abruptly from the north side of Goodnews Bay. Although lower than the mountains behind it, the hill usually stands out prominently from all parts of Kuskokwim Bay.

(310) To enter Goodnews Bay from a point about 2.5 miles south by west of the entrance, stand in on the northeast-southwest range on course 037° until the east-west range, nearing 090°30' closes; then steer 000° for about 0.7 mile or until abeam of west tangent of the spit; then follow South Spit at a distance of 0.25 mile, and cross the entrance to the small-boat anchorage.

(311) To go to the anchorage in the north part of the bay, round North Spit at a distance of 300 yards and steer 312° for the high bluffs on the west side of the bay. Hold this course for about 2 miles, or until the east side of Beluga Hill is in range with the flat-topped mountain just back of Goodnews Bay village. Then head up to Beluga Hill and hold the range until up to the anchorage under the mountain.

(312) About 6 feet of water will be found here at low tide. In 1913 the survey ship YUKON was at anchor here during a north gale. There is no protection in south or east weather. A stream enters the bay here. The bay has a good shingle beach.

(313) It should be noted that this route has not been surveyed, and there may be, in places, less than 6 feet of water at low tide. This route should be used with caution and only on a rising tide. Keep sounding constantly. On the bluffs at the foot of Beluga Hill is a cabin.

(314) The UNITED, drawing 16 feet, was taken into Goodnews Bay. Good anchorage is reported in 7 to 11 fathoms, 2 miles north-northeast from the bay entrance on line to Beluga Hill. This indicates that deep water can be carried farther into the bay in the main channel than is indicated on the chart.

(315) Goodnews Bay (Goodnews) is a small village with a school at the head of Goodnews Bay. The channel to the village is shallow and winding so that local knowledge is desirable, but can be followed by small boats at low water when the bars are visible.

(316) Carter Spit (59°19.0'N., 162°00.0'W.), on the east side of Kuskokwim Bay, is a low sandspit about 4.5 miles long and from 50 to 300 yards wide. Carter Spit encloses Carter Bay which is a wide area of shoals and mudflats. Around the end of the sandspit a narrow channel is scoured out, affording anchorage for launches and small craft, but without protection from north. A small stream, known as Indian River flows into the east side of Carter Bay near two abandoned cabins formerly called Carter. Water can be obtained by boats from Indian River at high water.

(317) Explorer Mountain is the highest peak north of Goodnews Bay. From south it appears as a long ridge, and is recognized by three deep gulleys on its side. From west it appears as a pyramid peak, the highest of the group.

(318) Tooth Mountain a flat-topped mountain in the front range, has a sharp, rocky pinnacle on the N edge of its summit. It is easily recognized from the vicinity of Carter Spit.

(319) Figure IV Mountain is a sharp peak in the front range east of Jacksmith Bay. The deep ravines on the side of this mountain form a Roman numeral IV, that is conspicuous from west when the ravines are filled with snow. In the latter part of the summer, the snow disappears from the ravines.

(320) Cone Mountain is a large conical mountain in the first range.

(321) Yukon Hill is low but is the north end of the front range paralleling the coast; it is visible from the entrance of Eek Channel. From west the hill is not distinguishable, as it has the receding range for a background.

(322) Thumb Mountain is a fairly sharp summit in the range that recedes from Jacksmith Bay. From off Quinhagak it resembles a huge thumb placed on a high flat mountain plateau. As Eek Island is approached, the mountain appears as a less distinctive ridge.

(323) Jacksmith Bay the large indention 14 miles north of Carter Spit, is bare at low tide.

(324) Quinhagak 66 miles north of Cape Newenham, is difficult to approach by water because of the great mudflats bordering its shores. Launches can enter the river here only at the highest tides, and even small craft can hardly get within sight of the village and remain afloat at low water. Supplies are landed with great difficulty, because of the extensive flats and their exposure. Quinhagak has a Moravian mission, a store, and a school. Radiotelegraph communications are maintained. A limited amount of supplies may be procured. The church steeple is sometimes visible from Eek Channel. Kanektok River entering Kuskokwim Bay at Quinhagak, runs fine clear mountain water at all stages of the tide.

(325) Warehouse Bluff a long dark-colored bluff about 11 miles northwest of Quinhagak, is an important landmark, as it is the first land on the east bank to be sighted when ascending Eek Channel. No objects on the west shore are visible until approaching the head of Eek Channel.

(326) Warehouse Creek 2 miles above Warehouse Bluff, is deep and can be approached through a long tortuous channel that can be followed by small craft when the mudflats are bare. Small craft may find shelter here. The greatest range of tide in the bay occurs in the vicinity of Warehouse Creek. Inside the creek there is just swinging room for a 75-foot vessel riding to 15 fathoms of chain.

(327) In the early days trading schooners ascended the bay only to Warehouse Creek. Natives and traders from various bay and river points assembled here to await the coming of the schooner. At one time some small warehouses were built here, but no trace of them now remain.

(328) Kuskokwak Creek flows into the east side of the bay 4 miles south of Beacon Point. It is approached through a short channel across the flats and affords a good shelter for launches and other small craft. Just inside the mouth of this creek is a depth of 4 fathoms.

(329) At Cape Avinof on the west side of Kuskokwim Bay, the east shore of the Bering Sea turns northwest.

(330) Kwigillingok is a native village on the west side of the bay near the mouth of the Kwigillingok River. The approach to Kwigillingok is unsurveyed. Seasonal, unlighted oil drums mark the river channel and its approaches but pilotage or local knowledge is required due to constantly changing conditions. There are no piers or docks in the village so small boats tie off the bank or beach themselves. Pilotage can be arranged by contacting “MAMIE 2” or “Council office” on VHF-FM channel 22. Telephone, mail, fuel, groceries, outboard motor repair, and a health clinic are available in the village.

(331) Beacon Point 12 miles north of Warehouse Bluff, is flat and barely above storm high water. A line between Beacon Point and Popokamiut a native fishing village on the west shore opposite Beacon Point, is considered the dividing line between Kuskokwim River and Kuskokwim Bay. The west shore of Kuskokwim Bay has not been surveyed.

(332) Eek Island is a grass-covered mudflat cut up by deep sloughs, and is covered by the higher tides. The island is a feeding ground for many thousands of ducks and geese.

(333) West Point is a fishing camp on the west bank of the river just above Eek Island. The mudbank making out from West Point has extended itself considerably since the time of the survey.

(334) Eek River is a large tributary flowing into the Kuskokwim River on its east side just above Eek Island. It is navigable by launches for 15 to 20 miles. The river rises in the mountains about 60 miles distant; its waters are muddy and silt laden.

(335) Eek on the east side of the Eek River about 8 miles by boat from its mouth, is a large Indian village with a general store and school. Daily radio schedules are maintained with Bethel. Limited supplies of gasoline and canned goods are available.

(336) Bethel 65 miles up the Kuskokwim River, is considered the head of ocean navigation. From here river boats operate to points on the upper river.

(337) Bethel Small Boat Harbor has berthing space for approximately 100 vessels. In 2010, 2.6 feet was available in the access channel with shoaling along the south edge at the entrance and 3 feet was available in the basin with shoaling near the boat ramps. An overhead power cable with a clearance of 35 feet crosses the access channel to the small boat harbor.

(338) Weather, Bethel Vicinity
(339) The two main topographical features affecting Bethel’s climate are (1) the Bering Sea, which is about 100 miles to the west and southwest; and (2) the Kilbuck Range of mountains, about 40 miles to the east and southeast. This range, averaging about 4,000 feet in height, extends roughly in a north-south direction in that part nearest to Bethel. Some 160 miles southeast of the Kilbuck Range, the Aleutians, extending in a northeast-southwest direction, provides an additional natural barrier to many of the storms originating on the outward end of the Aleutian Chain and moving out through the Gulf of Alaska. Both ranges tend to direct some of the storms northeast into the Bering Sea, and thus directly affect the Bethel area. During invasions of such storms, it is not uncommon for wind velocities to exceed 43 knots. Gales occur during the winter months but are unheard of during the months of April through August. Maximum speeds usually accompany northeast winds in the winter and southeast winds in the summer. During the winter, strong south winds tend to be considerably affected by the mountains to the south, producing at times, a pronounced foehn (chinook) effect. Temperatures have risen almost 50°F (28°C) in less than 24 hours under these conditions.

(340) Bethel’s climate is somewhat more maritime than continental in character, which tends to modify daily temperature extremes during most of the year. However, there are usually two periods during the year when the area becomes affected by continental climatic influences. In June and July, temperatures in the area rise noticeably under the influence of warmer continental air. Around the latter part of December and early January, cold, clear continental air becomes quite dominant, and Bethel’s climate becomes quite similar to other areas farther inland. Extremes of temperature registered during these periods of dominant continental type climate range 134°F (74°C), from -48°F (-44.4°C) in January 1989 to 86°F (30°C) in July 1951 and again in June 1959. Average temperatures through the entire winter season, however, are considerably higher than those experienced in the Alaska interior, and temperatures for the entire summer season average considerably cooler than in the Alaska interior. The average annual temperature is 30°F (-1.1°C). The mean daily maximum in July is 62.4°F (16.9°C), while the mean daily minimum is 47.8°F (8.8°C). The coolest month, January, has a mean daily maximum of 12.7°F (-10.7°C) and a mean daily minimum of -0.6°F (-18.1°C). Annual precipitation averages nearly 17 inches (432 mm) and has ranged from 39.47 inches (1002.5 mm) in 1951 to an annual minimum of 7.29 inches (185.2 mm) in 1976. August is usually the wettest month, with an average of slightly over 3 inches (76 mm) of precipitation. Thunderstorms are rare, the average being about two a year. The few thunderstorms that do occur are generally short in duration, but rather severe. They usually develop and move out of the northeast during June and July. Snowfall averages about 53 inches (1346 mm) a year and has fallen in every month but July and August. On average, 142 days in a year see snowfall.

(341) (See Appendix B for Bethel Climatological table.)

(342) At Bethel there is a large Alaskan Native Health Service Hospital, a National Guard Armory, a Moravian mission, several churches, hotels, and stores that are the distributors for the Kuskokwim district. Direct telephone communication, provisions, gasoline, and fuel oil are available. A limited amount of coal is kept on hand.

(343) A large well-equipped airfield with a weather station and a FAA flight service station is 3 miles west of Bethel and is serviced by an all-weather road. Daily airmail and transportation services with Anchorage are maintained.

(344) Communication between Bethel and the numerous outlying villages is by floatplanes.

(345) Ocean vessels make several trips during the summer between Seattle and Bethel, transporting freight and equipment that are distributed from Bethel over a large area. A considerable amount is shipped upriver on barges and river steamers to the many native villages along the river.

(346) At Aniak 125 miles from Bethel by river steamer, is an airfield. Limited supplies of gasoline, fuel oil, and provisions are available. General stores and a hotel are in the village.

(347) Radiotelephone and radiotelegraph communications are maintained.

(348) McGrath 400 miles above the mouth, is the head of navigation on the Kuskokwim River.

(349) Radiotelephone and radiotelegraph communications are maintained.

(350) Routes
(351) Enter Kuskokwim Bay about 2 miles west of Cape Newenham, and make good a 028° course for about 6 miles until the cape bears 190°; thence steer 010° with Cape Newenham directly astern for about 18 miles until Beluga Hill bears 065° and Red Mountain 121°. From this position, steer 341° for about 13 miles to a position 4 miles 256° from the elbow of Carter Spit.

(352) In thick or hazy weather a route nearer the coast may be taken as follows: Pass 0.5 mile off Cape Newenham and Bird Rock, and then make good a 070° course for about 6.5 miles until Castle Rock, the southwest headland of Security Cove, bears 177°. Strong tidal currents occur along the north shore of Cape Newenham. From here steer 357° with Castle Rock astern for 14 miles until the summit of Red Mountain is abeam, thence 341° for 19.5 miles to a position 4 miles 256° from the elbow of Carter Spit.

(353) Next steer 302° for 5.5 miles with Beluga Hill in range with Pyramid Mountain astern, then head up the channel on a 006° course.

(354) Vessels should arrange to make this point at the last of the ebb, and go up the channel with the flood. After heading on the 006° course, the long shoal on the east side of the channel should be made out, either heaping or breaking. It is only with a very smooth sea that this shoal is not in evidence at low water. After continuing on this course for about 10 miles, the long shoal on the west side of the channel should be made out, either heaping or breaking. This shoal should be followed at a distance of about 1 mile until its north extremity is reached. Here it becomes a mudflat, bare at about half tide, of a yellowish color with deep water close-to. This flat is the leading mark for entering Eek Channel, therefore it should always be made at low water.

(355) From here, the track veers west and follows the flats on the west side of the channel on a course of about 000° for some 13 miles.

(356) It is reported that extensive changes have taken place north of 59°36'N. The chart is no longer a sufficient guide with respect to the channels.

(357) In proceeding upriver the passage west of Eek Island is used. A crossover from Eek Channel to the west channel is made in an area subject to considerable change. It is generally necessary to wait for nearly high water before making a crossover to the west channel. Navigation in this region is difficult, and a pilot and his launch should be employed. There are no landmarks visible; if buoys are in place the crossover is much easier.

(358) Pilotage, Bethel
(359) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the waters of the State of Alaska. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(360) East side of Eek Island.–The channel along the north side of Eek Island, once used by power schooners, has shoaled until it is now bare at low water and is used only by small fishing boats. Small vessels now go as far as Apokak Creek. From Beacon Point the channel follows the east bank of the river.

(361) Passage West of Eek Island.–Once in the west channel, follow the west bank of the river southwest of Eek Island for 4 miles. The course then bears out into the river towards Eek Island. From here the channel crosses to the east bank and continues to Bethel, crossing back and forth many times. There are no leading marks, and at some of the crossings it is necessary to wait for high water. A pilot is necessary.

(362) In 1994, the Coast Guard Cutter IRONWOOD reported good anchorage can be made just off Popokamiut, on the west side of the mouth of the river, in hard mud bottom.

(363) Vessels coming downriver stand out to sea from abreast of Carter Spit. In entering, this track is not used because of the possibility of running up a blind channel.

(364) Currents
(365) The currents of Kuskokwim Bay and River are strong, attaining velocities of 5 knots at times. A strong tidal current sweeps past Cape Newenham, setting approximately north and south. Along the north side of the cape, tidal currents of about 1 knot have been observed setting northeast and southeast. In general, the currents set in directions parallel to the axes of the channels between the shoals. In the channel leading to Goodnews Bay, about 1 mile from the north end of South Spit, flood and ebb each has a velocity of about 2.5 knots, setting northeast and southwest, respectively. In the deep channels off Jacksmith Bay the flood current has a velocity usually of about 2 to 2.5 knots at strength, and the ebb from 2.5 to 3 knots. In the vicinity of Apokak Creek, the strongest current observed was 3.5 knots. The flood current is felt only about as far as Bethel.

(366) By arriving at the entrance to Eek Channel on the last of the ebb, a favorable current can be carried nearly to Bethel, providing there are no delays.

(367) (See Tidal Current Tables for predictions in Kuskokwim Bay and River.) Variations from the predicted times and velocities, because of freshets and winds, may be expected.

(368) Weather, Eek Island Vicinity
(369) The best weather usually occurs in March and April. During the summer, southeast to southwest gales are frequent and last from 2 to 5 days. These storms gradually blow themselves out and are generally followed by a few days of good weather. In the early fall, north winds are frequent and are usually accompanied by clear skies. After mid-September, strong gales become frequent and prolonged.

(370) Water can be obtained from small streams in Security Cove, Goodnews Bay, and Carter Bay. In the vicinity of Eek Island, the river water is fresh at all stages of the tide; it is very muddy, but the silt settles readily.

(371) Chart 16380

(372) The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea about 200 miles northwest of Unimak Pass, consist of St. Paul, St. George, Otter, and Walrus Islands; the latter two are small and uninhabited. St. Paul and St. George have the largest and most numerous fur seal rookeries in the world. The group is under the jurisdiction of the National Marine Fisheries Service and is patrolled during the sealing season by vessels of the U.S. Coast Guard, under provisions of the international treaty governing sealing. From June 1 to October 15, the fur seal breeding and birthing season, landing is forbidden at the rookeries in the vicinity of English Bay, Reef Point, Lukanin Point, Polovina Point, and Northeast Point on St. Paul Island. Walrus and Otter Islands are bird reservations, landing is prohibited at all times, unless a permit is obtained from the National Marine Fisheries Service. (See 50 CFR 216.81 through 216.87 chapter 2, for regulations.)

(373) Radiotelephone and radiotelegraph services are maintained on St. Paul Island and St. George Island. In addition, interisland radio and satellite communications are maintained.

(374) A supply vessel makes several trips a year between Seattle and the Pribilof Islands (St. George and St. Paul).

(375) There are no landlocked harbors about the islands, but safe anchorage is always available on the lee sides. Residents of St. Paul Island say that the prevailing wind during the summer is from the northeast, which makes Village Cove on St. Paul Island a good anchorage in all but severe southwest winds. The bottom in Village Cove is black sand, and the holding ground is good. During southwest winds good anchorage is available in Lukanin Bay on the southeast side of St. Paul Island.

(376) Weather, Pribilof Island Vicinity
(377) Fogs are especially thick and prevalent in this vicinity in the summer, and navigation is attended with difficulty and danger. A navigator should plan to make landfalls in the Pribilof Islands during the summer based on no land being visible. One annoying characteristic of the area is very thick fog accompanying strong winds. Logs from survey vessels indicate that a typical summer day in the Pribilof Islands is as follows: Dense fog at daylight, vessels anchored 200 yards distant not visible, calm sea, light airs; by noon intermittent sun, a wet drifting fog, gentle breeze; by evening a dense fog, winds increased to force 6. Dense fog with visibility less than 0.5 mile is more common around St. Paul Island than around St. George Island. An unusual characteristic off North Anchorage, St. George Island, was clear visibility along the shore accompanied by dense curtainlike fog to seaward.

(378) Winds do not continue to blow from the same quarter for any length of time. From December through April winds blow from the northeast more than from the other directions. After September 1, gales are frequent and violent, and blow from all directions.

(379) Ice
(380) The Pribilofs are near the south limit of the ice in Bering Sea. On rare occasions the icefields extend as far as 35 miles south of St. George Island. In 7 years of National Weather Service ice records at St. Paul Island, no sea ice at all was reported in 3 years. In the other 4 years, navigation remained easy throughout 1 year and became restricted to full-powered vessels for short periods in March and April of 3 years; at no time did navigation become suspended or require the use of an icebreaker.

(381) In 1974, a pinnacle was reported 68 miles west-northwest of St. Paul Island in 57°39.2'N., 173°24.0'W. (see chart 16006). Depth of water over the pinnacle is not known.

(382) Chart 16381

(383) St. George Island the southernmost of the Pribilof Islands, consists mainly of high volcanic hills and ridges, and its entire coast is a precipitous cliff except for a few miles on the north side and short intervals at Garden Cove and Zapadni Bay. The east and west extremities of the island, Tolstoi Point and Dalnoi Point are bold promontories. High Bluffs on the north side of the island, 1,012 feet high, is a prominent landmark and is visible from St. Paul Island, a distance of nearly 40 miles, on a clear day.

(384) St. George Harbor on the southeast side of Zapadni Bay, is the only harbor on St. George Island. The channel is dredged and in 1993-2002, had a controlling depth of 17 feet. The entrance is protected by breakwaters and marked by a 076.4° lighted range and a daybeacon. The north breakwater is marked by a light. There are two docks on the east side of the basin; north dock is 60 feet and south dock is 75 feet, both with 19 feet alongside and staging areas. An additional 250 feet of moorage is provided by dolphins on the west side with 22 feet alongside. The harbormaster assigns berths (telephone 907-859-2263) and monitors VHF-FM channels 16 and 12. Water, sewage pumpout, a boat ramp, and marine supplies are available. The harbor is owned and operated by the village of St. George. Anchorage can be had at North Anchorage, Garden Cove, and Zapadni Bay, according to the direction of the wind; the anchorages are poor except with the wind directly off the land. At a distance generally not greater than 2 miles from the island the depth of the water is but little less than the surrounding sea, and in thick weather it is not safe to depend upon soundings for picking up the land unless sure of the position. Vessels should not approach the island in less than 12 fathoms of water. There are no outlying dangers except the rock awash 0.6 mile northeast of East Landing, and the small reefs at Zapadni Bay and North Anchorage. A rocky shoal, covered 1¾ fathoms, is 9.3 miles 078° from Tolstoi Point.

(385) The anchorage in Zapadni Bay on the southwest side of the island, in 10 fathoms, affords shelter with winds from east-northeast to north-northwest. A reef extends about 0.2 mile offshore south of the anchorage.

(386) With north winds, a landing may sometimes be made at Garden Cove south of Tolstoi Point, on the sand beach. The anchorage affords shelter from northwest winds, but with the exception of a small area the bottom is rocky.

(387) Currents
(388) In the open water the tidal current is rotary, turning clockwise. Along the north and south shores of the island the current in general sets east on the flood and west on the ebb. The largest velocity observed over a period of about 6 days in July and August was about 1.5 knots. With opposing wind and current, tide rips occur off Tolstoi and Dalnoi Points. These rips are not heavy enough to be of any consequence, except that to strangers they appear to be breakers. The water is deep off both points, which can be passed close-to with safety.

(389) The approach to North Anchorage is marked by a private marker about 0.5 mile north of St. George. The most prominent landmarks in the village of St. George are the white roofs of the quadrangle of sheds, low down at the water’s edge. The roofs loom up first through the fog. Also conspicuous is a tight group of buildings on the slope and ridge back from the beach. Most easily identified is the Russian Orthodox church whose bell tower has a green onion-shaped roof topped by a white St. Andrew’s cross.

(390) Vessels should keep the street which extends through the village bearing 164°. Good anchorage will be found about 700 yards from the landing. There is swinging room for a 400-foot vessel riding to 45 fathoms of chain.

(391) The landing is a square block of reinforced concrete next to a cutting in the rocks. The area around the landing, and for about 75 feet to seaward, practically bares at extreme low water. The landing can be used by small shallow-draft boats 3 hours on either side of high water. A launching ramp is at North Anchorage.

(392) East Landing just northeast of the village, is better protected from a west swell. A ledge awash is a short distance off the landing. If desired, a boat will come out to anchored vessels when landing is practicable.

(393) Local magnetic disturbance
(394) Differences of as much as 11° from the normal variation have been observed on St. George Island.

(395) Pilotage, St. George
(396) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the waters of the State of Alaska.

(397) The Bering Sea is served by the Alaska Marine Pilots. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(398) The U.S. Public Health Service maintains a Native Health Services clinic in the village of St. George.

(399) Communications
(400) St. George Airport provides air services four times a week. Peninsula Airways Aircraft Charter will provide air transportation in an emergency.

(401) Chart 16382

(402) Otter Island off the south side of St. Paul Island, has an abrupt bluff 288 feet high at its southwest end, slopes gradually to the north, and rises again in a crater, about 141 feet high, at its extreme east end. Foul ground, marked by kelp, extends about 0.8 mile from the island on its south, southwest, and north sides. The north side, from Crater Point to Northwest Reef is clear of dangers. Probably the best anchorage near the island is in 9½ fathoms, black sand and broken shells, with the northeast extremity of Crater Point bearing 185° distant 0.5 mile. This island must be approached with great caution in thick weather, and at all times a vessel should keep out of kelp. A 6-fathom shoal is 2.1 miles east-northeast of Otter Island.

(403) Between Otter Island and Reef Point, St. Paul Island, the tidal currents are strong, and with heavy winds the tide rips are dangerous especially on the ebb current. In 1976, the NOAA Ship SURVEYOR observed currents setting northwest at about 2.5 knots about 2.1 miles southwest of the southwest end of Otter Island.

(404) Walrus Island off the east side of St. Paul Island, is low, about 39 feet high, level on top, and composed of irregular masses of volcanic rock. It is very hard to pick up in thick weather. It is about 0.4 mile long and 0.1 mile wide. Anchorage in emergency situations can be had on either side of it, 0.3 to 0.5 mile offshore, in 10 to 15 fathoms. Landing can be made with smooth water, the best place being a small cove at the southwest corner. The island is a bad place to make in a fog. Parts of Otter and Walrus Islands are covered with sea birds in the breeding season.

(405) Walrus Island is a Steller sea lion rookery site. There is a 3-mile vessel exclusionary zone around the entire island. (See 50 CFR 224.103 chapter 2, for limits and regulations.)

(406) Current
(407) Current observations made in July and August west of Walrus Island show that the current is rotary turning clockwise, with velocities exceeding 2 knots at times.

(408) St. Paul Island the northernmost of the Pribilof Islands, is about 235 miles northwest from Unimak Pass. The west and southwest parts of St. Paul Island are high and mountainous, with precipitous cliffs at the coast. The rest of the island is a comparatively low, rolling plateau, with a number of extinct volcanic peaks scattered over its surface. Bogoslof Hill 590 feet high, a conical crater near the center of the island, and Polovina Hill double-peaked and 470 feet high, near the east end, are conspicuous and the best landmarks in clear weather when coming from south. From this latter hill the island stretches away, in a low, narrow neck to Hutchinson Hill about 100 feet high, on Northeast Point. W of Lukanin Bay the coast of the south side of the island is rocky, with bluffs at the points. The shore of the rest of the island is generally a sand beach, with rocks in the vicinities of the seal rookeries. A tall loran tower is about 2.2 miles north-northeast of the village of St. Paul, and an aerolight is about 1.1 miles east of the tower.

(409) A rocky ledge covered 2.4 fathoms with no visible kelp is 5 miles northeast of Northeast Point. Kelp-marked reefs extend about 0.4 mile southeast from the two low points south of Northeast Point. A dangerous ledge with two rocks covered 1.4 fathoms is 1.1 miles north of Hutchinson Hill. With a moderate swell the sea breaks over these rocks.

(410) On the north side of St. Paul Island, depths of 5 fathoms or more are 1 mile offshore.

(411) A shoal covered 2 fathoms is 7.5 miles wesr of St. Paul Island.

(412) Breakers extend 0.3 mile or more off Southwest Point.

(413) A dangerous ledge, usually marked by breakers, extends 0.6 mile southwest and south from Reef Point the south point of the island.

(414) Sea Lion Rock about 0.3 mile south of Reef Point, is prominent when approaching the point from an east or west direction.

(415) A reef extends about 0.3 mile off Stony Point the northeast point of Lukanin Bay.

(416) Pilotage, St. Paul
(417) Pilotage, except for certain exempted vessels, is compulsory for all vessels navigating the waters of the State of Alaska.

(418) The Bering Sea is served by the Alaska Marine Pilots. (See Pilotage, General (indexed), chapter 3, for the pilot pickup stations and other details.)

(419) Anchorage
(420) The usual anchorage at St. Paul Island is west of Village Cove between Zapadni Point and Reef Point in the vicinity of the 10-fathom curve. The bottom, in general, is sandy, but rocky bottom will be found in the vicinity of Zapadni Point and Tolstoi Point. Anchorage can be found northeast from Reef Point, off Black Bluffs and East Landing, and in Lukanin Bay.

(421) Lukanin Bay has a sandy bottom and is used when west swells make the Village Cove anchorage undesirable. From the Village Cove anchorage the village of St. Paul is obscured by a bluff although it is in full view from the Black Bluffs anchorage.

(422) In the spring (April-May) as the ice edge moves north, the winds can radically change its configuration. Vessels anchoring in Village Cove or other areas around the Pribilof Islands should maintain a careful ice watch so as not to become entrapped.

(423) Vessels should not attempt to ride out a gale at anchor near the islands, unless to leeward and well sheltered. The surf is apt to make quickly and is dangerous on the weather side of the island.

(424) Prominent in the approach to the anchorage off Village Cove are the three large steel tanks on a bluff just west of the village. Also on the bluff, just to the north, are eight smaller white tanks. Vessels should steer 082° for the center of the three large steel tanks and anchor in about 8 fathoms with Reef Point and the center of Sea Lion Rock in range.

(425) Zapadni Point Tolstoi Point and Reef Point 2.5 miles west-northwest, 0.6 mile northwest, and 1 mile southwest of Village Cove, respectively, are the best radar targets in the area at a range of 5 to 7 miles.

(426) In 1993, an obstruction with an unknown depth was reported 0.7 mile southeast of Zapadni Point in about 57°08'12N., 170°19'54W.

(427) Village Cove serves as a refuge for the fishing fleet of the Bering Sea and is protected by breakwaters marked by lights. There are three main docks in the harbor with depths of 9.5 to 23 feet alongside and deck heights of 11 feet. The small boat float has a depth of 15 feet alongside. Caution should be used when approaching the harbor as heavy swells may still break near the entrance.

(428) The harbormaster can be reached on VHF-FM channel 16, except on weekends and after normal business hours. At these times communications are routed through the Public Safety Office on VHF-FM channel 16.

(429) St. Paul about midway along a peninsula extending from the south side of St. Paul Island, has small wooden bright-colored homes with dark-colored roofs, a church, hotel, a small hospital, several large buildings, and a machine shop with limited facilities. The hospital patients requiring surgery are transferred to Anchorage by jet medevac.

(430) A commercial airline provides weekly mail and passenger service to and from Anchorage via Cold Bay or Dutch Harbor when weather permits. A weather station is on St. Paul Island. The weather station monitors CB channel 9.

(431) Landing is forbidden at the fur seal rookeries on St. Paul Island during the breeding season, June 1 to October 15.

(432) Weather, St. Paul Vicinity
(433) The climate is typically maritime, resulting in considerable cloudiness, heavy fog, high humidity, and rather well restricted daily temperature ranges. Humidities remain uniformly high from May to late September, and during the summer period there is almost continuous low cloudiness and occasional heavy fog. June, July, and August are the foggiest months. On average, 205 days in a year have fog reported. The differences between average maximum and minimum temperatures for the entire year are only slightly above 8°F (4°C). Temperatures remain on the cool side even during the summer, and the highest temperature on record is 66°F (18.9°C) in August 1987. Extreme highs in summertime usually range around the middle fifties (12° to 14°C). Although record low readings fall well below the zero mark (-18°C) and each month from December through April have seen below zero (-18°F) readings, such extremely cold days are rather rare. On the average only 5 days each winter season have temperatures falling below the zero mark (-18°C). The lowest temperature on record is -19°F (-28.3°C) in March 1971.

(434) Despite an environment of high humidities, and days with precipitation numbering 320 for a given year, precipitation on St. Paul Island is surprisingly light. The annual average is slightly below 24 inches (610 mm), which is just below the average for Alaska as a whole. The greatest 24-hour precipitation on record fell slightly short of 2 inches (51 mm, October 1949). The wettest year on record, 1964, had 36.60 inches (929.6 mm) of precipitation and the driest year, 1977, saw only 9.82 inches (249.4 mm) for the year. April is generally the driest month, with a gradual increase of precipitation until a mean monthly total of over 3 inches (76 mm) is reached during August and slightly below for September and October. This is followed by a gradual decrease during the succeeding months until the return of April. On average, 165 days per year record snowfall averaging about 56 inches (1422 mm) in a year. March is the snowiest month averaging ten inches (254 mm) and 25 days with snow during the month. Only July, and August have been snow free. Thunderstorms are extremely rare on St. Paul Island. The only isolated occurrence ever reported was in June 1939.

(435) Frequent windy periods are characteristic of the island area throughout the year. Frequent storms occur from October to April, and these often are accompanied by gale force winds to produce general blizzard conditions. The mean wind speed for the WSO is 14 knots but the winter months average nearly 17 knots. Gales have occurred during every month except June and July. Under the influence of prolonged north and northeast winds between January and April, the ice pack occasionally moves south to surround the island. During recent years, the south limit of this movement has been between St. Paul and St. George Islands, some 40 miles (74 km) to the southeast of St. Paul.

(436) (See Appendix B for St. Paul Island Climatological table.)

(437) Currents
(438) Around the island the current sets northwest on the flood and south on the ebb, following the trend of the shore. The greatest velocity occurs at Northeast Point and between Reef Point and Otter Island. Average velocity at strength of current is 1 to 2 knots, but with continued strong winds from one direction it may increase to 3 knots.

(439) There are heavy rips around Northeast and Southwest Points, also between Reef Point and Otter Island, where they are worse on the ebb. The tides and tidal currents are greatly influenced by the winds.

(440) Chart 16006

(441) Nunivak Island in the Bering Sea near the Alaska mainland, is about 330 miles north of Unimak Pass. Dangerous shoals and uneven bottom have been reported and are shown on the chart; the island should be approached with extreme caution.

(442) From west, Nunivak Island shows gentle slopes terminating seaward in reddish cliffs 150 to 462 feet high. The highest point of the west part of the island rises to 866 feet 10 miles east-southeast from Cape Mohican. Near the center of the island is Roberts Mountain 1,675 feet high, the highest of a group; this mountain is built up of a series of volcanic benches, the top being the steep side of a breached crater. The east end of the island is low, for the most part, except for some low hills and Twin Mountain a breached crater 627 feet high.

(443) In clear weather the island generally can be made out for 30 miles from any direction. The island is inhabited by herds of reindeer.

(444) In 1899 the U.S.S. CORWIN cruised completely around Nunivak Island, following the shore and outlying islands at a distance of about 2 miles, and found general depths of 7 to 10 fathoms. The coast is generally abrupt and rocky, with numerous bights in which anchorage was found in 3½ to 7 fathoms.

(445) Cape Mohican the west point of Nunivak Island, is a narrow promontory about 2 miles long. The point of the cape is a cliff 266 feet high from which the terrain descends east to 150 feet for 2 miles before ascending gradually to the higher ground inland.

(446) Cape Mohican Light (60°12'41N., 167°27'28W.), 285 feet (86.9 m) above the water, is shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark on the end of the cape.

(447) A shoal about 1 mile wide extends 5 miles 050° from Cape Mohican and has depths of 2 to 4 fathoms over it. The shoal area should be avoided until it has been completely surveyed. The 10-fathom curve extends 7.5 miles 058° from the cape.

(448) In 1979, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter IRONWOOD reported possible shoreline charting inaccuracies on the northwest side of Nunivak Island between Cape Mohican and Nash Harbor. Until surveys are made of this area, mariners are advised to use caution when using shoreline features for navigation.

(449) Nash Harbor on the north coast of Nunivak Island 16 miles east of Cape Mohican, is a good anchorage except with winds from northwest through north to northeast. The coast to the west of the harbor is fairly high and is backed by cliffs, while to the northeast it is low. The south side of the harbor has a sand-and-gravel beach at the foot of a 30-foot bluff. The bottom slopes gradually from 10 fathoms outside Nash Harbor to the beach at the head.

(450) The harbor is 1.5 miles wide and about 1 mile in depth. The bottom is sand except near the rocky parts of the shore, and there are no indications of dangers over a large 4- to 6-fathom area in midharbor. Boats usually land off the village of Nash Harbor on the west side of a creek that empties into the southwest part of the harbor; however, there are boulders close to shore at this landing as well as in the cove on the west shore. The creek drains a lake, but the water is brackish because the lake level is affected by the tides. The lake freezes every winter and makes an excellent landing place for airplanes fitted with skis; it is also large enough for seaplanes to use in summer.

(451) In 1951, the survey ship PATHFINDER made the approach to Nash Harbor (see chart 16006) on course 090° for 21 miles from a position 4.5 miles north of Cape Mohican until abeam of the harbor, then steered 180° for midharbor to anchorage in 6 fathoms.

(452) Cape Etolin 40 miles east-northeast of Cape Mohican, is the northernmost point of Nunivak Island. The cape is a narrow strip of land with a ridge of low hills midway along its outer part; it appears as two or more islands from a distance west. A small island is about 2 miles off the end of the cape; between are ledges. A dangerous rocky area extends west from Cape Etolin for about 1.5 miles.

(453) Cape Etolin Light (60°25'48N., 166°09'38W.), 40 feet above the water, is shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark near the north tip of Cape Etolin.

(454) Mekoryuk about 2 miles west of the inner end of Cape Etolin, and Nash Harbor are the only villages on Nunivak Island that are inhabited the year round. A weather station is maintained at Mekoryuk, and the village has weekly mail service by air; radiotelegraph communication is maintained.

(455) Anchorage
(456) Anchorage can be found northwest of Mekoryuk in 25 to 32 feet of water.

(457) In 1951, the PATHFINDER anchored on the west side of Cape Etolin, 4.5 miles northwest of Mekoryuk, in 5 fathoms, sand bottom, on bearings 080° to north tangent of Cape Etolin, 089°30' to highest knoll on Cape Etolin, 122° to center of schoolhouse, the largest building in Mekoryuk, and 246° to north tangent of point 5.5 miles to the southwest. From this anchorage the north tangent of Cape Etolin was open 001°30' from the south tangent of Cape Vancouver. The anchorage was approached from west on a heading of 092° for the highest knoll on Cape Etolin. The approach should be made with caution as the area shoals rapidly and the reference points are apt to be obscured by fog except during north winds. From the anchorage, a launch ran on a general course of 120° toward Mekoryuk for 3 miles and obtained a minimum depth of 25 feet.

(458) Shoals covered 3 fathoms have been reported about 7.5 miles north and 15.5 miles northwest from Cape Etolin, and a shoal covered 4½ fathoms has been reported 12.5 miles north-northeast from the cape; all with deep water surrounding them. Keeping Cape Vancouver bearing north of 086° Cape Etolin can be rounded when coming from west in 10 fathoms. With Cape Vancouver bearing 086° or east of this bearing, considerable shoal water and irregular depths are found.

(459) Cape Etolin Anchorage the bight on the east side of the cape, has fair holding ground in 2 to 5 fathoms, but is open to the northeast. Near the south side, and about 0.3 mile from the head of the bight, is anchorage in 3 fathoms; the holding ground is gravel and only moderately good. Farther out, it is deeper but more exposed to the strong tidal currents and rips of Etolin Strait the wide passage between Nunivak Island and the mainland.

(460) Several shoals have been reported in Etolin Strait. In 1968, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter NORTHWIND, in transiting the strait, reported that depths in some cases were found to be greater or lesser than now charted; mariners are advised to use extreme caution.

(461) In 1971, the Coast Guard Cutter STORIS observed the following conditions on the east side of Etolin Strait: Depths of 2½ fathoms were found in 59°59.0'N., 164°56.0'W. Proceeding essentially west from that position, depths increased to 5 fathoms, then quickly shoaled to 1¾ fathoms in 60°01.0'N., 165°05.0'W. The bottom was sand and mud. The 3-fathom shoal centered in 59°49.0'N., 164°55.0'W. was found in charted position. The STORIS further reported that the depths were found to be generally as noted on chart 16006 in the area southeast of the charted shoals and changes in depth were very gradual.

(462) In 1977, the NOAA Ship MILLER FREEMAN reported shoaling to 4¼ fathoms centered in about 59°49.9'N., 165°33.0'W. Caution is advised in this area.

(463) Cape Manning is 15 miles southeast of Cape Etolin. Triangle Island is 5 miles northwest of Cape Manning and 2 miles from the nearest shore of the main island, with foul ground reported between.

(464) Cape Corwin 20 miles south of Cape Manning, is the easternmost point of Nunivak Island. The cape is low and has a rocky shore on its north side. The two peaks of Twin Mountain are 7 miles north-northwest of the point of Cape Corwin and can be seen for 25 miles in clear weather.

(465) Cape Mendenhall 18 miles west-southwest of Cape Corwin, is the southernmost point of Nunivak Island. The cape is 255 feet high and has a low rock bluff 10 to 20 feet high on its east side. A 2¾-fathom shoal is 4 miles southwest of Cape Mendenhall.

(466) During a N blow in August 1951, the survey ship EXPLORER found satisfactory anchorage in 8½ fathoms about 10 miles northwest of Cape Mendenhall. The anchorage is about 1.5 miles off the beach of the second bight northwest of the cape and is protected from northwest through north to east. As the ship approached on a northeast course, the water shoaled uniformly from 14 to 8½ fathoms. The fine gray sand bottom is good holding ground. Currents along the coast had velocities estimated to be as much as 1 knot.

(467) From Cape Mendenhall the coast extends northwest for about 40 miles to what may be called the southwest cape of Nunivak Island. The few soundings obtained show deep water fairly close to shore, and it is apparently safe to follow the shore at a distance of 2 miles. Depths of 4¾ to 6 fathoms have been found on an extensive shoal about 10 miles off this stretch of coast.

(468) The southwest cape has cliffs 100 to 150 feet high; the summit is gently sloping tundra. In the small cove east of the cape, landings can be made on the sandy beach in front of the few barabaras of Tachikuga an abandoned native village. Water can be obtained from the stream just east of the abandoned village; at low water the stream is fresh to its mouth. Temporary anchorage is possible in 7 to 9 fathoms about 0.8 mile off the entrance to the cove.

(469) From the southwest cape, the coast of Nunivak Island extends north for about 8 miles to Cape Mohican. Along this stretch are impassable cliffs 150 to 450 feet high, and there are no landing places. The 6-fathom curve is about 1.3 miles offshore.

(470) Currents
(471) On the north and southwest sides of Nunivak Island the current has a large diurnal inequality. Northeast of Cape Mohican a 4-hour series of current observations in July 1951 showed a northeast current which at strength had a velocity of 1.8 knots. Observations made in June and August 1951 west of Cape Etolin showed tidal currents setting along the shore in both directions with velocities of about 1 knot at strength of current. On the east side of the island in Etolin Strait, it is stated that tidal currents are so strong that the middle portion does not freeze over in winter. (See the Tidal Current Tables for predictions off the west coast of Nunivak Island.)

(472) Ice
(473) Navigation is difficult from mid-December to mid-May and usually is suspended from early January to late March.

(474) St. Matthew Island and adjoining islands are 145 miles west from Nunivak Island. They are rocky, uninhabited islands whose shores are poorly charted except for a small area between Sugarloaf Mountain and Pinnacle Island. St. Matthew Island is a succession of hills and low valleys. During the season of navigation, fog is prevalent in this vicinity. Anchorage can be made with an offshore wind on the north or south sides of the island.


(476) Cape Upright the east point of St. Matthew Island, is high and vertical, and the land in its immediate vicinity is mountainous. A mountain 1,505 feet high is 0.7 mile back of the cape, and another mountain 1,280 feet high is 0.9 mile southwest of the cape. Off the cape is a detached rock 25 feet high. west of the highland of the cape is a low neck, apparently of sand, and the cape might be easily mistaken for a detached island.

(477) Glory of Russia Cape, the north point of St. Matthew Island, is also high and mountainous. A 1,475-foot peak is about 1.3 miles south of the cape.

(478) Numerous detached rocks along the shores of St. Matthew Island should not be approached too closely. On the island is an abundance of freshwater in streams and lakes.

(479) Sugarloaf Mountain 1,380 feet high, is 11.5 miles west from Cape Upright. From Sugarloaf Mountain the coast trends about 0.8 mile southeast to the westernmost point of a wide bight that extends to Cape Upright. A rock is about 350 yards S of this point.

(480) Good anchorage may be had in about 14 fathoms, sheltered from winds between southeast and southwest, in a bight on the east side of St. Matthew Island, about 10 miles northwest of Cape Upright, with Sugarloaf Mountain bearing 220° and west of some rocks which show well out of the water and should not be approached closely. Landing is difficult with any swell, as the beach is stony and steep. In 1951, the PATHFINDER anchored frequently in 9 to 10 fathoms, about 3.5 miles west-northwest of Sugarloaf Mountain, with broken bottom and satisfactory holding ground. The PATHFINDER also anchored in about 14 fathoms, with protection from north gales, 4 miles east by south of Sugarloaf Mountain.

(481) Sarichef Strait is a 2.5-mile-wide passage between St. Matthew Island and Hall Island. Tidal currents and rips were not found to be strong in 1951. The PATHFINDER obtained a least depth of 10 fathoms in two passages of the strait near the middle, but the records indicated that shoaler depths could be expected.

(482) Hall Island about 3 miles north of St. Matthew Island, is 1,665 feet high and is rugged on its northeast, north and west sides; the southeast point is low. Elephant Rock is a large detached rock off Cape Hall the north point of the island, and Arre Rocks are several smaller detached rocks off the southwest side of the island. Anchorage is available in 10 fathoms in the bight on the southeast side of the island.

(483) In 1993, the Canadian Survey Ship John P. Tully reported discolored water, confused and mounting seas, and being abruptly set to the east with currents of about 3 knots when passing on the east side of Hall Island about 2 miles off Elephant Rock.

(484) Pinnacle Island with its spires and needle formations making a striking appearance, rises abruptly from the sea with scarcely a place for a boat landing. The north end of the island is 8 miles south-southwest of Sugarloaf Mountain. Pinnacle Island is 1.4 miles long, 0.3 mile wide, and rises to 1,250 feet midway of its length.

(485) An unusual submerged ridge extends from the north end of Pinnacle Island in a 021° direction to the shore of St. Matthew Island. The ridge is about 300 yards wide between the 10-fathom curves. The least depth found in 1951 was 4 fathoms, and there were several depths of 5 fathoms. The best water over the ridge was 9 fathoms 1.6 miles southwest of the point below Sugarloaf Mountain. Tide rips occur along the ridge with fresh winds.

(486) Rocks and islets 55 to 95 feet high are off the south shore of Pinnacle Island. Gull Rock 93 feet high, is 0.5 mile west-northwest of the south end of Pinnacle Island.

(487) A rock covered 23 feet was reported 127 miles southwest of St. Matthew Island in 58°38.0'N., 175°02.5'W.

(488) Chart 16220

(489) St. Lawrence Island is in the north part of the Bering Sea about 120 miles south of Bering Strait.

(490) The east end of this island is usually made by vessels bound into Norton Sound, and in clear weather can be seen from a distance of 30 to 35 miles. From Southeast Cape a ridge of mountains extends in a north direction across the island, and another ridge extends in a north direction from Apavawook Cape to Northeast Cape. Between these two ridges a deep bight makes in from south, and at its head very low land extends north across the island. The shore of the east end of the island is generally a low sand beach with outlying rocks; the mountain ridges begin 0.5 to 2 miles back from the beach.

(491) Northeast Cape east end of St. Lawrence Island, is low tundra land, with numerous freshwater lakes. The cape is 2 miles wide to the foot of a mountain that rises abruptly and has a peak 1,435 feet high. This peak can be seen on a clear day for 35 miles or more. At 0.3 and 0.6 mile from the end of the cape are two hummocks 94 and 280 feet high, respectively; the lower hummock is in 63°18'N., 168°42'W.

(492) Although the bottom is irregular off the point of the cape, no breakers were noticed while passing it in rough weather. The north shore of St. Lawrence Island, for 10 miles west of Northeast Cape, is a low sand beach and grassy tundra with numerous freshwater lakes. Anchorage with shelter from south or southeast winds can be had along this shore about 2 miles from the beach in 8 to 9 fathoms; the holding ground is not good, the bottom being gravel. At a point on the north shore 6 miles west of Northeast Cape, breakers extend 1 mile offshore.

(493) From the Northeast Cape the east coast of St. Lawrence Island has a general south trend for 4 miles to a point where a 450-foot-high spur from the higher hills reaches to within 0.5 mile of the beach; along this stretch the 6-fathom curve is 0.8 to 1 mile offshore.

(494) The coast then trends south-southwest for another 4 miles, then curves west and north for 5 miles, forming Apavawook Cape which is so rounding that it has no definite point. This entire stretch of coast is a low, narrow strip behind which is a large lagoon. The mountains are about 2 miles inland and about 900 feet high.

(495) Punuk Islands 4 to 5 miles south-southeast from Apavawook Cape, are a group of three small islands 1.5 miles long; the northeast end of the group is about 13.2 miles 192° from Northeast Cape. The northernmost and largest island has two marked rocky hummocks, the higher being 230 feet high; on the southwest end of the island are the remains of a native village. The southernmost island is an irregular mass of rocks, the highest point about 75 feet above water. Between these islands is a low, sandy islet, which is separated from the other two by narrow channels completely obstructed by ledges, over which the sea breaks. The shores of all the islands are foul, and a ledge extends south from the southernmost island; a rocky shoal covered 3½ fathoms is 1.4 miles south of the southernmost island; over 7 fathoms can be carried 2 miles south of the islands. A reef covered 2 to 3 fathoms extends about 0.7 miles north-northwest of the southernmost island. Vessels should approach these islands with caution.

(496) A reconnaissance survey in 1951 indicated a clear approach to good anchorage in north and west weather off Maknik Lagoon northwest of Punuk Islands. The anchorage, in 6½ fathoms, is in 63°09'N., 169°15'W., about 1.5 miles off the beach. All soundings showed a uniform slope to the 6-fathom curve, where there is a break and a steeper slope to the beach. Maknik Lagoon is behind the low sand barrier beach.

(497) Heavy breakers have been observed in the channel between Punuk Islands and Apavawook Cape; vessels should not attempt to pass through. A depth of 3 fathoms is 1.7 miles northwest of the northernmost and larger island. Several areas with 3½ fathoms are in this passage. From east the islands can be approached as close as 1 mile. It is reported that 2.8 miles 220° from Punuk Islands the flood current was observed setting about 024° with a maximum velocity of 1.1 knots.

(498) Southeast Cape is about 5 miles across on its south face; the east point of the cape slopes gradually to the water for 0.3 mile from the highland, and a reef extends about 0.5 mile southeast from the point. The west point is lower and slopes more gradually to the water for 3 miles from the highland, and a reef makes off from the point in a south direction for 2 to 3 miles. The bight between these points is very foul and should be avoided.

(499) Kialegak Point about 5 miles north-northeast of Southeast Cape, is a long sandspit strewn with rocks that extends in an east direction from the highland of the coast. There are breakers about 0.8 mile 355° from the end of the cape, and there may be others inside; a reef extends south from the south side of the sandspit for about 1 mile. The remains of a native village are on the sandspit.

(500) The bight between Cape Kialegak and Apavawook Cape has a uniform slope from 16 fathoms to the 10-fathom curve, where there is a steeper slope to the beach. The 10-fathom curve is about 2 miles off and parallels the shoreline. Good holding ground can be found in most parts of the bight with good anchorage in north and west weather. Within 3 miles of the Punuk Islands the holding ground is very poor and is not recommended.

(501) Northwest Cape the northwest end of St. Lawrence Island, 660 feet high, is a steep, black bluff and flat on top. A wide sand beach is west of the bluff. Gambell is a native village with a school and a store, open the year round. Small quantities of oil and gasoline are available. A visiting nurse calls at the village periodically. A small airstrip is available. Mail and supplies are flown in weekly from Nome. Radiotelegraph communication is maintained.

(502) The water is deep close to Northwest Cape, and anchorage can be had in 9 fathoms, rocky bottom, 0.5 mile offshore on either side of the point of the sand beach with Gambell village bearing 225°. In west winds, breakers have been observed that extend 400 yards northwest from the northwest tip of land about 1.7 miles west of Northwest Cape. The bay, 6 miles southeast of Northwest Cape, affords anchorage with protection from south and west winds, in 3 to 9 fathoms; sand and rocky bottom.

(503) The west end of the island, south of Northwest Cape, is rolling land. From Tatik Point around to the bay east of Southwest Cape the land is mountainous and abrupt close to the coast, being highest at Southwest Cape. Only a few families live at Southwest Cape.

(504) Several rock pinnacles, the largest of which is 25 feet high, are off the southwest tangent of Southwest Cape on the east side of the entrance to Murphy Bay.

(505) Between the highland east of Southwest Cape and Siknik Cape the land is low. A vessel reported striking a submerged rock about 2 miles offshore at a point about 16 miles northeast of Southwest Cape.

(506) A reef, bare at low water, makes off 1 mile in a 220° direction from Siknik Cape. The submerged part of this reef extends about 4 miles in a general 175° direction from the bare part. This reef is dangerous, as the water shoals abruptly when approaching the cape.

(507) The rest of the island is generally high and rolling. There are some submerged rocks in the bight west of Southeast Cape, and also some detached rocks showing off the north shore near Kookoolik Point and Savoonga Point. It is probable that with care an anchorage may be found almost anywhere around the island, but the shores must be approached with caution.

(508) Savoonga at the extreme end of Savoonga Point, has a school and a native store open the year round. Small quantities of gasoline, diesel fuel, and motor oil are available. Mail is delivered from Nome daily by aircraft. There is village clinic with a nurse. Radiotelegraph communication is maintained. Two white wind turbines, which generate electricity for the village, are visible 1 mile west of the village.

(509) A bar that extends northeast from the village breaks at low water. In 2009, the USCGC SPAR anchored 2 miles west-southwest of Savoonga Point in Koomlangeelkuk Bay near 63°40.4'N., 170°33.7'W., in 5 fathoms. The bay was found to be 3 to 7 fathoms about 0.1 mile from shore. The bottom is rocky and has poor holding ground in foul weather. Good anchorage has been reported about 1 mile west and 1 mile north of the village in 14 fathoms. Landing small craft at Savoonga is highly dependent on surf conditions. A barge landing point can be found on the southeast shore of Koomlangeelkuk Bay; this is also the best landing point for small boats in the vicinity of Savoonga.

(510) Currents
(511) The current velocity about 0.8 mile off Savoonga is about 1 knot on the flood setting northwest and 1.5 knots on the ebb setting east. The current velocity at other places around St. Lawrence Island is generally less than 1 knot. (See Tidal Current Tables for predictions.)

(512) Weather, Savoonga Vicinity
(513) During the ice-free months of May to November, the diurnal temperature range is only 5° to 10°F (3° to 6°C). From January through March, the range is 10° to 12°F (6° to 7°C). In the winter, passing cyclonic storms exert the major control on air temperatures. Mean monthly temperatures at Gambell range from 2.8°F (-16.2°C) in January to 49.3°F (9.6°C) in August. Extremes of -28°F (-33.3°C) have been recorded in March and 71°F (21.7°C) in July.

(514) Relative humidity at Gambell is high, usually 80 to 90 percent or more. At least a trace of precipitation occurs on 275 to 300 days a year, yet the annual total is only about 15 inches (381 mm), about half of which falls during July to October, the ice-free months. The greatest rainfall comes with southeast winds of cyclonic centers to the south of the island. Snow accumulation is at a maximum of about 2 to 2½ feet in March, and by the first week in June it remains only in drifts, some of which persist through the summer.

(515) During the winter, from October through April, the wind is prevailingly from the north or northeast and averages over 17 knots. The peak recorded velocity was 69 knots in October 1947 and was from the north. During the summer, the wind is more variable, being from the north or northwest about 30 percent of the time and from the southeast or southwest about 40 percent of the time. The mean summer velocity is 10 to 11 knots; the mean maximum is 33 to 35 knots.

(516) Throughout most of the year, and particularly in the summer from May to September, broken to overcast sky conditions prevail. Clear skies are seldom seen more than 2 or 3 days a month. The principal cloud types consist of fog, stratiform, and rarely cumuliform clouds at various levels. Most are generally below 10,000 feet. Low ceilings are most common during the summer. The visibility is over 7 miles for about 70 percent of the period June through September. The best visibility is in September.

(517) Navigation is difficult from mid-December to late May and is suspended during most of March and April.

(518) Warning
(519) The soil, surface waters, and vegetation of St. Lawrence Island are potentially contaminated by the microscopic eggs of a parasite that causes a long-term and sometimes fatal infection of the liver known as alveolar hydatid disease. Although this parasite occurs elsewhere on the west and north coasts of Alaska, it is unusually common on this island, where it is carried by mice, dogs, cats, and wild foxes. Visitors are warned to avoid contact with these animals and not to transport them under any circumstances from the island to other localities.

(520) Communications
(521) Daily air service is available to Savoonga and Gambell from Nome. An aerolight is shown from the Gambell airport 0.5 mile south of the town.

(522) Ships visit St. Lawrence Island infrequently. A Northland Marine Lines barge calls at Savoonga and Gambell two to three times a year. An Alaska Native Service vessel makes a trip or two each year, and one or two visits by Coast Guard cutters can be expected annually. Local vessels from Nome call occasionally.

(523) Transportation about the island in summer is mostly by aluminum or fiberglass skiffs, which are powered by outboard motors. Four-wheeler ATV's are used year-round as the primary mode of transportation. The trip from Savoonga to Gambell is reported to be about 5 hours by ATV.

(524) ATV's are available to rent. Weasels have proved their value on snow, on the tundra, and in small lakes; such vehicles can move over most of the island, except on the coarsest boulder fields and the steeper slopes.

(525) Landings can be made on almost any part of St. Lawrence Island during the summer. The surf is not generally heavy, except where brisk offshore winds pile up the shallow offshore water into large breakers. Supplies for Gambell are landed by whaleboat on both the north and west sides of the spit, depending upon weather and sea conditions. At Savoonga, supplies can only be landed during periods when a north wind is not blowing because of the heavy surf.

(526) Presence of Whales and Other Marine Mammals
(527) The waters around St. Lawrence Island are an important habitat for bowhead whales and other marine mammals, with the heaviest concentrations of whales, walrus and seals present during the months of September through June. Mariners are requested to maintain a sharp lookout, reduce the speed of the vessel and maneuver to avoid striking whales and other marine mammals.

(528) Presence of Native Subsistence Hunting and Fishing Vessels
(529) Small vessels (paddle, sail, outboard motor) are used by native subsistence hunters during the months of March to June and September to December in the waters west and north of St. Lawrence Island, up to 30 miles offshore. Mariners should maintain a sharp lookout for marine mammals and small vessels, and exercise caution when operating in their vicinity. A wide, closest point of approach is requested by the subsistence hunters in this area.

(530) Chart 16006

(531) Cape Vancouver (60°32.0'N., 165°24.0'W.), about 16 miles northeast from Nunivak Island, is a bold promontory, 1,132 feet high. The shoal from the mouth of the Kuskokwim River is thought to extend along the coast to Cape Vancouver, so that on the south side of the cape the water is shoal; about 6 miles west of the cape a 1.5-mile circular shoal covered 1½ fathoms was reported in 1957. Immediately off the end of the cape is deep water that extends about 5 miles along the north side of the bight on which the native village of Tununak (Tanunak) is situated. This bight is a series of mudflats mostly bare at low water. The BEAR anchored in 4½ fathoms about 1 mile off the south point of the bight and reported shoals that extend northwest off the mouth of that bight. Hazen Bay is also reported to be shallow.

(532) Hooper Bay 60 miles north of Cape Vancouver, and the second bay south of Cape Romanzof, appears to offer the best anchorage for moderate-draft vessels in the area between Cape Vancouver and Cape Romanzof. The recommended anchorage is 0.2 mile southeast of the east end of the sandspit, about 2.5 miles southeast of the village of Hooper Bay. The least depth found in the approach to the anchorage was 3½ fathoms on the series of sand ridges that parallel the beach. The anchorage is in 8 fathoms in the channel between the sandspit and a sandbar to the east that bares at low water.

(533) Off the end of the sandspit, the channel is about 0.3 mile wide and its axis is in a northeast-southwest direction. Both sides of the channel are very steep, and depths of as much as 13 fathoms were found close to the spit.

(534) Currents
(535) (See the Tidal Current Tables for predictions for Kokechik Bay.) There are two floods and two ebbs each day; the flood sets northeast and the ebb southwest.

(536) The village of Hooper Bay 62 miles north-northwest of Cape Vancouver and 17 miles south of Cape Romanzof, is the most prominent feature in the area. It is on the highest ground, and the school and tin-roofed buildings are visible for about 10 miles. To reach the anchorage, steer 075° for the village until within 2.5 miles of shore, then steer 130° until abeam of the east end of the sand dunes and within 1.1 miles of shore, then head for the anchorage off the sandspit.

(537) The village can be reached from the anchorage by small boat across the west end of the bay and up the creek along which the village is situated. The entrance to the creek is marked by stakes which should be left to starboard when entering. The limiting depth depends on the stage of tide but in 1994 depths of 2 to 4 feet were reported at low water in the channel. The entrance to the creek bares at low water, and the entire west end of the bay is very shallow, but there is deeper water inside the creek. There are no docks or piers for mooring; most boats either make fast to the shore or beach themselves. Services include telephone, mail stores, and a health clinic. There are daily flights to Bethel from a nearby airfield; radiotelephone communications is maintained.

(538) Small boats drawing 1 to 4 feet, depending on the season of the year, can travel inland from Hooper Bay to the Yukon River. The route follows the Keoklivik River south and larger of the two emptying into Hooper Bay, to a junction with the Kashunuk River at the old village of Chevak; thence through a cutoff ending at the junction of the Aphrewn River and the Kashunuk River; thence up the Kashunuk River into Driftwood Slough about 5 miles S of the Yukon.

(539) Entering Keoklivik River can only be done by small boat. In 1994, the USCGC IRONWOOD reported that the river forms a delta at the mouth and a small channel leads through numerous sand bars, shoals, and mud flats into the river. The transit should be made at low water to find the channel through the flats. Chevak village reportedly marks the channel with a buoy and stakes, but local knowledge is still required. Once inside the river, depths of 5 to 25 feet were reported to Chevak. The village can be contacted via VHF-FM channel 73 by using the voice call “Corporation”. There are no piers or docks at Chevak, so small boats tie off to the shore or beach themselves. Telephone, mail, store, and a Village Public Safety Officer are available. There are daily flights from Chevak to Bethel.

(540) Driftwood Slough has two entrances from the Yukon. The one most used is about 2 miles downriver from Pilot Station which is about 115 miles above the mouth of Apoon Pass. The other entrance is about 12 miles above Mountain Village which in turn is about 85 miles above Apoon Pass. The part of the slough leading from this latter entrance meanders considerably and is little used. At the Yukon, Driftwood Slough is about 250 feet wide and is 1½ to 2 feet deep during the dry season.

(541) Following the ice breakup in the spring, the least depth along the inland route is about 3 feet; by early July it is about 1 to 1½ feet; and by early September, after the rainy season in August, it may be as much as 4 feet. The shallowest part of the passage is about 20 miles south-southwest of Pilot Station.

(542) This inland passage may also be entered from the Bering Sea by way of the Kashunuk River, which empties into the sea between Hooper Bay and Hazen Bay, or from Hazen Bay by way of the Aphrewn River.

(543) Kokechik Bay (also see chart 16240) is the funnel-shaped body of water on the south side of Cape Romanzof. The neck of the funnel is at the east end of the bay and is the mouth of the Kokechik River. On the seaward side of the bay a long narrow sandspit extends north from Dall Point for about 6 miles. On the spit is a ridge of low dunes that are visible about 5 miles to seaward on a clear day.

(544) About 0.8 mile north of the spit, a long narrow sand and mudflat, part of which bares at all stages of the tide, begins and extends to within 0.5 mile of Cape Romanzof. The gap between the spit and the flat is the best entrance to Kokechik Bay. Except for the deep water that extends 1 mile inside the entrance, the bay consists mostly of extensive flats 4 to 5 feet deep with numerous bars that bare at low water.

(545) About 1 mile off the entrance to Kokechik Bay is an extensive breaking shoal that bars approach from the north-northwest and west. The best approach to the bay is on an east-northeast course for Dall Point, which shows very well and is easily identified by radar in thick weather. From off Dall Point, steer a north course, paralleling the sandspit and about 0.8 mile off, and round the end of the spit at a distance of about 0.5 mile. The controlling depth along this course to the end of deep water 1 mile inside the entrance is 12 feet.

(546) Large vessels must anchor at least 5 miles west of the sandspit in 5 fathoms, sand bottom. Vessels up to 12-foot draft will find protected anchorage in the 10-fathom holes, one outside and the other inside the entrance to the bay. The outer anchorage, 0.8 mile northwest of the end of the sandspit, is between the previously described shoal and the spit, and has mud bottom. The inner anchorage is 0.8 mile northeast of the spit and has sand and mud bottom.

(547) Currents
(548) Tidal currents are estimated to have a velocity at strength of 1.5 to 2 knots in the entrance.

(549) Charts 16006, 16240

(550) Cape Romanzof (61°48.0'N., 166°06.0'W.), 85 miles north of Nunivak Island, is a bold and prominent headland with cliffs rising abruptly from the water over 1,200 feet along its west face; at the sharp extremity of the cape are remarkable perpendicular shafts of rocks on the side of the cliff. The cape is the west termination of the Askinuk Mountains; the highest 2,363 feet is about 5 miles from the cape, and can be seen a considerable distance at sea. An aero radiobeacon is on the cape.

(551) Current
(552) Past observations showed a diurnal tidal current velocity of nearly 0.5 knot about 7 miles southwest of Cape Romanzof.

(553) Wind effects are important at this location. Continued strong south winds will cause the current to set north continuously for days at a time, and a similar south current results from north winds. The greatest velocities during nearly a month of hourly surface observations were 2.2 knots north and 2 knots south; in each case the current was setting approximately with a wind of about 40 knots.

(554) The south end of Sand Islands is 4.5 miles northeast of Cape Romanzof. These two islands, Neragon Island and Krekatok Island extend in a general north and south direction about 13 miles, including the interval between them. The north island is mostly covered at high water.

(555) The coast trends in an east direction from Cape Romanzof 15 miles to the mouth of Kun River and throughout most of this distance is bordered by abrupt cliffs and hills gradually diminishing in elevation.

(556) Scammon Bay entered through a channel about 2.2 miles north of Cape Romanzof and just south of Neragon Island, is very shoal with numerous bars bare at low water, and continues to the mouth of Kun River. There are two small coves along its south side, Windy Cove and Kongishluk Bay respectively 1 and 9 miles from Cape Romanzof, but both are quite shoal. Depths off Cape Romanzof are 13 to 21 feet, but the water shoals quickly northeast, so there is little protection except for very light draft boats. A large shoal area with breakers is about halfway between the cape and Neragon Island and another shoal with depths of 8 feet is centered about 3.3 miles north of the cape. Along the highland forming the south shore of Scammon Bay, the depths are 3 to 5 feet throughout its length.

(557) The village of Scammon Bay is on the south shore at the entrance of Kun River. Radiotelegraph communication is maintained.

(558) The coast is low and marshy from Kun River north to the Yukon Delta. The waters along this stretch are extremely shallow and are navigated only by river boats.

(559) Black River 39 miles northeast of Cape Romanzof, is marked by Black River Entrance Light (62°21'20"N., 165°20'50"W.), 20 feet above the water and shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark on the east side of the entrance.

(560) Chart 16006

(561) Norton Sound is one of the important arms of the Bering Sea. Some supplies for Yukon River by way of St. Michael pass through it. The north shore is important because of the mining operations there. The south side of the entrance to the sound is occupied by the extensive Yukon Flats and should be avoided by deep-draft vessels. The rest of the sound generally has soundings of 8 to 12 fathoms; the greater depths are near the north side. Off Cape Nome and Cape Darby are spots with depths of 15 to 19 fathoms. The bottom of the sound is very even, and the depths decrease to the shore with marked regularity. There is driftwood on all the shores of the sound.

(562) Weather, Norton Sound Vicinity
(563) During the season of navigation the prevailing winds are south with variable force. Severe storms are usually from the southwest. June, with less severe winds, appears to be the best month for navigation. July is about the same, but the rainy season and southwest winds pick up in the latter part of the month and continue through August and part of September. September is usually somewhat drier, with more frequent winds from the north. Prevailing winds during October are north to northwest; the general weather is clearer and colder.

(564) Fog
(565) The remarks on fog in the Bering Sea apply to the region west of Cape Nome, but not to Norton Sound east of it. On entering the sound with thick weather in the Bering Sea, a vessel will find that the fog almost always thins out and gradually clears as the vessel proceeds up the sound. At St. Michael fogs are rare except in the spring when ice floes are close in to Norton Sound and the winds are west. With east winds the area is clear of fog.

(566) Mirage
(567) In the vicinity of St. Michael and Stuart Islands and the coast south, mirage often distorts the appearance of the land and sometimes greatly magnifies small objects.

(568) Because of this abnormal refraction, positions obtained by astronomic sights (especially on the flats) cannot be depended on and may be several miles in error although the sight seemed good.

(569) Charts 16006, 16240

(570) The Yukon Delta extends about 90 miles from Black River, 40 miles northeast by north from Cape Romanzof, to Apoon Pass. The land along the coast is only a foot or two above high water, is covered with low marsh grass, and is entirely lost to view when but a few miles offshore. The only landmarks visible in clear weather are the sharp peaks of Kusilvak Mountains and the Askinuk Mountains back of Cape Romanzof, all very distant and often obscured by clouds or mist. The extreme flatness of the land and the remarkable mirage effect, often seen over the shoals when bare, make the whole region deceptive at times.

(571) The river discharges by many mouths through the delta. The bars at the entrances have little depth, and the channels through the flats are narrow, crooked, and bordered by shoals bare at low water. They are also subject to constant change. Apoon Pass is the entrance used by the river boats.

(572) When well inside, the country on each side is covered with an almost continuous growth of willow and alder bushes. The water has a brownish white appearance, something like glacial water, without its fine, sharp grit. It has no unpleasant taste and is always fresh in the inner channels.

(573) The main channels are free from snags, though trees sometimes become temporarily lodged on the bars and quantities of driftwood are piled along the shores in places. Undoubtedly the ice carries off the snags when it goes out each season. The channels and banks show indications of changing rapidly both from erosion and deposits. Very probably much of this is effected each year during the breaking up of the ice, its consequent jams, and the great floods following.

(574) The 3-fathom curve is about 6 miles off Cape Romanzof and about 10 miles off the Yukon Delta and the shore of Pastol Bay, then comes close in to the shore of Stuart Island. From the cape to the delta, detached shoals with depths of 2½ to 5 fathoms are as much as 30 miles from shore. Deep-draft vessels should avoid depths less than 8 fathoms.

(575) There are several settlements along the passes of the Yukon Delta. Strangers are advised to seek local knowledge before entering the Yukon Delta passes. Local independent pilots from Alakanuk and other settlements upriver monitor VHF-FM channel 16; telephone (907) 238-3629.

(576) Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge extends from Kuskokwim Bay north to St. Michael Island and includes Nunivak Island. The refuge is a Marine Protected Area.

(577) Currents
(578) Currents varying from 0.5 to 1.5 knots have been observed in the delta channels. Greater velocities occur in the bar channels and up the river; none observed exceeded 3 knots.

(579) The prevailing winds in summer are northeast, east, and southeast. The strong blows are from the same directions, the most severe being the strong east winds that funnel from the Yukon Valley down low Unalakleet River Valley. In winter, 50-knot winds are common. The area has considerable mist and rain.

(580) Kwemeluk Pass 54 miles northeast of Cape Romanzof, is the southern most of the Yukon Delta passes. Sheldon Point Light (62°32'21"N., 165°01'13"W.), 18 feet above the water, is shown from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark and marks the entrance to the pass on the south side. The village of Sheldon Point is on the south side 5 miles above the mouth; river barges call here at irregular intervals during the summer.

(581) Kwikluak Pass which empties into the Bering Sea along the north side of the islands that separate it from Kwemeluk Pass, is the main south mouth of the Yukon River. Yukon River South Entrance Light (62°35'22"N., 164°57'42"W.), 20 feet above the water, is shown from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark and marks the entrance to the pass. Approaches to Kwikluak Pass are generally very shallow. Accurate soundings are not available due to the shifting shoals near the entrance. The approach recommended by the river pilot is Acharon Channel however, local knowledge is required to make the transit safely. Once through the river mouth, passage upriver should only be made with a pilot or with local knowledge. According to the local pilot, the limiting draft of the south entrance at high water is 15 feet. Pilotage for the south entrance can be obtained by radiotelephone on VHF-FM channel 68; call sign, WTH-5951 or arrangements can be made by calling “City of Emmonak” on channel 68. A seafood company which owns a processing plant upriver sets a series of seasonal orange buoys marking the channel, however these buoys are subject to change and are not reliable as navigational aids.

(582) The villages of Alakanuk and Kwiguk on the northwest bank 12 and 18 miles, respectively, above the mouth of Kwikluak Pass, have telephone communications and daily air transportation to Anchorage. Diesel fuel is available at the village of Kwiguk. Alakanuk has radio service. The village of Akulurak is on the southeast bank 17 miles above the mouth.

(583) Kwiguk Pass about 12.5 miles north of Kwikluak Pass, connects Bering Sea with Kwikluak Pass at the village of Kwiguk. A seasonal light marks the seaward entrance to the pass. Emmonak is a native village about 10 miles inside the entrance. There are no piers or docks at the village, skiffs or boats are either anchored, beached, or moored to shore. Using local knowledge, Emmonak can also be accessed from Kwikluak Pass. Pilotage can be obtained by radiotelephone, by calling Emmonak on VHF-FM channel 68; call sign, WTH-5951. Emmonak has fuel, water, mail, telephone, and airline services.

(584) Kawanak Pass and Kwikpak Pass have a common outlet to the sea about 30 miles north of Kwikluak Pass. A light marks the entrance to Kawanak and Kwikpak Passes.

(585) Head of Passes on Yukon River is the junction of Kwikluak and Kwikpak Passes at 62°30'N., 163°51'W.; the junction is 42 miles from the mouth of Kwikluak Pass and 53 miles from the mouth of Kwikpak Pass. Kawanak Pass and Apoon Pass join Kwikpak Pass 26 and 22 miles, respectively, above its mouth. By way of Kwikpak Pass, Head of Passes is 49 miles from the mouth of Kawanak Pass and 55 miles from the mouth of Apoon Pass.

(586) Pastol Bay at the northeast extremity of the Yukon Delta is about 25 miles wide between the delta on the west and Point Romanof on the east and has general depths of 1 to 6 feet.

(587) Apoon Pass at the head of Pastol Bay, is the principal approach to Yukon River from St. Michael. In common with the rest of this region, the surrounding country is only 1 to 2 feet above high water. The banks of Apoon Pass, to within about 2 miles of its mouth, are mostly covered with willow and alder bushes 8 to 10 feet high. At the mouth the land is more marshy, and a large area to the west appears to be entirely an open marsh. The channels and banks of the pass are subject to rapid changes from erosion and deposit.

(588) The open country east of Apoon Pass is mostly marsh, ponds, and tundra. The only high ground is Hogback Hill a rounded ridge about 300 feet high, 7 miles east of the pass and 2 miles back of the coast. A range of hills and mountains 10 to 20 miles back of the coast extends southwest to the first great bend in the Yukon.

(589) The approach to Apoon Pass is across unmarked shallow flats. The entrance to the pass is marked by a light. Because the depths are only 1 to 2 feet, all but the shallowest draft vessels must cross the flats at or near high water.

(590) Tide and current
(591) The tides at the entrance to Apoon Pass are greatly affected by winds, that may be strong enough to entirely obliterate the natural tides; north and east winds lower the water level, and south and southwest winds raise it. The ordinary outflowing current in Apoon Pass is much less rapid than that in other passes, but there is a tidal inflow and outflow with velocities that depend upon the particular range of the tide.

(592) Chaniliut on the south side 1 mile above the mouth of Apoon Pass, has a school and radiotelephone service. Kotlik is at the mouth of Kotlik River which empties into the south side of the pass 5 miles above the mouth.

(593) A seasonal light marks the junction of Apoon Pass and Okwega Pass 8 miles above the mouth.

(594) Old Fort Hamilton is on the southeast side about 22 miles above the mouth of Apoon Pass. The abandoned village of Hamilton is near Old Fort Hamilton.

(595) Nunachik Pass and Little Apoon Pass make off to the west from Apoon Pass just above Old Fort Hamilton. Apoon Pass joins Kwikpak Pass 25 miles above the Apoon mouth. New Fort Hamilton on the east bank of Kwikpak Pass, is 40 miles from the Apoon mouth.

(596) Yukon River one of the largest of the world, is the largest and most important river in Alaska. It is navigable for flat-bottom boats along its entire course from the mouth to near the head of Lake Bennett. No one company operates vessels along the entire river. Transfer points are at Marshall 153 miles above Apoon Pass; Tanana 628 miles above Apoon Pass; Nenana 50 miles southwest of Fairbanks on the Tanana River; and Dawson Canada, 1,197 miles above Apoon Pass. The Porcupine River Teedriinjik River Tanana River Koyukuk River and Innoko River are the principal tributaries of the Yukon in Alaska.

(597) Between Tanana and the delta Ruby 526 miles above Apoon Pass, is the only town on the south side of the river.

(598) River steamers may ascend to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. The White Pass and Yukon Railway connects Skagway, Alaska, and Whitehorse, Canada, the head of riverboat navigation. The Alaska Railroad connects Seward and Fairbanks; the latter is on Chena River flows into the Tanana River.

(599) Although the Yukon River is navigable all the way from the Bering Sea to Whitehorse, it can neither be entered by oceangoing ships nor navigated by them. The river itself is shallow in many places and, like the Mississippi, is a maze of bars, bayous, and side channels for much of the length. At the river mouth is a vast delta with sand flats reaching far out to sea. Such channels as the currents have made are too shallow for the passage of oceangoing ships and are perpetually shifting. The riverboats are built especially for this shallow-water work, as are those used on the Mississippi.

(600) The mouth of Pastolik River about 2 miles from the outer end of Apoon Pass, affords anchorage for small vessels. The Apoon flats extend in front of the entrance, and it can only be entered at high tide.

(601) With the exception of the promontory of Point Romanof, the immediate coast is low and flat all the way from Apoon entrance to St. Michael Island. Point Romanof 360 feet high, stands well out about 12 miles west from the high hills of the coast range. It appears in clear weather like an island in the sea. Point Romanof Light (63°12'00"N., 162°50'00"W.), 25 feet above the water, is shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark.

(602) After passing Point Romanof, Crater Mountain on the mainland back of St. Michael Island, and St. Michael, Stephens, and Stuart Mountains, on St. Michael and Stuart Islands, appear above the horizon and are excellent landmarks.

(603) Anchorage
(604) An anchorage for medium-sized vessels is in the mouth of the right-hand stream of Pikmiktalik River 8 miles northeast of Point Romanof. The depth over the bar is about 2½ feet. A shoal extends out from the south point at the entrance.

(605) In moderate weather the ocean swell is not felt between the Apoon entrance and Stephens Pass; but in heavy weather and west weather, which is more likely to occur during the latter part of the season, a choppy sea develops and is heavier off Point Romanof than elsewhere. In general, this passage is safe for river steamers in the summer season. During the latter part of the season, however, high winds become more frequent, and the boats are obliged to watch their opportunities.

(606) Anchorages
(607) Riverboats anchor on the flats or in the channel, wherever exigency demands. In the south end of St. Michael Canal in the south branch just above the junction, is a good and safe anchorage in all kinds of weather. The depth is only about 3 feet on the outside bar, and it has to be crossed at high water.

(608) Good protection is available from all but southwest weather in 6 to 9 feet in the cove on the south side of Cape Stephens. Stebbins on the shore of the cove, has a school and a nurse. Radiotelegraph service is maintained. Mail is delivered from St. Michael and Unalakleet.

(609) Stuart Island northwest of St. Michael Island, is separated from the latter by Stephens Pass which has a minimum width of about 0.6 mile. The island is divided into two approximately equal parts by a narrow north-south waterway which is used considerably by small launches and native craft. Stuart Mountain 480 feet high, east of the center, is the highest point. The rest of the island is low and rolling, with some small, scattered peaks. The shore of the island is very irregular. From North Point to Observation Point and around through Stephens Pass is a line of conspicuous bluffs about 170 feet high; the rest of the coast is much lower. From Observation Point to the west point of the island the north shore is free from outlying dangers; 5 fathoms can be carried 1 mile from the beach. Off the west point, some detached rocks extend about 300 yards. On the east face of the island, well toward the southeast point, a shoal makes out about 3 miles. Cape Stephens Light (63°32'27"N., 162°18'49"W.), 200 feet above the water, is shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark on the southeast side of Stephens Pass.

(610) Egg Island 16 miles east of Stuart Island, is small and affords little protection in heavy weather, but it is the only lee to be had in north gales. The water off the west shore is deep, 6 fathoms being found close inshore. Egg Island Light (63°36'40"N., 161°44'35"W.), 90 feet above the water, is shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark on the highest part of the island.

(611) St. Michael Island separated from the mainland by St. Michael Canal, is mostly low, but has two conspicuous rises: St. Michael Mountain 450 feet high, near the center of the island, and sharp conical Stephens Hill 331 feet high, overlooking Cape Stephens and Stephens Pass.

(612) St. Michael Canal is a narrow, crooked tidal slough that forks and comes together again. Distances through the canal are 18 miles by way of the north fork and 20 miles by way of the south fork. The south fork is generally used because it is wider. Depths in the canal are probably less than the 6 feet of the old improvement project, but are sufficient for the traffic of the area; the depth over the bar at the southwest entrance is about 3 feet. Canal Point is on the north side of the southwest entrance.

(613) Chart 16240

(614) St. Michael Bay is the harbor on the east side of St. Michael Island. Orizaba Reef extends 1.5 miles off Rock Point and is 051° from St. Michael Mountain.

(615) Whale Island close off the east end of St. Michael Island, is 95 feet high and small; on approaching the harbor its east end is seen as a vertical bluff. Whale Island Light (63°29'27"N., 161°59'50"W.), 53 feet above the water, is shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark on the east end of the island. Four tanks are about 0.75 mile northeast of the village of St. Michael. The passage between Whale and St. Michael Islands is blocked by rocks, bare at low water. east and north of the island the water deepens rapidly.

(616) A boulder covered 18 feet is 0.5 mile 064° from Whale Island Light.

(617) Beulah Island about 0.3 mile north-northwest from Whale Island, is 50 feet high, small, and rounded. Between Beulah Island and Whale Island the water is shoal.

(618) Saint Michael near the east end of St. Michael Island, is about 55 miles from Apoon Pass via Stephens Pass. The village shows little evidence of the days when it was of major importance in the Yukon River traffic. Gone are most of the buildings of the Army post and the warehouses of the trading companies, and the tall masts of the telegraph company; the waterfront is littered with the rotting hulks of the once great river fleet.

(619) The Alaska Commercial Company operates a store at Saint Michael. The village has a church, school, and health clinic and maintains facilities for transfer of freight from ocean to river vessels.

(620) Limited amounts of diesel fuel and supplies can be obtained at the store. Yutana Barge Lines reportedly has a fuel terminal at Saint Michael and uses two sunken barges as makeshift docks. Gasoline and lodging are also available in Saint Michael. A marine railway operated by Yutana Barge Lines can handle vessels to 100 tons and 9 feet in draft with limited machine shop facilities.

(621) Telephone and radiotelephone services are maintained. The village and Yutana Barge Lines can be contacted on VHF-FM channel 10 by calling “79 Yutana”. Mail and daily flights to Nome and Unalakleet are available. Yutana Barge Lines runs boats in the summer on an irregular schedule from Saint Michael to Nenana, on the Yukon River.

(622) Anchorage
(623) The harbor and anchorage for seagoing vessels is an open roadstead exposed to winds from northwest through north to east. Larger vessels anchor in the offing between St. Michael Bay and Egg Island, and in heavy north gales shift their anchorage to get a lee under Egg Island or go to sea. Anchorage is found about 0.5 mile southeast of Whale Island in 3½ to 4 fathoms, bottom dark-blue mud, and good holding ground. Care should be taken to avoid the 18-foot boulder.

(624) Good anchorage in 5 fathoms is 3 miles off Whale Island Light on the following bearings: Egg Island 038° Crater Mountain 205° Whale Island Light 227° North Point of Stuart Island 294°. Use 45 fathoms of chain.

(625) Light-draft vessels and river steamers can find shelter from north and west winds by anchoring near the east side of the island, in 3 to 8 feet. The shores of St. Michael Bay are strewn with loose rocks that are often frozen in the ice in winter and dropped as it goes out in the spring. Light-draft vessels, when anchoring in shoal water, should be careful not to anchor over any of these loose, scattered rocks.

(626) Currents
(627) About 0.8 mile offshore in St. Michael Bay, the current velocity is about 0.8 knot. Like the tide itself, the tidal current is chiefly diurnal and sets southeast on the flood and north on the ebb.

(628) Saint Michael being the end of deepwater navigation, all the Yukon traffic beyond this point has to be conducted with vessels drawing 5 feet or less. The larger launches leaving St. Michael Bay go around the north side of St. Michael Island and through Stephens Pass, between St. Michael and Stuart Islands. They give a wide berth to the reef off Rock Point, on the north side of St. Michael Island, and, after passing between the islands, make a straight course slightly west of Point Romanof. When the summit of Point Romanof is abeam, about 1.5 miles, the direction is changed and a course is steered for Apoon Pass. The most dangerous part of the passage is the 14 miles around the north end of St. Michael Island, which is exposed to the deepwater swell from the north. This can be avoided by small craft by going through St. Michael Canal

(629) Routes
(630) Routes for small craft between Isanotski Strait (False Pass) (55°05'N., 163°30'W.) and Saint Michael (see charts 16006 and 16240).–After passing out of Isanotski Strait, clear of the outlying breakers, the course is shaped for the east side of Amak Island. Shelter can be found on the south, southeast, and east sides of the island.

(631) Leaving Amak Island, the next course is set for Cape Newenham. Shelter can be obtained on either side, according to the wind. From Cape Newenham the course is set for Nunivak Island. If heavy north or northeast winds are encountered before the island is reached, shelter is sought in the depth of the bight on the south side. Weather conditions being good, it is only necessary to touch at this island if needing water. The anchorage on the north side, about 12 miles east of Cape Etolin, is considered the best. (See Nunivak Island earlier in this chapter.)

(632) From the north end of Nunivak Island the customary course is to cross over diagonally to a little north of Hazen Bay, and then coast along just outside the shoals in 3 to 5 fathoms of water until Cape Romanzof is reached. If the weather is unfavorable or water is required, an anchorage in Scammon Bay is made close inshore on the S side, in a bight where a stream empties.

(633) After leaving Scammon Bay, by giving the spit on the north side of the entrance a good berth, the remaining distance to Saint Michael is made by skirting along on the outer part of the Yukon Flats, in 2 to 5 fathoms, where the courses are exclusively guided by sounding. On this crooked stretch, after the mountains of Cape Romanzof and the Kusilvak Mountains disappear, no land will be visible until the high peaks on the mainland south from Stuart Island are sighted; a little later the summits of Stuart and St. Michael Islands become visible. After Stuart and St. Michael Islands become defined, the course is shaped to go through the pass between them, and then skirt around the north side of St. Michael Island to Saint Michael.

(634) In the summer, north and east winds prevail a large part of the time between Cape Newenham and Cape Romanzof. The tidal currents in Etolin Strait are strong and at times cause heavy tide rips.

(635) Chart 16200

(636) The coast from St. Michael Bay to Cape Darby is generally low and rock strewn, and the depths when approaching it shoal gradually from 6 fathoms toward the beach; a depth of 3 fathoms can be taken as close as 0.8 mile except in a few places. There are no outlying dangers, but a reef makes off about 0.5 mile from the shore 2 miles south of Black Point about 26 miles east from Saint Michael. Tolstoi Point and its vicinity are high and rocky, and from there to Unalakleet River the shore is low.

(637) Anchorage
(638) Anchorage with good protection from south winds can be found in Klikitarik Bay 15 miles east of Saint Michael. There are several native campsites along this coast, but the only permanent settlement is Unalakleet.

(639) Unalakleet (63°53'N., 160°47'W.), at the east end of Norton Sound, is the largest village on the sound east of Nome. Approach to Unalakleet is generally from the northwest because of shoaling that occurs east and southeast of Unalakleet River entrance. In 1994, the USCGC IRONWOOD found good water by approaching from northwest on a east-southeast heading until intercepting longitude 160°50.0'W., then turning east, keeping the river entrance off the bow. The river entrance is marked by seasonal buoys, however, local knowledge is required to transit safely. An aerolight is about 0.5 mile north of the entrance. The North River aero radiobeacon has been found valuable as an aid to surface navigation.

(640) Unalakleet River South Spit Light (63°52'04"N., 160°47'16"W.), 15 feet above the water, is shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark on a sandspit south of the river entrance.

(641) Good anchorage for vessels with moderate draft, in 32 feet, sticky mud bottom, was found in 63°53.0'N., 160°56.0'W. Ranges were 3.5 miles from Unalakleet, 15.8 miles from Tolstoi Point, and 16.3 miles from Besboro Island. This position provided good holding ground but was highly exposed. There were not any sheltered anchorages in this area. Vessels have anchored in 5 fathoms with 60 fathoms of chain about 2 miles offshore. An alternate anchorage is about 6 miles north of Unalakleet.

(642) Services available in Unalakleet include telephone, radiotelephone, mail, a school, a church, fuel, Alaska Commercial store, Troopers Post, haul out and garbage services. The village also has a health clinic with a Physicians Assistant. Daily jet air service to Nome and Anchorage is available.

(643) Weather, Unalakleet Vicinity
(644) Unalakleet does not fall into any single climatic regime. The proximity of Norton Sound places it principally under a marine influence during those months (late spring, summer, and early fall) that the sound is free of ice. The summer temperatures are cool with a relatively small number of days annually with readings above 70°F (21°C). The summer extreme of 86°F (30°C) in June reflects the fact that occasionally in summer warm dry continental conditions prevail for brief periods. In winter the extreme temperatures are those of a cold continental climate, but the average minimums for the season are in between the normal values for marine and continental climates at this latitude.

(645) Precipitation also appears to be variable between marine and continental influences. The increased amount of precipitation in summer has an abrupt beginning and ending that closely coincides with the marine predominated period. The relatively low average annual snowfall relates to the dry continental winter. Because of the variable influences the coastal section of this west central part of Alaska is frequently described as being part of a transitional climatic zone between marine and continental climates.

(646) Even though the Unalakleet River Valley is broad with no extreme elevations on either side, surface winds are channeled by the valley such that prevailing directions are either east or west. Fall storms moving through the Bering Sea occasionally produce winds of several hours duration blowing from the west with velocities in excess of 43 knots, and because of the low elevation, the village and airport may be flooded by the wind-caused high tides. During winter, flooding does not occur because Norton Sound is frozen from November until about May. In the spring storms with sufficient intensity to produce wind caused floods are rare. Occurrences in summer are also quite rare, but more likely than in spring, especially during the latter part of the season.

(647) Besboro Island is 1,040 feet high and very prominent; on a clear day it can be seen from Saint Michael. It affords a poor lee, as the wind draws all around the island. A shoal covered 4 to 4¾ fathoms makes off 2 miles in a northeast direction from the north end of the island. The west side of the island is bold-to, and the east side can be approached as close as 0.5 mile, with a depth of over 5 fathoms.

(648) Shaktoolik River Entrance Light (64°22'43"N., 161°14'10W.), 14 feet above the water, is shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark on the spit at the entrance to Shaktoolik River 7.5 miles east of Cape Denbigh.

(649) Shaktoolik is 4 miles south of Shaktoolik River entrance. Vessels can anchor 4 miles off the village in 7 fathoms, mud bottom. Tugs and barges and small boats beach themselves, or tie off, to the gradually shoaling shale beach near the village, but the approach is extremely shallow and should be made with caution. Some small boats pass over the bar at the mouth of the river and follow the shallow slough on the backside of the spit southeast to the village. In 1994, the USCGC IRONWOOD reported very shallow depths in the river entrance and slough. Local knowledge is required. West winds cause considerable surf in the area. A Public Safety Officer, telephone, mail, fuel, and a native store can be found in Shaktoolik. Two local rescue teams can be contacted on VHF-FM channel 5. Daily flights to Nome and Unalakleet are available. Radiotelegraph service is maintained.

(650) Cape Denbigh is a moderately high rounded hill, joined to the mainland by a low narrow neck. The head of the bight, east of the cape, is shoal, but in the approach the water shoals gradually. A good anchorage in northeast winds can be had east of the cape in depths suitable to the draft of the vessel. The south end of the cape is bold-to, and its west side, 2.5 miles north of the point, can be approached close-to in 4 fathoms. The water shoals rapidly inside to a depth of 4 fathoms when approaching the shore.

(651) Protection from east weather is found in the lee of Reindeer Hills just north-northeast of Cape Denbigh.

(652) Norton Bay is generally shoal. About midway between Point Dexter and Bald Head is a depth of about 6 fathoms, and from this depth the water shoals gradually as the shores are approached in any direction inside of Bald Head. In some places the 6-foot curve is 5 miles or more from the beach. The north shore of the bay for 15 miles west of Bald Head is comparatively low, and the water is shoal for some distance from the shore. From a point 15 miles west of Bald Head to Cape Darby the land is high and wooded along the coast; a few native villages are found in this stretch. For 20 miles northeast from Cape Darby, a depth of 4 fathoms can be taken 0.3 mile from the shore, and in some places much closer. The water shoals gradually on approaching the coast, but the south and east sides of Cape Darby have deep water close-to. During strong north winds the water is lowered considerably in Norton Bay.

(653) The entrance to Koyuk River flowing into the northeast end of Norton Bay, is marked by seasonal buoys; local knowledge is required to enter the river. The village of Koyuk on the north side of the mouth of the river, offers telephone, mail, fuel, stores, a Public Safety Officer, and a volunteer search and rescue group. Daily flights to Nome are available. The village can be contacted on VHF-FM channel 10 by calling “Public Safety Koyuk.”

(654) Small boats land or moor in a narrow channel that separates the spit at Moses Point 13.1 miles west-southwest from Bald Head. An aero radiobeacon is just west of the channel. Small boats from the native village of Elim about 7.5 miles to the southwest, beach themselves at Moses Point, or anchor in the small bay just off the village. Vessels can anchor to a hard bottom with good holding ground about 1 mile off the village in 4½ fathoms of water. Services available in Elim include telephone, mail, fuel, store, small medical clinic, Public Safety Officer, and daily flights to Nome. The village can be contacted on VHF-FM channel 11 by calling “City Office Elim” or “Public Safety Elim.”

(655) Cape Darby is the south extremity of Kwiktalik Mountain. The cape is high and rounded terminating at the water in steep rocky bluffs.

(656) Rocky Point is a high bold promontory with irregular rocky cliffs. Rocky Point Light (64°23'53'N., 163°09'00W.), 175 feet above the water, is shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark at the west entrance to Golovnin Bay.

(657) Golovnin Bay on the north side of Norton Sound, has its entrance between Cape Darby and Rocky Point, with a width of 10 miles. It extends in a general north direction for 12 miles to the entrance to Golovnin Lagoon. The east shore is high and bold, with occasional sand and gravel beaches.

(658) Carolyn Island low and rocky, is 0.2 mile off the east shore, about 8 miles north of Cape Darby.

(659) The west shore of Golovnin Bay for about 3 miles north of Rocky Point is high and bold, but beyond this is a low sand beach with a prominent point about 5 miles north of Rocky Point. The head of the bay on the west side of the entrance to Golovnin Lagoon is between a sandspit projecting from the east shore and a low sand island extending north from the west shore and connected with it at low water.

(660) Currents
(661) The tidal current in Golovnin Bay is chiefly diurnal. The current velocity is about 0.5 knot off Carolyn Island; floods north and ebbs south.

(662) Deep water can be carried close under Cape Darby and Rocky Point. East of Rocky Point is an extensive middle ground on which the least depth found was 23 feet; on its east edge it rises abruptly from 36 to 42 feet. Except for this middle ground, the bay is free from dangers south of the low point on the west shore, the deepest water being on the east side, and ranging from 66 feet close under Cape Darby to 24 feet 0.5 mile northwest of Carolyn Island. In the south part of the bay the highland may be approached closely, but off the low land the 18-foot curve is in places nearly 1 mile offshore.

(663) In 1952 the Bureau of Indian Affairs ship NORTH STAR reported striking a submerged object in 64°20'N., 163°06'W., about 4 miles south-southeast of Rocky Point; the vessel was drawing about 21 feet.

(664) In the north part of the bay an extensive shoal, with 4 to 9 feet, makes out in a northeast direction from the west shore to within 0.8 mile of the east shore; its extremity is about 2 miles 093° from the north point of South Spit on the south side of the entrance to Golovnin Lagoon. The channel leading to the entrance to Golovnin Lagoon is on the east side of the bay, passing around the east end of the shoal and following the east shore at a distance of 0.4 to 0.7 mile, with an average width of 800 yards. The least depth in the channel is 13 feet, but 15 feet has been taken in at high water. The tide is influenced by the prevailing winds, which have a tendency to bank up the water in heavy south weather and to lower it with north and northeast winds.

(665) Anchorage
(666) Northwest of the north end of South Spit, in the entrance to Golovnin Lagoon, anchorage may be had in 36 to 42 feet, with protection from all winds. For vessels whose size prevents the use of this anchorage, the best is off the point on the west side of the bay in about 24 feet. This is unsafe in south weather, but is the most convenient for communicating with the head of the bay. By shifting anchorage from one side to the other in Golovnin Bay, good shelter is found from east or southwest or west winds.

(667) An anchorage with good holding ground in 42 feet is about 7.5 miles north-northeast of Rocky Point Light. Keep at least 1 mile south of Carolyn Island.

(668) Golovin on the north spit at the entrance to Golovnin Lagoon, is a distributing point for the mining district of the Fish River country. Small boats are beached or made fast to the shore on the north side of the spit. The village has telephone, mail, a school, roadhouse, cold storage plant, two salteries, several stores, and an airport.

(669) Golovnin Lagoon is very shallow and is navigable for small vessels of 3½-foot draft to the mouth of the Fish River which empties into the head of the lagoon. The channel through the lagoon is narrow and tortuous, and local knowledge is required. In 1994, the USCGC IRONWOOD reported significantly greater depths once inside the river. The village of White Mountain is just above where the river forks, about 7 miles above the mouth. Above the village, the river reportedly becomes very shallow with several gravel beds. The village provides telephone, mail, fuel, stores, a Public Safety Officer, and daily flights to Nome. The village may be contacted on VHF-FM channel 5 by calling “City Office White Mountain.”

(670) For about 22 miles, from Rocky Point to Topkok Head, the land is high and bold, in many places rising abruptly. Beyond this to Cape Nome the coast is low, with high land farther back. Immediately behind this lowland is a large shoal lagoon with two small entrances, the west one called Port Safety. Between Rocky Point and Cape Nome the water is deep and the bottom regular; by giving the shore a berth of 1 mile a depth of 6 fathoms or more will be found.

(671) Topkok Head is 22 miles west of Rocky Point, and is the first highland close to the coast east of Cape Nome. Its seaward face rises abruptly from the water 586 feet and is a well-known and conspicuous landmark.

(672) A yellow bluff, 572 feet high, on the east side of Bluff about 6 miles east of Topkok Head, is conspicuous, but not as much so as Topkok Head.

(673) In 1968, it was reported that small craft could find some protection from west winds in indifferent weather in a small cove west of Bluff. The cove can be recognized by a small low house somewhat back from a point. Caution should be exercised in this area to avoid being swept into the cove as a result of sudden wind changes.

(674) Solomon is an abandoned mining village at the mouth of the Solomon River 11 miles west of Topkok Head and 17 miles east of Cape Nome. A road runs north to Council and west to Nome via a bridge at Port Safety. The depth on the bar at the entrance and inside Solomon River is about 3 feet, but local knowledge is necessary to keep in the best water. In 1968, it was reported that no lights were visible from offshore, and that there were no good marks for entering the river. A few old steel oil tanks were reported to stand on the north side of the river west of the entrance.

(675) It was further reported in 1968, that small craft should make a straight-in approach to the river entrance from well outside. When once inside, however, the river to the west was particularly good, and that small craft could tie up to the shore on either the north or south sides; the north side appeared to be a little deeper.

(676) An anchorage approximately 2 miles offshore in 8½ fathoms, hard gravel and sand bottom, is on the following bearings: Cape Nome 254° largest house in village 358° Topkok Head 079°. Use 45 fathoms of chain. The only protection against heavy winds is to stand out to seaward.

(677) Port Safety about 8 miles east of Cape Nome, is a small anchorage for vessels of less than 7-foot draft. A bridge crosses the entrance to Port Safety; vertical clearance is unknown. The channel is narrow and has a reported depth of 7 feet. Sheltered anchorage for several small vessels can be had in the narrow sloughs that lead between the flats inside the entrance.

(678) Cape Nome is a bluff about 650 feet high, 1 mile broad, and rounded down to the water on either side, where the land at the shore is low, with higher land farther back. The water off this cape is quite deep.

(679) From Cape Nome to Cape Rodney, the coast, except abreast of Sledge Island, is a comparatively straight stretch of low sand beach, with no projecting points, and higher land some distance back. Abreast of Sledge Island for a distance of several miles the hills slope down to the beach, giving this part of the coast the appearance of a point. The stretch of beach is broken by a number of small rivers. The entrances to Nome River Penny River and Sinuk River have shifting bars, but there is generally enough water in the channel over these bars to permit boats of 3-foot draft to enter. When approaching the coast between Cape Nome and Sledge Island, the water shoals regularly and gradually until a depth of 5 fathoms is reached; inside this depth the bottom is irregular, especially near the mouths of the rivers.

(680) An isolated area with a depth of 7 fathoms, 4 feet is in 64°20'15"N., 167°09'46"W., and another area with a depth of 6 fathoms, 5 feet is in 64°18'03"N., 166°44'10"W.

(681) Chart 16206

(682) Nome the metropolis of northwest Alaska, is on the beach at the mouth of the Snake River 11 miles west of Cape Nome. An aero radiobeacon is 2.5 miles east of Nome (shown on charts 16200 and 16206), and an aerolight is at the Nome Airport.


(684) Channels
(685) The entrance channel to Nome Harbor leads northeast between a causeway on the west and a breakwater on the east, both marked on the outer ends by seasonal lights. The entrance channel continues northeast through the mouth of the Snake River and turns southeast to an inner harbor. The entrance to the inner harbor is marked by a 29.9° lighted range and private, seasonal buoys. Mariners are cautioned that the inner harbor channel range does not mark a safe passage to the outer harbor; a course east of the inner range is recommended for vessels transiting the breakwater.

(686) Anchorage
(687) The general anchorage for deep-draft vessels is in 7 to 8 fathoms about 1 mile from the beach abreast of Nome. Vessels of less draft anchor in about 6 fathoms a little closer to the beach. In strong south winds vessels should anchor farther offshore.

(688) Tides
(689) The water levels are influenced more by the wind than tide. An offshore wind sometimes causes a level of from 2 to 3 feet below mean lower low water for days at a time; a level of 14 feet above mean lower low water has been noted as a result of storms.

(690) Currents
(691) About 2 miles offshore in Nome roadstead the tidal current averages about 1 knot at times of strength. It is chiefly diurnal. The flood sets east, and the ebb northwest.

(692) Weather, Nome and Norton Sound Vicinity
(693) The moderating influence of the open water of Norton Sound is effective only from early June to about the middle of November. Storms moving through this area during these months result in extended periods of cloudiness and rain. The nearly continuous cloud cover during July and August results in an average of 45 cloudy, 12 partly cloudy, and only 5 clear days for the 2-month period. During the summer the daily temperature range is very slight. The freezing of Norton Sound in November causes a rather abrupt change from a maritime to a continental climate. Most low-pressure systems during this period take a path south of Nome, resulting in strong east winds, accompanied by frequent blizzards, with the winds later becoming north and reaching Nome across the colder frozen areas of north Alaska.

(694) Temperatures generally remain well below freezing from the middle of November to the latter part of April; February is usually the coldest month of the year. Temperatures usually begin to rise near the end of February and continue to rise until they reach a maximum in July. Occurrences of below zero (-18°C) temperatures have been noted in every month from October through May. An unusual aspect of the yearly temperature trend is the short period of thawing weather in January. Despite the generally low temperatures, the maximum during the month is often above freezing and the “January thaw”; generally expected by old time residents is a usual occurrence. The extreme maximum for the station is 86°F (30°C) recorded in July 1968 and 1977 while the extreme minimum is -54° F (-47.7°C) recorded in January 1989.

(695) Precipitation reaches its maximum during the late summer months and drops to a minimum in April and May. For a locality with better than 200 days a year with precipitation, average annual precipitation at Nome is light at only 15.8 inches (401.3 mm). Precipitation extremes have ranged from 24.25 inches (616 mm) in 1950 to 7.42 inches (188.5 mm) in 1962. Snow has fallen as early as August, but usually does not accumulate on the ground until the first part of November. Every month has recorded snowfall except July. The accumulated depth increases during November, December, and January, reaching a maximum depth usually in late February or early March. The snow cover decreases rapidly in April and May, and normally disappears by the middle of June. The average annual snowfall is nearly 59 inches (1499 m) with extremes of 102 inches (2591 mm) and 18.6 inches (472.4 mm).

(696) Average wind speeds for each month are not excessive, ranging from around 9 to 10 knots. Severe windstorms do occur with winds over 61 knots recorded several times. Velocities exceeding 61 knots have been recorded during all months from October through March. The strongest gust recorded at Nome was 62 knots in December 1977. These strong winds during the winter when there is snow cover produce blowing snow conditions that severely hinder transportation in the area.

(697) (See Appendix B for Nome Climatological table.)

(698) Navigation is difficult because of the ice from early December to early June and is usually suspended from late December to mid-May.

(699) The National Weather Service maintains a weather station at the Nome Airport and monitors VHF-FM channel 16 and 2182 kHz.

(700) Quarantine
(701) Quarantine is enforced in accordance with regulations of the U.S. Public Health Service. (See Public Health Service, chapter 1.) A hospital is in Nome.

(702) Wharves
(703) There are three open cell sheet-pile docks on the causeway in the outer harbor—City Dock (south), Middle Dock and West Gold Dock (north). The City Dock can accommodate vessels up to 425 feet in length, 230 feet for Middle Dock and 250 feet for West Gold Dock. The City Dock is primarily used to moor tank vessels that conduct bulk oil transfers, cruise ships and container barges. Middle Dock and West Gold Dock are normally used to moor barges exporting gravel, handling heavy equipment, loading and offloading containers. The Middle Dock is equipped with a Ro/Ro ramp. Larger vessels may moor at Middle and West Gold Docks when no vessels or smaller vessels are moored at adjacent docks. The reported alongside depth at these three docks is 22 feet. Prior clearance for mooring must be obtained from the Harbormaster on VHF-FM channels 12 and 16. A mooring request form is available on the port’s web site.

(704) Restrictions on the size and maneuverability of vessels that can enter and moor in the port outlined in the port tariff are summarized as follows: No self propelled vessel over 420 feet in length shall enter the port; all self propelled vessels over 200 feet in length shall have twin screw and/or an operational bow thruster; and no vessels moored or requiring moorage in the outer harbor shall depart or enter when sustained winds at the breakwater are 25 knots or greater.

(705) Exceptions to the above operating restrictions may be allowed when the pilot and/or the vessel operator, upon consultation with the Harbormaster, determine safe transit and moorage can be assured through tug assistance or the vessel’s maneuverability being enhanced by other factors. In no case shall vessels over 450 feet be offered moorage or be allowed to enter the port.

(706) Supplies
(707) Water and some provisions can be obtained. Diesel oil is not available in large quantities.

(708) Communications
(709) Nome maintains radiotelephone and radiotelegraph communications with other parts of Alaska and the world. Air service for passengers, mail, and freight is available the year round. Steamship service is available during the summer. From Nome, roads extend to Council, Teller, and to the Kobuk River south of Taylor.

(710) Chart 16200

(711) Sledge Island 31 miles west of Cape Nome and 4.5 miles offshore, is a rocky flat-topped island except near the south extremity where the highest point, a 760-foot jagged mountain, exists. Ruins of abandoned habitations are on the sandspit on the north end of the island and along the beach about midway of the east side. These are probably ruins of the former village of Aziak. Except for the sandspit, the shores of the island are rocky and steep.

(712) Sledge Island Light (64°29'46"N., 166°11'56"W.), 32 feet above the water, is seasonally shown from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark on the north point of the island. The island may be safely approached from any direction except the east where a depth of 3 fathoms is 1 mile east of the light. Small vessels seeking shelter close in on the north side are cautioned to stay clear of the submerged bar making off northwest from the spit. It was reported that the cove just west of the spit provides a good anchorage. A depth of 6½ fathoms is about 3.7 miles offshore and about 7.5 miles east of Sledge Island. The passage between Sledge Island and the mainland has irregular bottom but has depths of 5 fathoms or more. Tide rips have been observed in the passage and on the east side of the island during heavy weather.

(713) With heavy south winds, vessels at anchor in the Nome roadstead usually seek shelter behind Sledge Island. Ice is reported to hang on longer in this area than to the east toward Nome.

(714) Currents
(715) Current observations were made in the passage between Sledge Island and the mainland for a period of 6 days in 1950. The tidal current is diurnal with average velocity at strength of northwest current of 1 knot and average velocity at strength of southeast current of 0.5 knot. Maximum velocity observed during the period of the observations was about 1.5 knots setting northwest. (See Tidal Current Tables for predictions.) Vessels when in this vicinity should give special attention to the currents. Above Cape Rodney there is no perceptible current south or east; the general set is north and west.

(716) From Cape Rodney to Cape Douglas the shore is a low sand beach, and the high land is farther inland from the beach than east of Cape Rodney. This coast is seldom approached close-to; the water is comparatively shallow and dangerous, shoals and ledges are found between Cape Douglas and Point Spencer.

(717) Vessels are cautioned to exercise care when approaching the shore south of Cape Rodney and to give the shore off Cape Douglas a berth of at least 15 miles; an irregular bottom with depths of 6 fathoms has been found by reconnaissance lines off this cape with indications of lesser depths inshore. From a point about 8 miles northeast of Cape Douglas the area to the north, covering the approaches to Port Clarence, has been surveyed.

(718) Cape Rodney Light (64°38'35"N., 166°23'47"W.), 24 feet above the water, is shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark on the point.

(719) King Island 1,196 feet high, is about 34 miles west of Cape Douglas. It is triangular in shape, about 1.5 miles long and about 1.2 miles wide, rugged and rocky, and has nearly perpendicular cliffs, deep water, and generally rocky bottom on all sides. Ukivok is a native village on the south side, the houses being built in the sides of the cliffs some distance above the water. Off the village, but close inshore, vessels may anchor in about 15 fathoms, muddy bottom, with good protection from northwest winds. In clear weather the island is an excellent landfall for vessels coming from south and bound to Port Clarence.

(720) Cape York (65°25.0'N., 167°30.0'W.), is a high, rocky, nearly vertical cliff, with numerous ravines and a range of high rugged mountains immediately back of it. The cliff is about 10 to 12 miles in extent. There is no distinct promontory, and no exact point along the cliff that can be defined as the cape.

(721) The area from Cape York to Port Clarence has been surveyed with no depth less than 6 fathoms being found 1.5 miles from the shore. The general depths fall off to a submarine valley about 2 miles offshore, extending east, with depths of not less than 10 fathoms, to within 6 miles of the entrance to Port Clarence. A rock is reported about 0.8 mile from the shore southeast of York village.

(722) Between Cape York and the high land of Cape Prince of Wales is a bight, with comparatively low rolling land back of it, that extends across the peninsula to the north shore. The beach is low, and the water shoals gradually when approaching the shore. The east part of the bight is slightly shoaler than the west part; about 6 fathoms will be found 1 mile offshore; in the west part of the bight 8 fathoms will be found at the same distance from the beach. When standing W alongshore, and when abreast of Cape Mountain, the water deepens suddenly to 20 fathoms.

(723) Chart 16204

(724) Port Clarence a large bay indenting the Seward Peninsula about 35 miles southeast of Cape Prince of Wales, provides the only good harbor close to the Bering Strait. The bay is formed by a low sandspit which extends from the mainland in a north direction for about 10 miles to Point Spencer. The highest elevation on the spit is a round knoll near the south end, 24 feet above sea level. This knoll is inconspicuous except at close range. An airstrip is on the northern end of the spit.

(725) Point Spencer Light (65°16'38"N., 166°50'56"W.), 22 feet above the water, is shown seasonally from a skeleton tower with a red and white diamond-shaped daymark on the north end of the point at the entrance to Port Clarence. The light is the only conspicuous landmark to aid the navigator in making the entrance into Port Clarence.

(726) The channel between Point Spencer and Point Jackson is 4 miles wide and free of dangers, with depths of 7 to 8 fathoms. The north half of the bay has a general depth of 7 fathoms as close as 1 mile from shore with depths shoaling gradually to the beach. The south half of the bay shoals gradually to the bars and flats along the low shoreline at the south end. Along the west side of the bay the sandspit may be approached fairly close except for the shoal 2 miles south of Point Spencer which makes into the bay from the spit with depths of 2 fathoms, 1 mile off. To the east the water shoals to the entrance to Grantley Harbor which is connected with Port Clarence by a narrow channel marked by a seasonal daybeacon and light. Grantley Harbor Light (65°16'37”N., 166°20'52"W.), 15 feet above the water, is shown from a skeleton tower with a green and white diamond-shaped daymark on the north side of the entrance to the harbor. The channel is subject to continual change; local knowledge is advised. The current is strong with many eddies and tide rips.

(727) Anchorage
(728) Anchorage with good holding ground is available anywhere in Port Clarence with the best holding ground on the eastern side. Being very careful in the entrance, shallow-draft vessels will find greater protection in Grantley Harbor.

(729) Routes
(730) In approaching Port Clarence from the south in fog or misty weather, the low sand and shingle spit forming the west side of Port Clarence is not visible until close-to. The best procedure is to make a landfall on King Island from the east keeping in depths greater than 10 fathoms to avoid the foul ground north from Cape Rodney. From King Island a course may be set a little east of Cape York to within 3 miles of the coast, thence on course 096°through the entrance into Port Clarence, where good anchorage may be obtained.

(731) Tides
(732) The diurnal range of the tide at Port Clarence is subject to radical changes due to meteorological conditions. Moderate to strong south or southwest winds of several days’ duration will raise the height of the tide in the area without appreciably increasing the range. This is actually a datum change and is appreciable along the entire south coast of the Seward Peninsula. It is reported that continued strong north winds produce a lowered datum, but to a lesser extent.

(733) Currents
(734) Along the outside coast west of Point Spencer and south of Cape York there is a general west set of 1 to 2 knots. This velocity is appreciably affected by direction, force, and duration of the wind.

(735) Current observations in the entrance to Port Clarence indicate that the velocity seldom exceeds 0.5 knot 2 to 3 miles north of Point Spencer. One mile east of the point, velocities up to 1 knot were observed, the larger velocities generally setting west or north.

(736) Weather, Port Clarence Vicinity
(737) The weather, in general, is better than in the Aleutian Island area, with less fog and fewer bad storms during the short summer navigation season. Fog and high winds are generally of short duration so that it is seldom that planes cannot land at Teller at least once a week. The winter weather is generally better than the summer for plane service, as there is little or no fog during cold weather.

(738) The first surface fog appears after the spring break-up and is of an intermittent character, generally local, and forming and disappearing at intervals as short as one-half hour. As the season advances, the fog is more prevalent, of greater density and longer duration, but in general it offers no serious obstacle to surface navigation.

(739) Brevig Mission is a small village on the north shore of Port Clarence about 9.5 miles northeast of Point Spencer. Approaches to the village are easily made from any general direction, but approach from the southwest is best. There is deep water all the way to the shore at the village, and the gravel beach makes a good landing spot to beach a skiff. The beach at Brevig Mission is steep. The water depths hold fairly consistent until within close proximity to shore. The beach is exposed to winds and weather coming from the south. In these conditions, a beach landing is difficult due to storm surge. Services available in Brevig Mission include telephone, mail, and a store. The village has a Public Safety Officer and volunteer Search and Rescue teams. Several airlines provide daily flights to Nome.

(740) Teller a village about 12 miles east of Point Spencer, is on the base of the south spit at the entrance to Grantley Harbor. The village can be seen from Port Clarence, however, most small vessels and skiffs beach or tie-off to shore on the Grantley Harbor side. Enter Grantley Harbor by heading to the northeast corner of Port Clarence until the north and south spits are visible. A seasonal light is near the end of north spit, and a daybeacon is at the end of south spit. In 1994, the USCGC IRONWOOD reported the best water was in the north part of the entrance maintaining a distance of about 100 yards from the north shore. When inside Grantley Harbor, good approach to the village was made by continuing east for another 500 yards then turning south.

(741) There are no piers, wharves, or docks along the shore at Teller. The village has a Public Safety Officer and volunteer Search and Rescue teams. Services available at Teller include telephone, fuel, mail, and a store. The village has airline service which offer daily flights to Nome. In addition, the village has a road that connects with Nome, but is only passable during the summer months.

(742) Imuruk Basin (see chart 16200) is a shallow body of water southeast of Grantley Harbor; the two are connected by narrow, difficult Tuksuk Channel.

(743) Kuzitrin River rises in the Seward Peninsula and flows in a west direction about 75 miles to Imuruk Basin. The anchorage for oceangoing vessels is in Port Clarence, the head of navigation for powerboats and other vessels up to 12 feet in draft in the mouth of Kuzitrin River. Shallow-draft lighters can navigate the Kuzitrin for about 15 miles to Shelton. The river is open from June to October.