Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peril Strait

August 9: Appleton Cove

Two humpback whales cavorted in Peril Strait near False Island. Their breaching and fin slapping continued until we got close enough to grab a few photos. A 600x lens just didn’t seem long enough, but the whales put on quite a long-distance show.

Seiner Archangel transits Peril Strait east of Sergius Narrows
What's so perilous about Peril Strait? It's not worrisome, IF you pay attention to the Tides and Current Tables and travel through Sergius Narrows at or near slack current. I had thought the English explorer Vancouver named this passage, but Wikipedia says otherwise:
When a Tlingit canoe party was going through the tide was going against them and they had to stop and camp there until the tide was right to go through. Háat means tide, Ishkáak means to sit down; eel'é is also referred to where the tide goes in and out really fast.
The strait was named Proliv Pogibshy by Russians because of a fatal incident during a fur seal hunting expedition led by Alexander Baranof in 1799. According to V. F. Lisianski, Baranof employed Native Aleut hunters, ate poisonous shellfish from the strait, which resulted in approximately one hundred and fifty deaths.[1][2] Beyond the strait are the points Poison Cove and Deadman's Reach, also named for the incident. Peril Strait is the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey translation of Proliv Pogibshiy.[2]

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