Hesketh Island, Kachemak Bay

Hesketh Island, Kachemak Bay

by | Dec 11, 2022

Hesketh Island is about 1.2 miles (1.9 km) long, located on the southern shore of Kachemak Bay, 9.5 miles (15 km) south of Homer and 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Seldovia, Alaska. In 1880, William Healey Dall named the island for Sir Thomas Hesketh who visited Cook Inlet in 1880 on the yacht Lancashire Witch, and Lancashire Rocks were named after the yacht.

Sir Thomas George Fermor-Hesketh was a British baronet and soldier. In January 1879, he started a world cruise in his newly constructed steam auxiliary yacht Lancashire Witch. After he left Madeira en route to Montevideo news arrived there of the British defeat at a major battle of the Anglo-Zulu War in South Africa. The news eventually caught up with him at Punta Arenas in late March and he immediately set sail for Natal (Durban) via the Falklands where he offered his services to the army and became involved in mounted action at the Battle of Ulundi.

The Lancashire Witch was built as a private vessel in 1878 by R. Steel & Co of Greenock, England. She was of composite construction with an iron keel, stem and stern posts, and iron framing, but all wooden planked. She was rigged as a three-masted schooner, with square-rigged sails on the foremast only. A two-cylinder compound inverted steam engine of 75 hp drove a single screw. In 1894, she was converted for use as a British hydrographic survey vessel and rechristened HMS Waterwitch. Read more here and here. Explore more of Hesketh Island here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2022 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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