Helm Point, Coronation Island

Helm Point, Coronation Island

by | Sep 26, 2018

Helm Point is the southern tip of Coronation Island in the Alexander Archipelago of Southeast Alaska. Coronation Island is about 10 miles (16 km) long and lies between Chatham and Sumner Straits. It was named by Captain George Vancouver on September 22, 1793, on the anniversary of the coronation of King George III of the United Kingdom. Helm Point was named in 1886 after Lieutenant James M. Helm, of the U.S. Navy, a member of the survey party led by Lieutenant Commander A.S. Snow.

Coronation Island has 5 major bays including Egg Harbor, Alikula Bay, Aats Bay, Gish Bay, and Windy Bay. Egg Harbor was used historically by the Henyakwan Tlingit while awaiting fair weather to travel out to the Hazy Islands to gather bird eggs. A lead mine operated on the west shore of Egg Harbor from the early 1900s until the late 1960s. In 1908, the Alaska Packers Association steel square-rigged ship Star of Bengal sank here while under tow killing 111 cannery workers. The Coronation Island Wilderness was designated by the United States Congress in 1980.

The island is mostly made of limestone and has many karst features including Colander Cave that was discovered in 2001. There are many sea caves on the more exposed west and south shores eroded mostly by wave action. The force of waves will widen and deepen cracks in the sea cliffs due to the tremendous force exerted within a confined space, not only by the direct action of the surf and any rock particles that are suspended but also by compressed air. Read more about Coronation Island here and here. Explore more of Helm Point and Coronation Island here:

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