Cape Douglas, Shelikof Strait

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Cape Douglas, Shelikof Strait

by | Dec 12, 2020

Cape Douglas is a point of land at the base of Mount Douglas that forms the southern entrance to Sukoi Bay, on the western shore of Shelikof Strait in Katmai National Park and Preserve, about 83 miles (134 km) southwest of Homer and 81 miles (131 km) northwest of Kodiak, Alaska. The cape was named by Captain James Cook in 1778 in honor of Dr. John Douglas who would later edit Cook’s journals. The Aleut name for the cape was pronounced Kukuak, Koukhat, or Kuchat. 

Mount Douglas is a stratovolcano on the Alaska Peninsula that forms the point between Kamishak Bay and Shelikof Strait. The summit elevation is 7,021 ft (2,140 m). The mountain was officially named in 1906 after nearby Cape Douglas based on a 1904 report by G.C. Martin of the U.S. Geological Survey. The volcano is heavily glaciated except for the north flank. The last eruption is not known but probably occurred during the Holocene that began approximately 11,650 years before the present.

Submerged pinnacles and reefs make for hazardous navigation near Cape Douglas. Several shipwrecks have occurred including the Silver Star and Ruth L that sank here in 1961. Both of these vessels worked for the Wakefield Cannery in Seldovia. The only named reef is Douglas Reef which is about 2 miles (3.2 km) in diameter and 5.5 miles (8.9 km) south of Cape Douglas. There are several rocks close together and awash at high water about 2.8 miles (4.5 km) southwest from Douglas Reef and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore. About 10 miles southwest of Cape Douglas is a point with a rock awash at about half tide. Dangerous pinnacles are in the area and mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while navigating here. Read more here and here. Explore more of Cape Douglas here:

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