Sunday, August 4, 2013

PORT CLARENCE Alaska (Bering Sea) designated port of refuge by US Coast Guard

Bering Sea (Coast Pilot 9)

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PORT CLARENCE CHART - for reference only - not for navigation

The Coast Guard has established a temporary unlit mooring buoy in Port Clarence in
position 65˚13.534’N, 166˚51.477’W.

(719)?Chart 16204
(720) Port Clarence, a large bay indenting the Seward Peninsula about 35 miles SE 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 N direction for about 10 miles to Point Spencer. The highest elevation on the spit is a round knoll near the S end, 24 feet above sea level. This knoll is inconspicuous except at close range. An airstrip is on the northern end of the spit.
(721) 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 N 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.
(722) The channel between Point Spencer and Point Jackson is 4 miles wide and free of dangers, with depths of 7 to 8 fathoms. The N 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 S half of the bay shoals gradually to the bars and flats along the low shoreline at the S end. Along the W side of the bay the sandspit may be approached fairly close except for the shoal 2 miles S of Point Spencer which makes into the bay from the spit with depths of 2 fathoms, 1 mile off. To the E 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°16'36N., 166°20'52"W.), 15 feet above the water, is shown from a tower with a green and white diamond-shaped daymark on the N 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.
(724) 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.
(726) In approaching Port Clarence from the S in fog or misty weather, the low sand and shingle spit forming the W side of Port Clarence is not visible until close-to. The best procedure is to make a landfall on King Island from the E keeping in depths greater than 10 fathoms to avoid the foul ground N from Cape Rodney. From King Island a course may be set a little E 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.
(728) The diurnal range of the tide at Port Clarence is subject to radical changes due to meteorological conditions. Moderate to strong S or SW 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 S coast of the Seward Peninsula. It is reported that continued strong N winds produce a lowered datum, but to a lesser extent.
(730) Along the outside coast W of Point Spencer and S of Cape York there is a general W set of 1 to 2 knots. This velocity is appreciably affected by direction, force, and duration of the wind.
(731) Current observations in the entrance to Port Clarence indicate that the velocity seldom exceeds 0.5 knot 2 to 3 miles N of Point Spencer. One mile E of the point, velocities up to 1 knot were observed, the larger velocities generally setting W or N.
(732)?Weather, Port Clarence Vicinity
(733) 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.
(734) 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.
(735) Brevig Mission is a small village on the N shore of Port Clarence about 9.5 miles NE of Point Spencer. Approaches to the village are easily made from any general direction, but approach from the SW 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 S. 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.
(736) Teller, a village about 12 miles E of Point Spencer, is on the base of the S 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 NE corner of Port Clarence until the N and S spits are visible. A seasonal light is near the end of N spit, and a daybeacon is at the end of S spit. In 1994, the USCGC IRONWOOD reported the best water was in the N part of the entrance maintaining a distance of about 100 yards from the N shore. When inside Grantley Harbor, good approach to the village was made by continuing E for another 500 yards then turning S.
(737) 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.
(738) Imuruk Basin (see chart 16200) is a shallow body of water SE of Grantley Harbor; the two are connected by narrow, difficult Tuksuk Channel.
(739) Kuzitrin River rises in the Seward Peninsula and flows in a W 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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was the best decision ever made, for one if they would have chosen Nome, they would of been faced with having to always dredge the port annually, and deal with the constant gold miners out in front of the town, and all the drugs and alcohol that is in Nome itself, beside there is to much discrimination in nome anyway.

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