Gypsum Creek Mine

I believe I have said it a few times here… I love ruins. And while good ruins are fewer in Hawaii, southeast Alaska has plenty to explore.

Old pilings across the sand and gravel from Gypsum Creek into Iyoukeen Cove
Old pilings across the sand and gravel from Gypsum Creek into Iyoukeen Cove
Iyoukeen Cove, is a place we have been many times. We have fished halibut here more times than I remember, doing fairly well, a favorite spot. A few years back we landed a 205 pound fish here.

For one reason or another, fate seems to highlight this odd cove every time are in the area. From the first time I noted the unusual name on a chart to the halibut we have routinely caught here. Once when we simply planned to cruise by some odd activity caught my eye, again leading me into this place. Changing course we discovered whales bubble net feeding along the southern cliffs, a sight I will not soon forget.

The odd name is from the Tlingit, Iyukin, and was first recorded in 1869 by G. Davidson, U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. This name was accepted and was published in the 1883 edition of the Coast Pilot, to be shown as Iyoukeen on nautical charts ever since.

Google Map of Iyoukeen Cove and Gypsum Creek
Located on the west side of Chatham Strait, the cove is a wide open reach of water, unprotected from the wind and waves that can rage up the strait.

A sand and gravel beach backs much of the cove, with steep hills behind. An odd, very narrow, rocky peninsula separates the cove from Freshwater Bay to the south. Cruise ships, ferries, and fishing boats pass by taking little heed of this seemingly unremarkable cove.

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Aurora

When traveling in Alaska I regularly check the weather forecast. Not just the marine forecast, but the space weather forecast.

Aurora over Helm Bay
Aurora over Helm Bay on Sept 9, 2018

Space weather? Yes, our planet has weather out in space, weather created by streams of charged particles from our star. Sun spots, solar flares, and coronal holes can all cause these emissions to intensify. When these particles impact the magnetic field around the Earth it can create a geomagnetic storm.

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