*The Aleutian Island chain*
The Aleutian Islands are a strategically important chain of rugged,volcanic islands of Western Alaska,curving westward 1,200 mi.(l,900Km) between the BERING SEA and the Pacific Ocean.
Unalaska,the most populus island,is part of the easternmost group,the Fox islands. Extending west to a point near Russia are the Andreanof,Rat,Near and Semichi Island groups.
The Aleutians were discovered in 1741 by Vitus BERING and bought by the U.S. from Russia in 1867 as part of the Alaska purchase.
Three western islands-
Attu,Agattu and Kiska
were occupied in 1942 and 1943 by Japan in WWII
Aleutian Morning-photo copyright by Angus Wilson
Let's sail the coast if the weather permits! The waters around these islands are the roughest in the world. It is great fishing and crabbing. It is known for huge waves and many boats and good people have been lost in these cold waters. Crab fishermen here do the most dangerous job in the world.
Tuft PUFFINS.....photo by Angus Wilson
Eagle Sanctuary.......photo by Angus Wilson
Kiska volcano......photo by Angus Wilson
photo by Rich Westberry
Unalaska and the International Port of Dutch Harbor are located approximately 800 miles SW of Anchorage,along the Utian Chain. It is a 2 hour flight by jet from Anchorage. This is the largest island in the Chain.
Unalaska has documented 238 years of international trade. Stepan Glotov and his crew of Russian fur procurers spent 3 years there,beginning August 1,1759.
Unangan trade and travel from oral documenting,has been going on for at least 8000 years! These people are known by 'outsiders' as The ALEUTS~an incredibally resiliant people. They survived the decimation of the population from about 17,000 to 3,000 in only 60 years.
The most documented hardship was the forced evacuation of the people during World War II.
The Unangan were hunters and gatherers,known for their expertly crafted iqax [kayaks].
They had unparalleled knowledge of sea travel and marine mammal hunting. They were known for their fine sewing and weaving and their extensive medical knowledge which included
*acupuncture, surgical procedures and mummification* of those who passed on. Until WWII most families were Trilingual,speaking Unangan,Russian and English.
They made sofisticated,complicated geometric designs and paint for artwork. They subsisted on marine and beach animals,plants and sealife. Their knowledge of medicinal plants was extensive~
Unalaska is now the 11th largest city in Alaska. The year-round resident population is about 4,000. This is now the major seaport for fishing and canning seafood. Weather and seas can get very rough!
There are other major communities along the Chain, such as *King Salmon and *Cold Bay.
Click on the Alaska flag and we continue our voyage~