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Alaskan Places named by Cook: Part 3


Here are more details of places named by Captain James Cook.


18. Point Bede (Cape Bede) Point of land on south west coast of Kenai Peninsula, 13 miles south west of Seldovia, Chugach Mountains.
  Position: 59 degrees 18 minutes 50 seconds North, 151 degrees 58 minutes 15 seconds West.
  Variations: Cape Hinchingbroke, Mys Morsky, Punta de Espanol, Punta de Arcadio, Punta de San Luis.
  Named on May 26, 1778 by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 387) for Saint Bede whose day is May 27. Cook's Cape Bede was about 5 miles south of the present point of land on what is now called Point Adam.
19. Turnagain Arm (Turnagain River) Estuary. Trends north west 48 miles, from mouth of Placer River to head of Cook Inlet, south west of Anchorage, Cook Inlet Low.
  Position: 61 degrees 6 minutes North, 150 degrees 12 minutes West.
  Variations: Resurrection Bay, River Turnagain, Turnagain Bay, Zaliv Vozvratseniya.
  Named River Turnagain by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 395-396) on June 1, 1778 because he was unable to proceed any further inland and had to turnaround here. He made various observations and concluded "These circumstances convinced me, that no passage [from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean] was to be expected by this side river, any more than by the main branch." The name was adopted by Captain Vancouver in 1794 as Turnagain Arm. The name Zaliv Vozvratseniya, meaning Return Bay, was published for this feature by Captain Tebenkov, IRN (on 1852 map).
20. Point Possession Point of land on Kenai Peninsula, between Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm. 20 miles south west of Anchorage, Cook Inlet Low.
  Position: 61 degrees 2 minutes 22 seconds North, 150 degrees 22 minutes 30 seconds West.
  Variations: Mys Naseleniya.
  Named by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 397) on June 1, 1778 who "displayed the flag and took possession of the river and country in His Majesty's name." Captain Tbenkov, IRN (on 1852 map) published the name M[ys] Naseleniya or Populated Cape for this point.
21. Cape Barnabas Point of land. East tip of Sitkalidak Island. South east of Kodiak Island.
  Position: 53 degrees 9 minutes North, 152 degrees 53 minutes West.
  Variations: Barnaba Point, Cape Saint Barnabas, Mys Barnabas.
  Named on June 12, 1778 by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 406), who reported "an elevated point, which obtained the name of Cape Barnabas lying in the latitude of 57 degrees 13 minutes." The Russian American Company published a translation of the name in 1849 as M[ys] Barnabas. Named in honor of Saint Barnabas whose day is June 11.
22. Twoheaded Island Island, 3 miles long. 7 miles north east of Kaguyak, on coast of Kodiak Island.
  Position: 56 degrees 54 minutes North, 153 degrees 35 minutes West.
  Variations: Double Headed Point, Nazikach Island, Nasikan Island, Nazikak Island, Nazikak Point, Two Headed Cape, Two-headed Point.
  Named first reported by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 406) as Two-headed Point. It seems that he was not able to tell that this feature was not a part of the mainland as he said, "The North East extreme was lost in a haze, but the point to the South West, whose elevated summit terminated in two round hills, on that account was called two-headed point." The generic island was first used by Lt. Sarichev, IRN (on 1826 map), who published the native name as Os[trov] Nasiktakh, that is Nasiktakh Island.
23. Trinity Islands Islands off south west coast of Kodiak Island.
  Position: 56 degrees 33 minutes North, 154 degrees 20 minutes West.
  Variations: Islas de Trinidad, Kightak Sichtunak, Sichtunak, Siktunak Island, Trinidad Island, Trinity Island.
  Named as Trinity Island by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 407). These islands were called Trinidad Island by Galiano (on 1802 map), and Kightak Sichtunak (Sichtunak Island) by Sauer (on 1802 map). The Russian Hydrography Department published the name as O[strovy] Troitsy (Trinity Islands) in 1847. This name was also published by United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1868.
24. Foggy Cape Promontory, elevation 418 feet. Near south shore of Alaska Peninsula, at east end of Sutwik Island, 18 miles south east of Cape Kunmik, Aleutian Range.
  Position: 56 degrees 32 minutes North, 156 degrees 58 minutes West.
  Variations: Cape Brumeaux, Cap Brumeux, Cape Kunliun..
  Named On June 16, 1778 Cook located a cape to which he gave this name, concluding that this was Vitus Berings's Foggy Island. The exact identity of Cook's Foggy Island is also uncertain as might be guessed from the weather conditions prevailing when it was named. Captain Lutke (1836) identified it as Cape Kumliun. He called this point of land Cape Brumeaux.
25. Bristol Bay Gulf, 270 miles wide at mouth. Extends 200 miles from Bering Sea. It is between Cape Newenham on the north and Alaska Peninsula and Unimak Island on the south.
  Position: 57 degrees North, 162 degrees West.
  Variations: Bristolskiy Zaliv, Kwitschak-Sund.
  Named in 1778 by Cook (1785, page 433), "in honor of the Admiral Earl of Bristol [England]."
26. Round Island Island, 1.5 miles across. 15 miles south east of Crooked Island and 35 miles east of Hagermeister Island, easternmost of Walrus Island, between Kulukak and Togiak Bays, in Bristol Bay.
  Position: 58 degrees 36 minutes North, 159 degrees 58 minutes West.
  Variations: Kayashek, Kayashik, Krugloi Island, Walrus Island.
  Named This island is thought to be the one named by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 431) on July 12, 1778 on account of its shape. Captain Trebenkov, IRN (on 1852 map) called it Os[trov] Krugloi, meaning round island. Lt. Sarichev, IRN (on 1826 map), called it Os[trov] Morzh, meaning walrus island. Tebenkov and Sarichev gave the native name as Kayashek and Kayashik, respectively.


Ralph Swap

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 488, volume 10, number 1 (1987).

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