DEW Line Passage Chapter Three:
Kay Point & Phillips Bay, Stokes Point DEW Line Site, Herschel Island
|The hook-shaped Kay Point is approximately half way between Shingle Point and Herschel Island.
Phillips Bay is the bay formed by that point. Stokes Point (former DEW Line Intermediate Site BAR-B, current North Warning System Short Range Radar) is on the coast just northwest of Phillips Bay.
|We shoved off from Shingle Point at around 6 pm on the evening of July 20th. The weather was calm, which was good news since we had been warned about the long stretch of coastline between King Point a few miles and Kay Point that is mainly bluffs with no place to land. We paddled all night long and finally made it around Kay Point at about 5 am, where we immediately saw two grizzlies and, soon after, a dead beluga on the shore. We knew we had to push on to make camp at a distance from that, so we pushed on down the seemingly interminable spit and camped near the end. Sometime that morning while we slept a stiff wind began blowing from the west (the worst for us). It blew stronger for two days and we spent about 40 hours reading and sleeping. Here's the first windbreak we built.|
|And here's the second, after we woke up early the second morning to find the surf lapping at the stern of the canoe and had to move to the harbor side of the spit.|
|This is the view of Stoke Point North Warning System radar that we had from our camp on the Kay Point spit.|
|This is the original Stokes Point DEW Line Intermediate site, deactivated in 1963.|
|The west wind finally relented and we had visitors from a Yukon near-shore fisheries research team that, unbeknownst to us, was camped right over at Niakolik Point (the mainland just south of our spit in Phillips Bay). We packed up camp and headed over to enjoy their company for the evening, but the wind really calmed down around midnight and we shoved off. Here's the view from the canoe heading towards Stokes Point:|
|This is the contaminated cabin adjacent to Stokes Point in which the deceased couple who also owned the old driftwood cabin at Shingle had lived.|
After a brief nap at Roland Bay a few miles past Stokes, we awoke to beautiful sunny weather and crossed over to historic Herschel Island.
Here's Herschel Island Territorial Park Senior Park Ranger Richard R. Gordon, a wonderful guy who promotes and defends the park.
|Here's Richard giggling as he discusses how strange it must have been when, during World War II, the military came and issued rifles to all the men along the coast, designating them as Rangers (the equivalent of Alaska's "Tundra Army" National Guard). The men were given the nice rifles and told to be on constant watch for spies along the coast or any suspicious activities. They were also forbidden from using the rifles for hunting and were ordered to put out their seal oil lamps at night, since the lights would be visible from the sea and thus make them targets.|
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