Port Armstrong, Baranof Island

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Port Armstrong, Baranof Island

by | Jun 10, 2020

Port Armstrong is an estuary about 1 mile (1.6 km) long on the southeast coast of Baranof Island, 59 miles (95 km) south-southeast of Sitka and 4 miles (6.5 km) north of Port Alexander, Alaska. The bay was named by Captain George Vancouver of the Royal Navy, during his stay in Port Conclusion between August 1 and August 22, 1794.

The U.S. Whaling Company operated here from 1912 to 1923. The company killed 314 whales in its first season of operation. Modern harpoon guns were partly responsible for the high volume. These guns replaced traditional hand-thrown harpoons and could shoot a bomb-tipped harpoon 120 feet (36 m). When a harpoon struck, the bomb would explode inside the whale.

Only one third as many whales were caught in 1913 and catches remained low in following years. In 1923, the company moved to New Zealand and Port Armstrong is now the site of the Armstrong-Keta salmon hatchery. Read more here and here. Explore more of Port Armstrong here:

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