Monday, June 6, 2011

Prince William Sound

Thirty six hundred miles above the equator Prince William Sound straddles the 60th parallel and is farther north than Cape Horn is south.

Sheltered from the open Pacific by breakwaters of forty-five mile Montague and forty-mile Hinchinbrook/Hawkins islands Prince William Sound is a remarkably quiet body of water for its size. The absence of strong tidal currents in most areas, a 30% occurrence of calms and a 5 knot average wind velocity during the summer account for the Sound's general placidity, but remember Alaska is the land of extremes.

The Sound has a remarkable landscape. Thick stands of green conifers interspersed with alder patches and peat land bogs creep up mountainsides to give way to lush alpine meadows. Rising above the symphony of greens, rugged snow-capped peaks often draped with hanging glaciers. The scale here is almost unimaginable.

Prince William Sound comprises an area of 25,000 square miles; the intricate, glacially scored shoreline is 2,500 miles long- longer than the combined coast of Oregon and California. Settlements in the Sound include Whitter with a population of 300, Valdez, population 400, Cordova, 2,500 residents', Chenega Bay, population 35 and Tatitlek with 100 folks.

No comments: