Nikiski Bay, Cook Inlet

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Nikiski Bay, formerly known as Nikishka Bay, is a bight along the southeast shore of Gompertz Channel, extending southwest for 4 miles (6.5 km) from Boulder Point, about 14 miles (22.6 km) north of Kenai, Cook Inlet. The name is derived from the village, or perhaps several small villages, formerly located here. The village of Nikishka was Alaska Athabaskan Dena'ina first reported in 1930 by Frederica de Laguna. The name was altered to Nikiski in 1990.

Nikiski Bay is the base of operations for oilfield supply vessels servicing and supporting the oil and gas platforms in Upper Cook Inlet. The vessels operate year round in some of the most extreme and dangerous offshore conditions. The hazards in Cook Inlet include a tidal range that often exceeds 30 feet (9 m), currents of over 6 knots (3 mps), extreme cold (-28 C), and sea ice coverage up to 100% in winter months.

On January 15, 2009 the offshore supply vessel Monarch was pinned by ice against the Granite Point oil platform in Cook Inlet. Miraculously, all seven crew members escaped by climbing from the bow of the sinking ship onto the oil rig catwalk. The vessel was not salvaged and now lies upside down at the base of the rig. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Nikiski Bay.

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