Dangerous Cape, Port Graham

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Dangerous Cape Reef extends west for 0.5 miles (0.8 km) from Dangerous Cape, a headland at the north entrance to Port Graham that shelters Coal Cove, in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

Port Graham is on the southwest coast of the Kenai Peninsula, about 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Seldovia. The bay was originally named "Grahams Harbour" by Captain Nathaniel Portlock in 1786. The Russians called this bay "English Bay," probably because of the English mapping and visitation there in the late 18th century. Coal Cove is a small bight, about 0.5 mile (0.8 km) wide, on the north shore of Port Graham that was named "Coal Bay" by Portlock who found coal there on July 25, 1786. This was the site of a small Russian coal mining operation until 1867.

The Torrent was a three-masted wooden sail ship, built in Bath Maine, that wrecked on Dangerous Cape Reef on 15 July 1868. Shortly after the Alaska Purchase of 1867, the U.S. Army dispatched several batteries of soldiers to Alaska to protect American interests in the former Russian territory. Battery F of the Second Artillery sailed for Cook Inlet aboard the chartered, civilian-owned sailing bark Torrent with instructions to scout locations for an army fort near Kachemak Bay. The Torrent carried approximately 125 Army officers and soldiers, plus a civilian crew of around 12 sailors. Also aboard were passengers that included women and children. While attempting to enter Coal Cove, the Torrent struck the reef extending off Dangerous Cape and began to take heavy seas. Everyone aboard escaped in the ship's boats, but the vessel broke apart and sank. Read more here and here. Click here and download the CoastView app to explore Dangerous Cape.


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