Cape Tanak is a point of land on the north coast of Umnak Island in the Aleutian Islands, about 64 miles (103 km) southwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The name was first published in 1852 by Captain Mikhail Tebenkov, of the Imperial Russian Navy, as “Cape Tanakh”, from the Aleut word “tanaq”, meaning “lace”, according to R.H. Geoghegan.
Cape Tanak was once the site of an Aleut village called Egorkovskoe that was destroyed by an eruption in 1817 while its inhabitants were hunting in the Pribilof Islands. The villagers later relocated to the present site of Nikolski at the opposite end of Umnak Island.
On Saturday, July 12, 2008, the Okmok Caldera erupted without warning, sending a plume of ash to 50,000 feet (15,000 m). A crater lake drained through a notch eroded in the northeast rim and the resulting flood transported tremendous volumes of sediment down the slope of the volcano to the sea at Cape Tanak. The remains of a fishing boat are partially buried on the beach at the mouth of the unnamed river that drained the caldera lake. Seasonal storms in the Bering Sea repeatedly expose and bury this wreck so that every year different parts of the ship are visible. Learn more about historical Okmok eruptions here and Umnak Island here. Explore more of Cape Tanak here: