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Hungry Point

Location #3

Location #3


AUDIO TOUR
 

Transcript

We call this place where North Nordic Drive turns sharply to the right “Hungry Point.” This is where the fast-flowing waters of the Wrangell Narrows meet the much larger body of water called Frederick Sound. Mariners know that junctures like this can generate very “confused” seas and tall waves, particularly when the tide or current is moving in the opposite direction of the wind. Seeing this stretch of water helps explain why the original inhabitants of this land, the Tlingit people, named this area Séet Ká Kwáan or “land of fast-moving water.” If the tide is out, find the nearby set of steps to take a closer look at the intertidal zone. As you approach the waterline, you should begin to see the blue mussels and white barnacles attached to the rocks. In addition to coping with strong currents, these animals must also adapt to a life that is completely submerged in water at high tide - and completely dry at low. When they are exposed to the air, they protect themselves from drying out - and from airborne predators - with hard shells that seal up to lock in moisture. When they are underwater, they open their shells and filter-feed on all the nutrients stirred up by the flow of the water. One common seaweed you may see here is known as popweed in the genus Fucus. This algae has also adapted to the intertidal life. Popweed has pouches or bubbles that are filled with air. These are called pneumatocysts. These sacks float, keeping the algae at the surface during tide changes so it can collect sunlight and photosynthesize for as long as possible. As you turn the corner, you might hear two sounds familiar to Petersburg residents. The first comes from the sea birds. The most common here are glaucus-winged gulls, feeding on small fish and plankton stirred up by all the motion. The second sound you might hear is roars from sea lions. The sounds of their quarreling as they jockey for position on the nearby navigational buoys can carry remarkable distances around town.


POEM
 

Seabird

The storm will try
with its waves and gales
and brave bluster
to ruffle your feathers,
but you will rise up with the crests
and slip down with the troughs
Unflustered
through the worst of the spitting winds.

Directions to next location

Next we’ll leave the sea and explore the unique terrestrial landscapes of Southeast Alaska. Continue down Sandy Beach Rd until you reach 14th Street on your right. Turn right onto 14th Street and walk up the small hill until you see the small parking area and “Boardwalk Trail” sign.

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