National Geographic : 1891 May 29
56 I C. Russell-Expedition to Mount St. Elias. As if to compensate for the lack of refuge on either end, there is in the center of this great stretch of rock-bound coast, over 300 miles in extent, a magnificent inlet known as Yakutat bay, in which a thousand ships could find safe anchorage. On some old maps this bay is designated as " Baie de Monti," "Admiralty bay " and " Bering bay," as will be seen when its discovery and history are discussed on another page. The southern shore of Alaska, for a distance of 200 miles along the bases of the Fairweather and St. Elias ranges, is formed of a low table-land intervening between the mountains and the sea. Yakutat bay is the only bight in this plateau sufficiently deep to reach the mountain to the northward. This bay has a broad opening to the sea; the distance between its ocean capes is twenty miles, and its extension inland is about the same. Its eastern shore is fringed with low, wooded islands, among which are sheltered harbors, safe from every wind that blows. The most accessible of these is Port Mulgrave, near its entrance on the eastern side. The shores of Yakutat bay, on both the east and the west, are low and densely wooded for a distance of twenty-five miles from the ocean, where the foot-hills of the mountains begin. At the head of the bay the land rises in steep bluffs and forms pictur esque mountains, snow-capped the year round. These high lands, although truly mountainous in their proportions, are but the foot-hills of still nobler uplifts immediately northward. The bay extends through an opening in the first range to the base of the white peaks beyond. This opening was examined a century ago by explorers in search of the delusive " Northwest passage," in the hope that it would lead to the long-sought "Strait of Annan "-the dream of many voyagers. It was surveyed by the expedition in command of Malaspina in 1792, and on account of his frustrated hopes was named " Puerto del Desengafio," or " Disenchantment bay," as it has been rendered by English writers. The waters of Yakutat and Disenchantment bays are deep, and broken only by islands and reefs along their eastern shores. A few soundings made in Disenchantment bay within half a mile of the land showed a depth of from 40 to 120 fathoms. The swell of the ocean is felt up to the very head of the inlet, indi cating, as was remarked to me by Captain C. L. Hooper, that there are no bars or reefs to break the force of the incoming swells.
1892 Feb 19