As mariners enter Nuka Passage from the north, the waterway narrows as the gulf swell fades and a few pocket beaches and islets stand out along the mainland shore.
The terrain takes on a different character: the rugged sea cliffs disappear, replaced with spruce trees growing to the tideline. Berger Bay's wonderful waterfront (photo) provides ample locations to explore. See: (Nuka Island Map)
When exploring the nooks and crannies along the island's western shore, like near Petes Cove (left), keep a close-eye on your depth sounder, the water depth is often less than 10 fathoms with many reefs and rock piles to avoid.
The semi-protected waters of Nuka Passage are often used by small boats and offshore vessels to escape foul weather in the Gulf of Alaska. Nearby, Nuka Island's western shore offers many secure anchorages. VHF marine weather broadcast from Homer can be picked up in Berger Bay.
Mikes Bay (right) is named for Smokehouse Mike, a homesteader who lived in the bay from 1918-1921.
Mike built a small warehouse at the bay's head, where he and a few friends, operated a distillery during the time of prohibition. Mike's moored his boat in the mud-clogged NE corner of the bay. Today, the property is owned by the University of Alaska.