In 1787, Captain Portlock sailed along the outer capes of the Kenai coast and marked a mountainous 2.5-nm wide bay on his chart, naming the location Day's Harbor...Today, Day Harbor is a popular destination for mariners seeking protected fishing waters with a choice of secure anchorages and State Marine Parks.
The rugged Resurrection Peninsula forms the western shore of the harbor. Two secure anchorages lie along the harbor's eastern shoreline - Anchor Cove and Bowen Anchorage. Davidson Point (right) is located at the S entrance to Driftwood Bay.
Driftwood Bay State Marine Park is a good destination in mild weather, but the bay should be avoided by boaters when strong E or SE winds are present.
Bootleg Cove (left) and lagoon are hidden wonders of Day Harbor. Bootleg Cove is a tiny indention with an sandy landing beach for kayaks and inflatables.
Vessels should not attempt to enter the small, shallow cove, but instead, find anchorage outside the cove, and only during periods of calm weather. Adjacent to Bootleg Cove is Bootleg Lagoon, about 40 acres in size and surrounded by a large, wetland area.
The lagoon is seldom visited by humans and is a great place to observe waterfowl like merganser, harlequin, and goldeneye ducks. River otters, bald eagles, dog salmon, and black bears are abundant in fall.
Ellsworth Glacier (right) dominates the head of Day Harbor's Ellsworth Valley. This land-based glacier sits about 5 miles from tidewater.
In the past century, not only has Ellsworth Glacier continued a steady retreat up the valley floor, but also the glacier's surface elevation and thickness have greatly diminished. An iceberg-laced lake sits at the glacier's ice terminus.