Cruising Sumner Strait

Sumner Strait runs for 80 miles/110 km more or less east-and-west through the Alexander Archipelago in southeast Alaska, from the mouth of the Stikine River, north of the community of Wrangell, to Iphigenia Bay. The islands of Mitkof, Kupreanof and Kuiu are on the north side of the strait, and Zarembo and Prince of Wales Islands are on the south. The first European to navigate the strait was a fur trapper named William Brown, in 1793. That same year, James Johnstone surveyed the strait as a part of George Vancouver’s expedition. It was named in 1875 for the abolitionist Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner. The strait passes between picturesque snow-capped peaks, and there is a 1932 lighthouse located at Cape Decision which is still a functioning signal.