The writer, in command of the aircraft tender Gannet, was attached to the Alaskan Aerial Survey Detachment. The expedition, under command of Lieutenant Commander A. W. Radford, U. S. Navy, was made during the summer of 1929, engaged in mapping southeastern Alaska.
The “lose your ship on uncharted reefs” legend persists to such an extent that it seems to be an axiom that naval vessels traveling these inland waterways of Alaska must employ Alaskan pilots. While all merchant vessels employed in the Alaskan trade carry two Alaskan pilots, one on duty all the time, pilotage is not compulsory.
The first 600 miles inland to Alaska are through British Columbian waters. While these waters are not so well lighted as those of Alaska, there are sufficient aids to enable the careful navigator to keep in the main
channel. These waters have been traveled for years and have no uncharted rocks. The currents have been carefully checked and the results can be found in the tide and current tables, both British and United States.