Fairway Rock, Bering Strait

Fairway Rock is a small granitic islet in the Bering Strait, located southeast of the Diomede Islands and west of Cape Prince of Wales, and is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Fairway was first mapped by James Cook in 1778 and named by Frederick William Beechey in 1826. Fairway Rock was mentioned in the accounts of John Muir's voyage aboard the Corwin in 1881, and by Roald Amundsen aboard the Gjøa in 1906. What is considered the last offensive action of the American Civil War, the CSS Shenandoah fell upon a fleet of whalers working the waters here and sank more than two dozen ships on June 22, 1865. Although uninhabited, the island is a nesting site for seabirds — most notably the least and crested auklet. The US Navy installed a strontium-powered thermoelectric generator on Fairway from 1966-1995 to test remote applications of a portable power source. Ocean currents north of Fairway Rock have been studied as a real-world example of a Von Kármán vortex street. In fluid dynamics, a vortex street is a repeating pattern of swirling vortices. Learn more about Fairway Rock here. Click on the picture below and download the CoastView app to explore Fairway Rock and the Bering Sea coast.