Everyone was busy and occupied. That was why the Pacific was so wide open for anyone who would decide to prioritize even a little bit of resource to the area.
Sorry, “prioritize” for which specific purpose? Russia had everything it wanted on the both sides of the Pacific coast and used all naval resources it could spare.
Again, what for? The only reason for RAC’s existence was fur trade with China. Colonization of the empty places was not in the cards because Russia had to populate the empty spaces it already owned.Had Russia, say, sent a frigate and a couple of small cargo ships out to the Pacific every year or at least every other year it would have been decisive in the face of such low interest from everyone else.
There were cargo ships in the Okhotsk flotilla (actually, all of them had been used almost exclusively for transportation) and they were busy sailing between Okhotsk and Kamchatka. The ships of RAC also had been carrying supplies and furs.
Nothing would have prevented this until the war with Britain started at the end of 1807, it wouldn't have cost an inordinate amount, and it's not as if the Baltic Fleet was being terribly active or useful at home anyway.
Doing something, has to have practical purpose, as did the first circumnavigation of 1803-06. But it was also about the furs.
Needless to say that “Neva”, “Nadezda”, “Juno” and “Avos” had been purchased in Britain. It does not look like at that time Russia was building too many ocean-worthy ships.
The food supply was such a problem was because it was going via Okhotsk. Sending it via naval circumnavigation was drastically cheaper, although OTL inefficiencies were such that it was even cheaper to let Yankees do the circumnavigation and buy the foodstuffs from them.
This was attempted but did not work out on a permanent base. RAC ended up making contract with the Hudson Bay Company.
The problem was they weren't buying all the furs. American and British vessels were sailing up the coast of Alaska and trading directly with the natives. To make matters worse, they sometimes traded firearms to tribes hostile to the Russians in return for the fur. This was the reason for Alexander's Ukase of 1821.
This ukaz was just empty words: Russia did not have means to enforce the claim and could not actually beef up these means, even in a complete power vacuum, because even supplying the existing population of the Pacific coast was extremely difficult.
The pretensions being those of the 1821 ukase, or more generally any territories TTL expanded into during the years of war and confusion, or for that matter Paul's claim to everything extending to 51 degrees latitude. OTL most of this was surrendered in negotiation with Britain and the US.
I repeat. Russia could not maintain a meaningful presence on the Pacific coast of America and did not have visible reasons for any expansion in that direction.
Actually, it was going in both directions but it does not matter: RAC was strictly about the fur trade and if it could get money immediately instead of carrying furs all the way to Kjakhta, it was just fine.This is certainly the way the Russians must have wanted the Americans to act, but ensuring it would require maritime policing, and claims in that regard caused consternation in Washington and London and were soon abandoned. The fur trading, btw, went the other direction. The Americans would buy furs from the RAC for sale in Canton, since Russian vessels were not allowed in that port.
No resources to challenge a competing European power? Agreed. Sufficient resources for the Tlingit and other local tribes and to police noncombatant merchant vessels, however.
RAC did not have adequate resources even for the tasks you listed and the government was not excessively interested. Or rather it was more complicated:
(a) For the state trade with China amounted to something like 4-5% of the foreign trade, had a negative balance and was mostly about getting the tea (which was not, yet, as popular as later). The bulk of the traded furs was coming from Siberia, Kamchatka and the islands.
(b) Shareholders of RAC included high-placed figures all the way to Widowed Empress so there was obvious individual interest in maintaining the company functionng.
As far as the state resources on the Far East were involved, they were minuscule. Most of the ships of Okhotsk flotilla did not have any guns pr just few falconets. This situation only marginally improved during the reign of NI by which time the company was getting regular state subsidies.