Crossing Dixon Entrance. June 2
06 June 2013 | posted at Ketchikan
Photo: Tree Point Light in Southeast Alaska
In June, the most common question asked at the Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club must surely be, “when will you cross the Dixon Entrance?” We had arrived at the Yacht Club on Saturday, made a quick stop at the Safeway store, gone out for dinner and read our email. With everything closed (even the museum!) there seemed no reason to wait -- except for possibly the weather. “Dixon Entrance west, Northwest 20-30 knots” announced the weather channel of the VHF radio. Just enough to be unpleasant, but not impossible to do. We put off our decision until morning. We had never had a bad northbound crossing of Dixon Entrance and we didn’t want to spoil our record.
“Dixon Entrance West, 20-30 knots; Dixon Entrance East, 10-20 knots,” announced the weather station the next morning. We would be in Dixon Entrance East for most of our crossing. The direction was against us but the strength was good. If we got out there and the seas were rough, we could always duck into Brundridge Inlet on Dundas Island and cross the next day. We decided to go. One powerboat on the dock also left. The rest of the transient boats stayed behind to wait for more favorable winds.
But when we exited Venn Passage into Chatham Sound (we cross Chatham Sound before crossing Dixon Entrance), we found flat seas and calm wind.
We motored all the way to the corner of Dundas Island, where Dixon Entrance starts, before the wind came up. The sky was cloudy bright, the wind brisk but not too cold and the seas were about what we would find in Puget Sound in similar winds. And we could make Tree Point in SE Alaska in one tack.
That evening Osprey swung at anchor in the sunshine in quiet Foggy Bay as an eagle flew overhead and a black bear grazed on sedge grass onshore. We’d had another good crossing of Dixon Entrance.