Approaching Dixon Entrance
Course: South East. Speed: 5 knots
Wind: North West, F3 gentle breeze
Sea: slight. Swell: South West, 1 metre
Weather: sunny, mild
Day's run: 85 nm
After flopping around for close to five hours with very little wind and sloppy seas kicked up by the tidal flows at the entrance to Chatham Strait, I eventually resorted to the BRM* in order to get clear of the turbulent waters. But it was not for long, for after fifty minutes the wind picked up sufficiently for the sails to fill and have enough pressure to keep us moving without rolling heavily to the steep short sided waves. A little while later we were clear of the turbulence and were once again running square, wing on wing, before a gentle breeze, the sun shining in a cool blue sky, leaving the exasperation of a kicking tide and light winds behind, forgotten in our wake.
We have enjoyed yet another pleasant night at sea, making slow but steady progress, with the moon shining full and bright such that only the brighter stars stood out from the silvery black curtain of night. And this morning, with the sun rising and warming the day rapidly, we were greeted by a pod of humpback whales, it would seem celebrating the sun's warming rays with some quite acrobatic displays of exuberance, with great swirls of water and flurry of tails. Indeed, the behaviour was quite unusual such that I initially thought they might have been Killer Whales, however, as we got closer, the distinctive shape and more usual sedate behaviour of the Humpback became obvious.
Cape Muzon, the northern headland of Dixon Entrance, lies 25 miles ahead, and the waters ten miles to the south of Cape Muzon are Canadian. Prince Rupert, a Canadian port of entry and our destination, lies a further 100 miles to the east. With luck we should be there tomorrow evening, however, in order to get into the port, we first have to negotiate some extensive shoals and reefs and some rapid tidal streams, so it is highly likely that we might have to delay our entry until Thursday morning.
All is well.
* Bright red machine - in case you have all forgotten after all this time in port.