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Crossing Dixon Entrance and Homemade Salsa

I set the alarm for 4:30am yesterday morning in Ketchikan — after 4 (so we’d have the 4am weather report), but 4:30 for a little extra sleep since sunrise wasn’t until 6am. No point having more than about an hour of pre-sunrise cruising. The alarm went off, I checked the conditions (they looked good for us to go) and then promptly talked Kevin into another half an hour of snoozing.

We actually left the dock in Thomas Basin at 6am. The water was calm and there was no wind in the channel. We saw several humpbacks as we neared the entrance to Behm Canal. They say you’ll know what Dixon is going to be like once you’re halfway between Mary Island and Foggy Bay. (Foggy Bay is a good stopover if you need to wait for weather, or if you want to split up the 80 nautical mile day from Ketchikan to Prince Rupert…it’s beautiful, and there’s good fishing in the area.)

Conditions were great, so we continued on. We saw a bunch more humpbacks, and got a little escort from half a dozen Pacific White-Sided dolphins. Once out in Dixon, the swells picked up a little but were no big deal at all.

Approaching Dundas Island:


That turqouise hose on the bow is the raw water (salt water) washdown hose, for when we pull the anchor. The anchor rode goes down into a locker inside that’s right at the head of the bed, and if you don’t rinse off the kelp and mud before pulling it in, it can get a bit stinky. So…the washdown is important. Also, attaching the hose to the pump inlet is a pain in the butt, so these days (and since we’re anchoring quite a bit), Kevin leaves the hose attached and on the bow. That means it’s in all of my pictures. We replaced the raw water pump a month ago or so and it came with a dark blue hose…I’m lobbying for him to swap out this turquoise one for the dark blue one. Being married to an artist is rough sometimes.

We called Canadian Customs and were given our clearance by telephone about three hours outside of Prince Rupert. Once through Venn Passage, we decided to anchor for the night in Pillsbury Cove rather than go to the marina. We didn’t need anything in town, and Pillsbury Cove looked nice (and we heard there’s good crabbing in there). Kevin got the crab traps ready while I navigated us through the last of the twisty, shallow canal, and we dropped them before anchoring.

It was just after 6pm when we got in and we’d picked up more veggies for fresh salsa (since we pretty much mowed the previous smaller batch we made two days ago). Buying store-made salsa is fine, and there are some good ones, but there’s  just nothing like homemade, and it’s easy! I bought double what I bought last time…here’s a look at the grill:


Five roma tomatoes (cut in half), two habaneros (yes really, the salsa still is not that hot, I promise), 3 anaheim peppers (if they’d had poblanos or pasillas I’d have done a mix, but all they had in the larger mild peppers were anaheim), two jalapenos (I do two on the grill and two fresh…seeds removed).

Inside while the veggies were grilling, I mixed together two cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes, a large handful of cilantro, chopped, the juice of two juicy limes, liberal sprinkling of Penzey’s roasted garlic powder (the BEST!), similar sprinkling of cumin, and maybe a tablespoon or so of white balsamic vinegar. Once the grilled veggies are cool, chop them up and add them to the bowl. (I removed the seeds from the habaneros, too.) There’s no fresh garlic and no onions in this salsa, but if you taste it and feel the need to add some, by all means go for it. Also, I don’t add salt or pepper. I know, weird, but just taste it first. Here’s the finished product:


We grilled up some fresh halibut (given to us by a neighbor) for dinner and had that with some sauteed shaved Brussels sprouts and a baked potato. Kevin cooked the halibut perfectly.

Today we will head down toward Grenville Channel, and maybe anchor in Lowe Inlet tonight. We’ll grab our crab traps on the way out and who knows…we might have fresh crab for dinner tonight!

Here’s a map of yesterday’s Dixon Entrance crossing. (Dixon Entrance is that middle part with no land sheltering it from the open Pacific Ocean. Foggy Bay is the bay is on the right, just before Dixon Entrance, across from Duke Island.)

82.4 nautical miles, 11 hours 26 minutes:




  1. al johnson al johnson

    Darn! I went a looking for you folks yesterday. According to my weather source, ‘Windyty,com’ yesterday departure was a good choice, happy that you found a good passage. Enjoying the voyage with you and look forward to meeting you on your next North voyage.We have shared harbors over the past two years not knowing of your fame.
    Al Johnson-Ketchikan

    • Well dangit, Al! 🙂 Yesterday was great…calm much of the way and gentle swells for some of the time. “Fame” … you’re funny. Keep track of us next year and send us a note if you see we’re in the same harbor…we’ll make it happen. -L

  2. Kevin McLaughlin Kevin McLaughlin

    Almost a twelve hour cruise! BTW, the La Nina event is officially cancelled by NOAA

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