Cruising Southeast Alaska - 2009

By Linda Lewis


5. Ocean Falls to Jackson Passage

Not such a big deal, right? The entire passage is very reasonably done if you have plotted your course, heed the markers, and look out the window. These range markers help guide you on the west end.

And now we’re almost right in the channel.

The best part about Gunboat Passage was the shoreline. I love taking pictures of the shoreline reflected in still water at low tide.

Here is my favorite from this stretch.

And a close second.

We bypassed Shearwater because it was still early in the day. We continued right out Seaforth Channel and then up Reid Passage. Since we had good timing for near-slack at Perceval Narrows, we went through it and headed for Rescue Bay at the east end of Jackson Narrows.

That’s where I was able to take a series of photos that I plan to show in the next navigation class I teach. Navigation charts often have areas colored green which mark “cover – uncover” areas. High tide? You think it’s a lake. Low tide? It’s exposed. In between? You are aground.

I noticed a small area in Rescue Bay that is easy to overlook that is a cover – uncover spot.

Here is how it is marked on the chart.

Look at the picture of the chart and note where our boat is (the green boat icon). Then look a little ways up and to the right – just to the left of the “(3)” notation. The splotch to its left looks black in the photo but it is green on the chart. That is what I call: “…don’t go there! water".

This seal clearly knows where it is. The tide is falling and the seal is hunting for its expected perch.

Look at the following series of photos as I watched the tide fall.

Oh boy, something to stand on.

A few more interested parties.

Wait for me, Mom!

Just a little more oomph and you're up.

You deserve a kiss for that.

By this time they were all bored and took off. Their perch remains for the next unwary boater.

We left the next AM and took Jackson Narrows at slack on a low tide. Pretty skinny passage. Dave did bow watch and I made the Securite’ call (warning that we were coming through a blind corner) and we picked our way through this narrow section.

A bit narrow and kelpy.

Looking back.

I love Jackson Passage and snapped this photo at a moment that seemed almost magical to me.




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