Showing posts from December 26, 2010

Book Review - June Cameron: 26 Feet to the Charlottes

26 Feet to the Charlottes by June Cameron

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

June Cameron is writing about an adventure some 40 years in the past, a cruise on a 26 foot wooden sloop to the Queen Charlotte Islands in the waters north of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  She writes with fond remembrance and respect, both for her own past and the vanishing traces of the first nation residents of the area.  The book was of particular interest to me because I expect to sail these waters, and in a similar sized boat.  Every morsel of experience, even vicarious, is important to a latecomer, and I came away from these pages with a feel for what awaits me.  I wonder if it is still possible to harvest as much from the bounty of the sea as did June and her companion?
There is a measure of melancholy in the tenor of her relationship with her shipmate, who owned the little sloop.  She is vague about the what went wrong: I couldn't decide if it was the conflict of their respective cruising and the raci…

Book Review - Farley Mowat: The Boat Who Wouldn't Float

The Boat Who Wouldn't Float by Farley Mowat

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Farley Mowat writes, always, it seems, with wry wit and love in his heart.  This book was handed down to me (an autographed copy, no less, with dust jacket intact) by my Mother.  Billed as a must-read for any wooden boat owner, the real star of the book is Newfoundland and her people.  The sailing in this area sounds challenging to say the least.  The climate is dominated by fog that can be brutal and deadly, in combination with lee shores that admit few mistakes. 
Exploring the places Mowat writes about on Google Earth gives one a perspective and a hankering to visit, and while it would be a long sail from Seattle, it would not be impossible.  [Interesting to sail to within 150 miles of Columbus, via the St. Lawrence Seaway.]
The characters Mowat invokes are wonderfully independent, living still on the frontier of a continent not so very far from its first colonizers, but still about as remote from the rest of t…