26 Feet to the Charlottes: Exploring the Land of the Haida
by June Cameron
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When June Cameron and Paul Holsinger set out in 1983 in Paul's ancient 26-foot wooden sloop, Wood Duck, to cross the perilous Hecate Strait and explore the weather-beaten west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands (now known as Haida Gwaii), they knew they would face danger. But June had raced her own sailboat for years and Paul was a gifted mechanic, so they put trepidation aside and answered the call to adventure.
Their journey taught them much about the challenges faced by the area's First Nations inhabitants—and much about why skippers do not sail the outer coast of the Charlottes for pleasure. There are no lighthouses, and many rocks and reefs are uncharted. June and Paul's survival would depend on cautious, observant navigation—and luck.
26 Feet to the Charlottes takes readers to remote beaches, uninhabited First Nations villages, abandoned mines and sheltered coves. Compelling reading for sailors and armchair adventurers alike, June's story conveys the joys and challenges of travelling by boat and living off the sea, and recalls a coast that has changed dramatically in the last century.
- Heritage House, March 2011
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