Passage to Juneau : A Sea and Its Meanings (Vintage Departures)
Passage to Juneau A Sea and Its Meanings - Vintage Departures Author:Jonathan Raban With the same rigorous observation (natural and social), invigorating stylishness, and encyclopedic learning that he brought to his National Book Award-winning Bad Land, Jonathan Raban conducts readers along the Inside Passage from Seattle to Juneau. The physical distance is 1,000 miles of difficult-and often treacherous-water, which Raba... more »n navigates solo in a 35-foot sailboat.
But Passage to Juneau also traverses a gulf of centuries and cultures: the immeasurable divide between the Northwest's Indians and its first European explorers-- between its embattled fishermen and loggers and its pampered new class. Along the way, Raban offers captivating discourses on art, philosophy, and navigation and an unsparing narrative of personal loss.« less
Excellent writing, like any good travel writer, Raban has a wide range of interests that he can talk about, from fishing to the politics of logging camps to the voyages of Vancouver. A typical boat owner, though, once he obtains a certain amount of knowledge and skill he has nothing but contempt for landlubbers trying to make it on the ocean or anywhere else (one of his first books is called "Soft City".)
The first part was pretty interesting, because he was moving around my old stomping grounds - Seattle, Tulalip, Deception Pass. Once he crossed the border into Canada on page 112, he got a little more boring, discussing differences between Yanks and Canadians (ho hum, a middle school exercise) and letting his divorce creep into his writing.