Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Life With The Salmon - book review

Paddlers, be on the lookout for small boat use in a variety of books, especially books from modest-sized Canadian publishers. The latest paddling fix I've found was in a wonderful title from Theytus Books. It's the second book from author Diane Jacobson, and it's called My Life With The Salmon. Click here for a link to the publisher's website.

While most of the book discusses the author's time working with salmon enhancement programs, there is a strong element of boating. Jacobson and her colleagues use a variety of boats to reach the various places where they are gathering data on salmon and their habitats. If you're not strictly a kayaker, you can read along and nod sagely as she speaks of the small open motorboats being used to cross a river estuary or reach an island, and of canoes on lakes and rivers. There are even some of her colleagues who swim and snorkel downstream to report on river conditions for salmon. Safety concerns while boating are mentioned several times in her book, as well as a healthy amount of awe for her experiences along the rivers and ocean shore of her homeland.

Y'see, Jacobson is a member of the 'Namgis First Nation, and boating is a natural part of the life in her community on the coast. "The river taught me that it has the power to give life and to take life in an instant," she says at one point.

If this were a kayaking book, I'd ramble on about it. But it's great to see the use of small boats being such an important element of such an interesting book. This book was awarded the Best Regional Non-fiction Prize by the Independent Publisher Book Awards in 2012.
If you want to see what it's like to be offshore in a small motorboat, we've got a link to a video here. And if you're interested in salmon stories, check out Kayak Yak posts here on our forays into salmon-bearing streams.

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