The Fisher Queen: A Deckhand's Tales of the BC Coast

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Heritage House Publishing Co, Aug 7, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 192 pages

It’s 1981, and Sylvia Taylor has signed on as rookie deckhand on a wallowy 40-foot salmon troller. Looking forward to making money for university, she is determined to master the ins and outs of fishing some of the most dangerous waters in the world: the Graveyard of the Pacific. For four months, she helps navigate the waters off northern Vancouver Island, learning the ways of fisherfolk and the habitat in which they breathe, sleep and survive.

The politics of selling fish, the basics of tying gear, near-death experiences, endless boat troubles, the emotional perils of sharing cramped quarters—all are part of a steep and unforgiving learning curve. Taylor’s story captures the reality of life on a fishboat and documents the end of an era, a time when the fishing industry wasn’t yet marred by unchecked overfishing or hyper-regulation. Her lyrical, simple prose explores the tight-knit relationship of fishers with the west coast’s wild, untamed waters. Her memoir bursts with all the humour and hell, peace and upheaval that is the Pacific Ocean.

 

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User Review  - bsiemens - LibraryThing

This is a wonderful memoir. There were times that I was reading and could imagine the heartaches and joys of working on a fishing boat. The descriptions were so vivid that I could almost imagine that ... Read full review

Contents

The Legend of Sisiutl
9
Sointula
21
Port Hardy
32
Bull Harbour
44
First Day Fishing
55
UnDressing Salmon
66
Gaias Whale
75
Davy Joness Locker
82
The Quick Turnaround
111
The Great Grey Beast
147
HighPressure Fronts
154
For the Living and the Dead
167
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Sylvia Taylor is an award-winning writer, editor and educator. A director of the Federation of BC Writers for 13 years, she consults with authors and entrepreneurs and is a popular conference presenter and adjudicator. Her creative writing has appeared in anthologies and genre magazines in Canada and the US, and she was shortlisted for the CBC National Literary Awards in creative non-fiction. She is co-creator and coordinator of “Surrey Stories: A Celebration of the Spoken Word,” a monthly writer/speaker series in conjunction with the City of Surrey Libraries.

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