|49° 31' 28'' N, 55° 12' 52'' W|
|May We Rant and Roar No More - Michael Paul Samson
reprinted from http://www.seapaddler.co.uk
I received my copy of this book towards the end of September, which was an opportune time as I had just finished reading one book and was in need of some new stimulation. I read some of the blurb on the back cover:
"I couldn't put it down until I had finished it completely"This seemed like my kind of book a relatively quick read and then onto the next volume but here I am nearly two months on and only just writing the review. This is not due to laziness on my part but a reflection of the speed at which I read the book. I was keen to read it quicker but the richness of the language and the description of the journey slowed me down. This is a book to savour, not to rush through and then discard. It is also much more than a sea kayaking book, it is a social commentary on a way of life and a community that is fast disappearing, largely as a result of manís insatiable greed with little thought to the environmental consequences. He undertook the circumnavigation in 1997 and I am left wandering what further changes there have been in the intervening eight years.
This is also a book about sea kayaking though. Newfoundland is big, just take a note next time you are crossing the Atlantic how long it takes to fly over the Province. And itís empty, if there are no clouds try to discern any settlements, or other signs of human activity. There arenít that many. Michael paddled around the island but it was no simple journey, there are highly descriptive passages of the strong winds and high seas that he encountered.
The most outstanding passage, for me though, is when a large whale accompanies him whilst paddling towards a significant headland and he encounters a group of feeding humpback whales. This has to be one of the most memorable pieces of writing in almost any sea kayaking book that I have come across.
Although the book is written in the form of a chronological log it avoids the trap of falling into a simple description of food eaten, miles paddled and places camped, as so many books do. Yes those facts are covered but we are introduced to the diverse range of characters who inhabit the more remote corners of the island. Conversations are written in the style of Newfoundland accent, which is a bit of a challenge to the untrained eye at first but it gradually becomes easier.
If you are interested in sea kayaking, and I assume you are if you have delved this far into the site, then this is a book for you. Read it and become absorbed in a journey through a human and physical landscape which is in danger of disappearing.
This is not an easy book to come by, it is available from Michael at www.walktheline.ca, but it is well worth the effort searching out a copy.
|Box 373RR3 Fortune Harbour, Newfoundland A0H 1E0
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