Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

The Fisher Queen December 11, 2012

Filed under: book reviews — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:35 am

The summer I was 23, I was nursing a new baby in an apartment in Calgary’s Hillhurst-Sunnyside while my husband studied at U of C. I battled sleeplessness, waves of people on the LRT, and high prices at the Safeway across the street. It was a joy filled adventure, where beauty was in baby’s smile.

The summer Sylvia Taylor was 23 she nursed drunken fisher folk, studied the ways of the ocean, battled sleeplessness, ill-fortune,  killer waves, the high prices of goods at the fish camps and the low stocks of fish that were to pay those bills. It was a joy and terror filled adventure, where beauty was in sea creatures and unexpected kindnesses.

Sylvia’s story of determination and survival, hard-work and discipline, failure and success as one of the few female deckhands in BC’s commercial salmon fleet is likely a fascinating read for anyone who’s ever spent time on a fishing boat, but it’s both intriguing and astonishing for someone like me, who dislikes everything associated with ocean. I am astounded by Sylvia’s pluck and wild adventures. You wouldn’t have caught me on that boat for love nor money (and she got neither for her efforts).

I don’t envy her the experience, but I was glad she shared it with me.


Here’s Sylvia herself, reading an excerpt.  You’ve got to love that sultry voice! 🙂



PS. Well, okay, I do kind of envy the experience with the dolphins.   😉



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