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'Passage to Juneau, is a bleak but often humourous log.,
This review is from: Passage To Juneau: A Sea and Its Meaning (Paperback)
Leaving Seattle on All Fool's Day 1993 Raban, a latecomer to sailing, sets out to explore the tortuous eccentricities of The Inside Passage north to Juneau in Alaska.He goes 'fishing for reflections.'As in the myths and legends of the Native Americans he studies and interprets Raban finds that when one leaves the apparent sureties of home and community strange and inxeplicable events can occur.Like the hero in some contemporary Greek tragedy signs and omens oppress him, illusion and self-delusion shadow him.Ghosts track him;the original tribes,the moody,bellicose English explorer Captain Vancouver with his recalcitrant crew,fur traders,gold diggers,timbermen, tourists.All leave their tracks but as time passes nature returns and silently covers their trails.Is this a pattern in the apparently all enveloping chaos?
Raban has a sardonic,renaissance mind but also the necessary authorial skills required to make this a stylistic and narrative tour de force.
Passage to Juneau is a personal log, a bleak but often humourous saga in which Raban charts and interprets his inner seascapes and attempts to pilot himself safely through the treacherous tides and shifting currents on which he sails.This is a masterpiece which goes on my shelf next to Peter Matthiessen's, 'The Snow Leopard', and Bruce Chatwin's,'In Patagonia'.