Rowing the Northwest Passage: Adventure, Fear, and Awe in a Rising Sea

Kevin Vallely. Greystone (PGW, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $18.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-77164-134-0
Adventurer and explorer Vallely’s debut takes readers along on his harrowing but beautiful 2013 journey in a custom-made rowboat through the Arctic Ocean’s Northwest Passage, which connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. This “dance between tranquility and chaos” on the water is not for the faint of heart. Readers follow Vallely from finding partners and sponsors to creating specifications on construction of the four-seat boat to leaving his two young daughters behind to set out. He brings readers deep into the choppy, freezing waters, where his craft is tossed about like a cork at times and narrowly misses huge masses of ice at others. He describes waking up one morning to find “a hundred-by-hundred-foot ice floe that has wedged itself up against our bow.” There are adventures on land, too—wonderful meetings with colorful locals and other hardy expeditioners and encounters with curious polar bears. The trip was ostensibly taken to publicize how climate change has altered the Arctic, but Vallely’s book is as much a history lesson and thrilling travelogue as it is an ecological warning. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-77164-135-7
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