Adventures in Wilderness
The Nature Book Club
Two hundred miles north of Vancouver “and about a hundred years back” lies Swanson Island, a remote rock along the icy, rugged coastline between Alaska and Seattle – the setting of this riveting adventure.
INSIDE PASSAGE describes Michael Modzelewski’s experiences – both wonderful and harrowing – in this unspoiled place. His is a powerful story – the chronicle of one man learning self-reliance in the wilderness.
You’ll join his adventures as he comes eyeball to eyeball with a killer whale… as he comes home to find a pack of wild boars wrecking his kitchen.. As he takes a wounded eagle, Kwee Kwa, by canoe to the nearest vet .. As he finds himself on a boat with a stalled engine, rapidly floating out to sea in the dark of night.. And much more.
You’ll also learn the wisdom of the Kwakiutl Indians, who inhabit the nearby islands – discover how they fish, forecast weather and make the most of the abundance around them.
“Living with the threat of danger is what made life so exciting, such a high-voltage experience. On a wilderness island, to a great extent, you relinquish control. Nature rules. It forms the questions you must answer to survive.” – Michael Modzelewski
A small glimpse of the powerful story of INSIDE PASSAGE
“The whale rose up a few feet away. I looked into a lucid blue eye. She spouted and I breathed her breath. There was a mere inch or two between her side and the edge of my skiff. My hand went out. I touched her on the back behind the towering fin. The flesh quivered. Her back wheeled under my fingertips, her skin like supple satin.”
“The sky seemed to collapse from within… The air darkened into the purple-black of a bruise as the wind roared by, smashing through island forests. Loud cannonades punched the ears as trees were toppled.”
“We nicknamed the hole ‘the Refrigerator,’ for the deep water kept the fish cold and fresh, and in that particular spot, the plentiful snappers were as easy to procure as opening the refrigerator and pulling one out.”
Man and nature connected
“I realized that no matter how man tries to remove himself from the animal world, he does not stand apart, aloof at the center of the circle. Rather, if he is wise, he follows it around and around.”
“I walked on wondering if I was the first man to step under these giant trees. And I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to see an elf or wood nymph appear, for it had all the elements of an enchanted forest.”
Invading wild boars
“The sows were stretched across the daybed. The piglets were snoozing on beds of scattered rice. Boris was hunkered down on a throw rug with his head half-buried in a bucket of raisins.”
“Dropping … seven feet of wing … dropping …. fifteen pounds of bird … diving, tilting, descending like parachutes under control – stab, stab – a few flaps to gain altitude, the wings out, herring wiggling, they would ride a thermal up to fir perches where they would tear into the fish.”
Exploring the underwater world
“Sensing movement behind. I spun around smack into a cloud of fish that parted, rippling around me … suspending me … suspending time … making reality a dream. I was in a tunnel of surreal eyes dot-dashing by on metallic flumes.“