The Curve of Time: The Classic Memoir of a Woman and Her Children Who Explored the Coastal Waters of the Pacific Northwest (Adventura Books)

by M. Wylie Blanchet

Other authorsTimothy Egan (Introduction)
Paperback, 2002

Call number

NWC 920 920 BLA



Seal Press (2002), Edition: 2nd, 192 pages


Biography & Autobiography. Nonfiction. HTML: After her husband died in 1927, leaving her with five small children, everyone expected the struggles of single motherhood on a remote island to overcome M. Wylie Blanchet. Instead, this courageous woman became one of the pioneers of "family travel," acting as both mother and captain of the twenty-five-foot boat that became her family's home during the long Northwest summers. Blanchet's lyrically written account reads like fantastic fiction, but her adventures are all very real. There are dangersâ??rough water, bad weather, wild animalsâ??but there are also the quiet respect and deep peace of a woman teaching her children the wonder and awesome depth of the natural world. "Filled with observations on natural history and the wonders of the wild, (Blanchet's) prose, like the waterfall she describes, sings."â??Kl… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member DJ_Cliffe
This is a wonderful book that lovers of boating, the BC coast, or just good stories will thoroughly appreciate.
LibraryThing member rightantler
This is a truly pleasant read. A fascinating journey in a land somewhat familiar (although not really) in a time long ago. I came across this book quite by chance in a local independent book store. Such events as these are sadly increasingly rare - but on this occasion ... what a find! If you have
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any familiarity with BC or even if not, perhaps especially if not, then I suggest this is mandatory reading!
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LibraryThing member laVermeer
A beautifully observed memoir of years spent boating in the Pacific Northwest. The style is that of another era, but the author's celebration of wondrous places is timeless. If you boat in the Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound, or the Broughton Archipelago, you must read this book.
LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
I was lucky enough to have grown up on Vancouver Island and had parents that took me and my siblings on many picnics, hikes and camping trips giving us all a love and curiosity about nature and this corner of the world. The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet is a memoir written by a widow, who with
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her four children spent the summers of the 1920’s on a 25 foot boat, exploring the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Acting as both “captain” and mother, she and her children enjoyed their summers of freedom. Although there were dangers from bad weather, rough water and wild animals there were also great rewards. They met some interesting people who chose to live away from the rest of mankind but were happy to act as hosts to this small family, they were also helped and guided by the commercial fishermen and the loggers who were working in the areas that they travelled. They spent their summers discovering beautiful beaches, secret coves, and deserted Indian villages. This type of vacation travel was unusual to say the least and the fact that she was a women caused many people to sit up and take notice.

The author’s love of nature and her family comes across on every page in this book. Her memoirs read like a chatty letter from a favoured aunt, light and informative, but any deep understanding of her motives and inner thoughts she keeps to herself. I found myself reading this book with a chart of the coastal waters at my side so I could visual the routes she took and the places she visited. The Curve of Time was a charming and enjoyable read but I couldn’t help feeling that if the author had been a little more forth coming and had fleshed out the characters a little more fully, this would be a true Canadian classic.
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LibraryThing member lisa.schureman
Put a mother, five children, and a dog in a twenty-five foot motorboat to cruise the British Columbia coastline for four summer months before having to return home before onslaught of the bad weather in fall. They got to know some of the homesteaders that lived in the various inlets, explored First
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Nations winter villages, searched for a seahorse one of the children was sure they saw, had close calls with bears, and visited the inlet where Henry the Orca had gotten stuck in because he hadn't listened to his mother. Of course, there were also the times when they were sheltering in a cove off Mistaken Island and Capi was working the fore and aft anchors to keep the Caprice with just enough water under her keel to keep her from grounding or up an Lewis Channel when the engine died and Capi had to tow the boat with the dingy five miles to so she could anchor Caprice before working on the engine.
Fishing for dinner, the food they'd stored aboard, traded or bought along their way. They were a family that adventured together both afloat and ashore
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LibraryThing member breic
This is what we did on our summer vacation? This reads more like a blog than a book. It would be more interesting if I knew the author, but she tries hard to keep the writing matter-of-fact and impersonal. Some of the writing is still good.




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