The Sun is a Compass by Caroline Van Hemert

Order Bill’s new book today!

I was travelling around the province – roadways, ferries and footpaths – taking advantage of loosening travel restrictions to explore the seemingly endless coast of BC’s Gulf Islands. It was also an ideal opportunity to visit with independent booksellers as part of a Gone Viking tour, promoting my latest travel memoir. In Comox, I stopped at Blue Heron Books, where I picked up Caroline Van Hemert’s The Sun is a Compass, her personal account of travelling, along with her husband, for five months by rowboat, kayak, raft, foot, ski, and sled from Washington State to Alaska, crossing Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories in the process.

This is a proper armchair adventure, well-written travel lit shared in real-time, thrusting the reader into the excursion alongside the author. It’s an expedition few would endeavour to tackle. Exceedingly ambitious. Borderline foolhardy. Despite the planning, our explorers run out of food, surviving on stubborn hope for five days. But the author and her spouse make a resilient and reliable team. This trek is one of savouring nature, basking in the outdoors and wanting the very best for our environment. Van Hemert is a highly trained and skilled ornithologist, her observations of bird species along the way comprehensive and absorbing.

The land itself soon becomes a primary player in the adventure, from rugged coast to surging sea, rainforest to tundra, rivers, bogs and deltas, mountains, glaciers and ice floes. If you like the notion of exploring arctic terrain without the inherent demands, discomfort, risk, or week upon week of dehydrated bland food, The Sun is a Compass is an ideal way to do it, and author Caroline Van Hemert makes for an engaging, entertaining and informative travel companion and guide.


  • Title: The Sun is a Compass: My 4,000 Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds
  • Author: Caroline Van Hemert
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Spark, 2019
  • ISBN: 9780316414449
  • Pages: 306 pp
See also  Bill Arnott’s Travel Beat: Talking Writing and Viking with the UK’s Alex Pearl

Liked it? Take a second to support us on Patreon!
West Coast Editor/Poetry Reviewer at The Miramichi Reader -- Website

Bill Arnott is the bestselling author of the suspense-thriller series The Gamble Novellas, the poetry collection Forever Cast in Endless Time, and WIBA and ABF book awards finalist, Gone Viking: A Travel Saga. He’s been awarded for prose, poetry, songwriting, is the producer of Bill's Artist Showcase, and for his eight-year Gone Viking trek has been granted a Fellowship at London’s Royal Geographical Society. When not trekking the globe with a small pack, weatherproof journal and laughably outdated camera phone, Bill can be found on Canada’s west coast, making friends and misbehaving. Watch for the follow-up to Bill’s award-winning bestseller, the soon-to-be-released Gone Viking II: Beyond Boundaries, (RMB Fall 2021).

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x