Glaciers, Bears and Totems: Sailing in Search of the Real Southeast Alaska


by Elsie Hulsizer

Marine writer Elsie Hulsizer, whose Voyages to Windward unlocked the mysteries of cruising Vancouver Island's west coast, now does the same for that other great unknown of West Coast cruising, Southeastern Alaska. Part cruising guide, part cultural journey, Glaciers, Bears, and Totems is illustrated with Hulsizer's own photographs and makes a welcome addition to any boater's library.


Having avoided the Alaskan challenge for years, Elsie and her husband Steve set out on their trusty boat Osprey on May 14, 2006, and spent the next three summers sailing, writing and photographing the towering fjords, immaculate glaciers, throwback fishing villages and overexposed tourist traps of America's largest state. They drifted past calving glaciers, watched bears feeding in green marshes, smelled the fresh cedar of newly carved totem poles and followed the path of gold prospectors on the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad.

Sometimes it was difficult to discern the real Alaska beneath the façade, but Hulsizer finds it in many places, from the wild beauty of the ocean to the small coastal villages she visits and, sometimes, even where the tourists go. Glaciers, Bears and Totems is a rich book of adventure travel that is as valuable for its reading fun as for its travel information.


Author Elsie Hulsizer
Title Glaciers, Bears and Totems: Sailing in Search of the Real Southeast Alaska
Edition First Edition
Publisher Harbour Publishing
Publication Date October 29, 2010
Pages 320
Format Hardcover
ISBN-13 978-1550175165


An Environmental professional with a degree in oceanography, Elsie Hulsizer lives in Seattle with her husband Steve. She has a certificate in fine art photography from the Photographic Center Northwest and has exhibited her art in various galleries including Seattle's Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center. Since 1980 the Hulsizers have cruised northwest waters extensively including over 20 trips to the West Coast of Vancouver Island, two trips to Haida Gwaii and four trips to Southeast Alaska.

Between sailing adventures on Osprey, she serves on the Washington State Board of Pilotage Commissioners which licenses the pilots who guide ships on Puget Sound, and on the Board of Trustees for Seattle's Center for Wooden Boats.

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