The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway
A sailing trip along the proposed Northern Gateway marine route with a fresh new voice in non-fiction.
With oil and gas behemoth Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway proposal nearing approval, supertankers loaded with two million barrels of oil may soon be plying the waters from northern British Columbia down the wild Pacific Coast. This region is home to the largest tract of temperate rainforest on earth, First Nations who have lived there for millennia, and some of the world’s most biodiverse watersone spill is all it will take to erase ten thousand years of evolution.
Arno Kopecky and his companions travel aboard a forty-one-foot sailboat exploring the pristine routea profoundly volatile marine environment that registered 1,275 marine vessel incidentsmechanical failures, collisions, explosions, groundings, and sinkingsbetween 1999 and 2009 alone. Neither Kopecky nor the boat’s owner have ever sailed before, yet they brave these waters alone when their captain leaves them part way through the journey.
Written with Kopecky’s quick humor and deft touch, this is a rich evocation of a mythic place and the ecology, culture, and history of a legendary region with a knife at its throat.