Raven's Apprentice is a compelling true story from the west coast of B.C. that launches you into the world of Raven and our interconnectedness with all living things.
"Suddenly, without warning, they spun on a fin and started charging the boat. My thrill turned to real panic. Killer whales attacking a boat. Had there ever been such a thing? A paralysis gripped me. Now, within striking distance, they slipped into an arrowhead formation just below the surface. If the leader of the pack didn't bring the boat down, his flanks would."
"At about 20 feet off the bow, the frontrunner broke the surface, peeling waves off his rostrum as he continued his commitment to engage. Bracing for impact, my hands squeezed into the railing..."
Travel with me aboard MV Lady Guinevere. Witness being charged by transient killer whales, stalked by wolves and walking creeks so pristine you feel as if you were the first human to experience the wonder of nature.
"You have succeeded in bringing the reader on the voyage with you and into the deeper experience of transcendence and heightened awareness. Some of your experiences are literally skin tingling, many will leave your reader thinking and remembering for a long time to come." - Sid Tafler – Writer, Editorbr.
"Don Hardy’s RAVEN’S APPRENTICE is a great and compelling story, both nuanced and vivid, that will leave readers wanting to head off on adventures of their own."
- Heather Stockard - IndieReader
The plan was to stay close to the shore, so I had some place to go if the fog drifted back in. I would keep a close watch on the compass. If I was heading north, I was heading in the right general direction. The young attendant at Hardy said “The big island – Calvert Island – would be on my left, the next big island would be Hunter, and then you hang a left into Lama Pass at the top end [I liked the sound of that, Lama Pass. ‘Let the young Lama pass’]. I think there might even be a sign saying Bella Bella,” he said.
Little did I know that just a few degrees off compass could bring disaster. I can do this. I just need to keep my wits about me and stay focused on the task at hand. Land on the right – China on the left.
At approximately 3:40 PM, all was dead calm as my Lady glided into the entrance of Queen Charlotte Strait. The fog was at a safe distance and we had decent visibility. A light swell was coming in from Japan that pulsed like an extended heartbeat and soothed my dormant fears. Everything was so placid and peaceful; I couldn’t imagine anything out of the ordinary would happen. But it did.
At 4:05, three transient killer whales surfaced about 300 feet off the bow. I dropped the engine into neutral and ventured out on deck. I was thrilled to see such large mammals in the wild. My only experience with killer whales was at the Oak Bay Marina and the Vancouver Aquarium where they performed tricks for food. Like all creatures in captivity, I was fascinated with their close proximity, but sad they suffer for it.
I watched them glide along, dipping and surfacing, dipping and surfacing. I was mesmerized by their gentleness and peaceful nature. Suddenly, without warning they turned on a fin and started charging the boat. My thrill turned to real panic. Killer whales attacking a boat! Had there ever been such a thing? If there were no survivors, no witnesses, how would anyone know? I was not a threat to them. Yet here I was in mortal danger from charging whales. A paralysis gripped me.
Now within striking distance, they slipped into an arrowhead formation just below the surface. If the pack leader didn’t bring the boat down, his flanks would.
At about 20 feet off the bow, the frontrunner broke the surface, peeling waves off his rostrum as he continued his commitment to engage.
Bracing for impact, my hands squeezed into the railing, but as swiftly as the whales wheeled to intercept my course, the leader dipped and glided under the boat rolling over to look up at me as if to see my reaction. His black outline and sleek body suspended in the tinted green ocean was stunning. He was showing me how beautiful he was. As the leader passed under the boat, the other two crossed his path arcing into a curve, like acrobatic jets in an underwater sky. This was their natural habitat and their way of having fun. I wasn’t sure if this was for me or if they were enticing my Lady to play, but it was spectacular.
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Born in Halifax Nova Scotia. Grew up in small-town Cumberland, BC. but could not wait to get out and make his mark. Toured throughout Canada and the US as a professional musician until he realized he hated touring. Settled in Victoria, BC. Wrote six unpublished screenplays until he had real success with a stageplay called "A Garland for Judy." It toured down the west coast from Bellingham to Los Angles but topped the bill in San Francisco for six months to sold-out shows. Eventually settling into technical writing and developing online courses for most of his working life. Raven's Apprentice is a memoir that captured the imagination of a retired CBC executive who said, "You must bottle up all of this adventure into a book! ...being rescued by transient killer whales encounters with wolves, spirits in the kelp ... it's all too exciting!" And so it is done.
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