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Stalking Salmon & Wrestling Drunks: Confessions of a Charter Boat Skipper

Stalking Salmon & Wrestling Drunks: Confessions of a Charter Boat Skipper

By Harbour Publishing

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Each fisherman steps onto the docks, sees Peter Gordon's boat the MV Kalua, glances at the other members of the charter and feels a rush of anticipation. The challenge is on to see who will catch the biggest fish.

Told with a skipper's authority, Stalking Salmon and Wrestling Drunks recounts the highs and lows of fishing with tourists, including dealing with rowdy guests, bad weather, near death experiences, lost fish, tangled lines, and sometimes even tragedy. Gordon's humour and tenacity shines through each tale to create an energetic memoir that will appeal to fishing enthusiasts, observers of human behaviour, travellers and anyone interested in recreational fishing.

Stalking Salmon and Wrestling Drunks exemplifies the quintessential BC West Coast experience; however, the stories are much more than great fishing trips. As the skipper, each charter brought Gordon the challenge of “bringing together the most unlikely people, people who would never choose to spend four or five hours together.” It might be as simple as children or jobs, but Gordon thrived on deeper, more powerful connections like re-introducing two men who had been in the same concentration camp together during World War II and hadn't seen each other since.

For Gordon, each charter was not only about a skipper and his crew, but was an opportunity to encourage each person to have an exceptional experience. Stalking Salmon and Wrestling Drunks tells each story with precision, an eye for detail and the good-natured humour that carried the author through each day on the rough seas. This collection is a delightful balance between the adventure of open-water fishing, helping people cross the last item off their bucket list and making life-long friends in the process.


"Gordon's writing flows as smoothly as Race Passage on a clear day. As something of a memoir, Stalking Salmon & Wrestling Drunks stands in a league of its own, capturing not only the beautiful landscapes of the Gulf Islands but also the eternal effort of working in customer service during Victoria's tourist season."
Alexis Koome, Nexus Newspaper, June 2016

About the Author

Peter L. Gordon skippered his boat MV Kalua, for his charter boat company, Magna Charters, one of the go-to charterers running out of Victoria from 1978 to 1989. A world traveller, Gordon was born in Vietnam, educated in Europe and the United States and enjoyed a film career in Hollywood before settling to a quieter life on Vancouver Island. In addition to working as a charter boat skipper, he ran an equestrian center for many years. Now retired, Peter tells of his sport fishing adventures off the coast of Vancouver Island in his first memoir.

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