TEECE, Philip

Author Tags: Maritime

A Victoria librarian since 1984, Philip Teece is an avid reader of Greek and Roman classics, a boatbuilder, a sailor and an astronomer. His two decades of sailboating in the Gulf Islands resulted in A Dream of Islands, a lyrical travelogue with drawings and personal reflections. With Jack Newton he simultaneously published The Guide to Amateur Astronomy in 1988, having previously partnered with Newton to produce The Cambridge Deep-Sky Album in 1983. His most recent book is a collection of original tales of West Coast mysticism and horror, Raincoast Macabre.


Cambridge Deep Sky Album, by Jack Newton, Philip Teece (Cambridge University, 1983)
A Dream of Islands (Orca, 1988)
Raincoast Macabre (Orca, 1996)
The Guide to Amateur Astronomy, by Jack Newton, Philip Teece (1994)
Shimmer on the Horizon (Orca, 1999)

[BCBW 2003]

A Shimmer on the Horizon (Orca $24.95)

Cruising inland passage in Galadrial, a shoal draft cruiser he built, Philip Teece was joined by his partner Mary in a tandem craft to produce A Shimmer on the Horizon (Orca $24.95), a follow-up to A Dream of Islands. 1-55143-140-8


A Dream of Islands (Orca $12.95)

"I ARRIVED IN B.C. ON THE OLD PRINCESS Joan, whose route passed through the Gulf Islands in the 1950's," says Victoria librarian Philip Teece, "that's when I caught my first whiff of their magic.

"From that moment on I longed to build a boat and sail among the islands." To fulfill his longing Teece built a motorless 18 foot sailboat, Galadriel, which he named after the elfin queen in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. A Dream of Islands (Orca $12.95) recounts his two decade odyssey of discovery among the Gulf Islands' channels, straits, bays and coves.

"My favourite anchorage is a place I call Spirit Cove," he says, "I rarely meet people there, and its silence is very special to me. Its location is left just a little vague in the book."

A Dream of Islands then is not a guide book. It's a lyrical log book, with drawings and personal reflections, complete With a chapter called 'Stargazing at Anchor.'

Besides being a Victoria public librarian, an avid kayaker and an admirer of Greek and Roman classics (particularly Homer), Teece is also the co-author with Jack Newton, of another new book this fall, The Guide to Amateur Astronomy (Cambridge University Press $24.95 U.S.).

'We've poured out. hearts and souls into this one," he says, 'It reveals our telescope-building secrets, describes dozens of observational projects and provides our guide to the night sky." Teece and his astronomy partner published The Cambridge Deep-Sky Album (Cambridge University Press) in 1983.

A professional librarian, off and on, since 1964, Teece credits the Victoria library system for agreeing to implement job sharing from 1981 to 1987. 'It was really that period that made possible my three books," he says.

As his anchorage, the library has also directly contributed to A Dream of Islands. "Every cruise to a new island or inlet begins and concludes with chartwork and historical and geographical research in the library's chart room and archival clipping files.

'I also find that the library is a place in Victoria where sailing people seem to converge. I have probably talked with more yachtsmen in the library than- on the docks."

Coincidentally Arthur Sweet and the Islands Trust Senior Writers Committee have produced Islands in Trust (See B.C. BookWorldl Autumn) to preserve and protect 15 islands comprising the Island Trust.

"The Gulf Islands," says Teece, "are a landscape unique on the whole western coast of North America an extraordinary haven in a region quickly filling with industry and population.

"But it's a surprisingly small and vulnerable area. It could very rapidly be altogether suburbanized and industrialized. If that ever happened, the loss would be mourned by thousands of cruising people and landsmen alike."

[Winter / BCBW 1989]