Born in Ladysmith on January 1, 1940, Gladys Maria Hindmarch began teaching at Vancouver City College in 1965 (later to become Langara College) and started teaching at Capilano College in 1974. Her books have had long gestation periods. She began writing her first two books, both published in 1976, back in 1961 (Peter Stories) and 1970 (Birth Account, about two pregnancies but one birth in 1971). Her stories that became The Watery Part of the World were begun in 1967 and not finished until 1986, with more editing done in 1987: a 20-year production. In that book she examines crew life through a female narrator's eyes as an ocean-going freighter makes 24 stops delivering mail and goods (beer, pop, toilet paper, logging camp supplies, even motorboats) to Vancouver Island places that had no or little access by road in the 1960s: Ucluelet, Bamfield, Hot Springs Cove, Gold River, Tahsis, Winter Harbour, Fair Harbour, Zeballos, Friendly Cove, etc. "We often picked up whale meal in Coal Harbour where there was a whaling station and sometimes fish meal on our return trip at Ucluelet," she wrote in 2004. "When there was a storm, we sometimes were able to ride it out. I recall our 165-foot ship, the Tahsis Prince, drifting backwards for ten hours while the engineers had the engines going full steam ahead: we were that small and the storm that strong. Other times, we just hid behind an island or in a fiord and waited for as many as three days for the storm to subside enough. The only reason I got to cook on the boat (which I did more than I mess-girled) is that no one who had a cook's discharge in her sailing book wanted to. I was a relief worker only and sailed as a cook or messgirl on almost all the Northland Navigation boats on both the outer and inner coasts up to almost Alaska." In 1999, Hindmarch was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, a relatively rare type of breast cancer, leading to a work-in-progress called Swimming with Cancer. "I am healthy right now. I swim. I dragon boat race. I love. I enjoy my life."


The Peter Stories (1976)
A Birth Account (1976)
The Watery Part of the World (1988)

[BCBW 2004] "Fiction"