"Your only master is the weather." -- Margaret Sharcott

With their 13-month-old baby aboard their 30-foot troller Sea Lion, Margaret Sharcott and her husband Stan, a professional fisherman, proceeded to circumnivate Vancouver Island in the winter of 1954. Her account of the 600-mile circuit is a little-known but very readable memoir, Troller's Holiday (London: Peter Davies; Toronto: British Book Service, 1957), printed in London, England by William Clowes and Sons Ltd. With their cocker spaniel Skipper aboard, the Sharcotts nosed out of their home village of Kyuquot soon after Christmas and headed north for Bull Harbour on Hope Island for their first holiday in five years. Gales, fog, ice, ports of call, humour and danger abound during their trip which is also recorded in a series of 11 black & white photographs. The emphasis in Troller's Holiday is on coastal culture; there is little personal information about the dynamics of the Sharcotts themselves, who switched to the 36-foot troller Thornton Island for the final homeward leg of their journey from Victoria to Kyoquot. She concludes, "You are your own captain. You go where you want when you want. Your only master is the weather. You wear your old clothes. There are no timetables printed in a city office to dictate to you. This is the life!"

A Troller's Holiday was followed by Sharcott's memoir of accompanying her husband, a commercial fisherman, through the hazardous waters off the west coast of Vancouver Island.


Troller's Holiday (London: Peter Davies; Toronto: British Book Service, 1957)
A Place of Many Winds (Toronto: British Book Service, 1960)

[BCBW 2004] "Maritime" "Jacket" "Fishing"