We had a wonderfully wild and windy day to launch Bathymetry. The morning started drizzly, but the wind whipped up in the afternoon and blew that rain right out of town. However, the trail to the launching spot beside the Bulkley River is like a bowling alley – a windstorm a few weeks earlier had knocked down several aspens and cottonwoods. With some trees bending almost double, we hustled right along that trail to get to the big gravel bar where the trees were not much more than shrubs. As we practiced folding paper boats and waited for our guests, a huge gust whirled upriver and we heard a telltale crraackk back along the trail followed by a very loud crash. Luckily, although folks had to clamber over the downed cottonwood to get to us, no one was killed in the launching of this book.
I told people where the poems came from – a fabulous kayak trip to the Melville-Dundas Islands (Lax Kwaxl) off the coast from Prince Rupert – and was pleased to have several fellow paddlers join us.
We took turns reading the fourteen sonnets in the collection.
Finally, we folded individual poems printed on pristine paper into an astonishing assortment of vessels – catamarans, canoes, kayaks, outriggers – and set them free into the river.
The next week, on a road trip to Prince Rupert, we watched for them all along the Skeena, right down to the estuary. No sign of them, but we hope they are being enjoyed by all the young salmon making their way to the ocean.
Thanks to Emily Bulmer for the great idea!
This is a totally WONDERFUL project!