Gumboot Girls and Dancing in Gumboots chronicled the fascinating and inspiring stories of the 1970’s migration of women seeking a new way of life on BC’s West Coast, from Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii to the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. But what about the men who came in search of their own adventure, who became smitten with boats and the smell of salty air? Now, Gumboot Guys joins the two previous collections in chronicling this exciting decade, when all seemed possible.
Stories of buying, fixing, building and running boats; learning to navigate the ocean’s many moods; describing the abundance, and subsequent decline, of salmon stocks; and many, many tales of the unpredictable nature of life on the sea paint a vivid picture of the thrilling, adventurous and occasionally dangerous world awaiting these men. The constant current running through each of these stories is community—the guidance of experienced mentors, the encouragement from fellow adventure-seekers and the generous support of partners and families. These stories serve as a time capsule commemorating an era of hope, fortitude and freedom.
About the authors
Lou Allison moved to the West Coast from Ottawa in the western migration of the 1970s. She settled in Dodge Cove after having children, working all over the North Coast, and living on boats and float houses with her partner, Jeremiah, while completing her English degree by the light of a kerosene lamp. Lou now works full time at the Prince Rupert Library and is devoted to all things related to books. She is the editor of the bestselling anthologies Gumboot Girls (2012) and Dancing in Gumboots (Caitlin Press, 2018), with Jane Wilde. With Gumboot Guys, forthcoming from Caitlin Press, Lou looks forward to another opportunity to read and share the stories of our North Coast lives.
Jane Wilde moved to the West Coast in the early 1970s from Guelph, Ontario. She resided on Haida Gwaii from 1976–79 and, after attending nursing school, returned to Prince Rupert as a maternity nurse. For thirty-five years, Jane worked in health care in rural communities, living in Dodge Cove and Prince Rupert with her partner, Richard. She relocated to the Comox Valley in the fall of 2016. She compiled stories and images for the bestselling anthologies Gumboot Girls (2012) and Dancing in Gumboots (Caitlin Press, 2018), as well as the forthcoming Gumboot Guys (Caitlin Press, 2023), with editor Lou Allison.