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Spirited Waters: Soloing South Through the Inside Passage Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

Spirited Waters: Soloing South Through the Inside Passage + Kayaking the Inside Passage: A Paddling Guide from Olympia, Washington to Muir Glacier, Alaska + Point To Point: Exploring The Inside Passage By Kayak
Price for all three: $36.71

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books (March 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594852634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594852633
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #767,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Not many people, especially a solo woman traveler, would attempt to kayak the 750 miles along the Inside Passage between Alaska and Washington state. All the more reason for the adventurous Hahn to try it. Hahn, a naturalist and kayak guide, felt a call to do this trip but realized that she would have to do it in sections, over two spring and summer seasons. Sometimes fearless, sometimes terrified (of the currents, wolves, bears, and strange men), Hahn remains honest and thoughtful about her experiences. As her account reveals, she meets many generous people and a variety of animals and sea creatures on the trip and finds a sense of peace within herself. Her extensive knowledge of nature, native customs and legends, and the navigational history of the area nicely complement her personal experiences, while her eloquent writing allows readers to feel both the pain and the triumph of the journey. Recommended for all travel collections. Kathleen Shanahan, Kensington, MD
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

JENNIFER HAHN grew up in Wisconsin, where she was raised by her father. A love of outdoor adventure was born during summers tromping about Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and Europe with her family--four pubescent kids and a widowed welding teacher. She has worked as a welder, ski instructor, editorial assistant for Audubon magazine, illustrator, and tour leader in the Galapagos Islands. She is the founder of Elakah! Kayak Tours (1990) and has guided extensively in Washington, Alaska, and Mexico. She lives with her potter husband and a fleet of kayaks in Bellingham, Washington.

More About the Author

One book critic dubbed Jennifer Hahn "Emily Dickinson on steroids." Award-winning writer, illustrator, naturalist, welder, wild harvester, wilderness guide, and coastal traveler -- Jennifer calls the land her second home. With 30 years of wilderness travel under hull and boot--including her solo kayak from Alaska to Washington and guide work in SE Alaska--she spends a lot of time with whales, bears and seaweeds.

Jennifer is currently balancing an extroverted life guiding on the Inside Passage and teaching wild food cuisine and foraging classes--and an isolated life in retreat hammering away at a memoir about how her father welded the family back together after a tragic family accident.

Jennifer's first book "Spirited Waters: Soloing South Through the Inside Passage" won the "Barbara Savage 'Miles from No Where' Memorial Award" for an adventure narrative. Her second book, "Pacific Feast: A Cook's Guide to West Coast Foraging and Cuisine," is forth-coming October 2010 by Skipstone Press, Seattle. Jennifer studied under Pulitzer-prize-author Annie Dillard. She founded and still guides for Elakah Kayak Expeditions in Washington state, as well as the Pacific Catalyst in SE Alaska. She lives in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, clay sculptor, Chris Moench, and teaches at Western Washington University's Fairhaven College.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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My Dad absolutely loved this book.
Dannela T. Varel
Jennifer Hahn has created a compelling story of her solo journey through the Inside Passage.
Lynn Skinner
This will encourage you to live your own dream.
Ana Murray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jim Border on January 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Adventurer, naturalist and narrator, Hahn takes the reader along through the spectacular scenery of a fabled coastline. Often pristine and wild, sometimes developed or abused, always interesting, sometimes scary. This is not another machismo assault of man-against-the-elements, this is Jennifer-and-the-sea. And she knows the sea well. This book is a good read. Inspirational and informative; enjoyable for knowledge gained (filling the plate at the "intertidal table") and emotions evoked ("At 2 A.M. I woke to hear food bags being shredded outside my tent..."). Spirited Waters is a spirited narrative of a modern grand adventure.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn A. Mclauchlan on October 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read this book one winter day tucked safely and warmly under my bed covers. In the summer I signed up for a kayak trip with the author. Did the book inspire me--you bet! And I've been going on adventure trips ever since. I've bought the book for friends who love it as well. It's an exciting read but more importantly, for me, a life changer. Marilyn McLauchlan Bainbridge Island, Wa
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Waterman on December 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the debut passage of a kayak guide whose fecund and original prose is reminiscent of Annie Dillard and John Muir. As if her exceptional natural history writing isn't enough, Jennifer Hahn is also heritably wired--through the accidental deaths of her mother and brother--to the calculated risks of a modern day Odyssey. Her encounters with hairy bears, scarey tiderips, lonely men, huge seas, and a spy-hopping gray whale are gripping and inspirational.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Peterson on September 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For those who have ever dreamed of taking a trip through Alaska's Inside Passage, Jennifer Hahn's Spirited Waters might be the closest thing to making that dream come true. With every page reader's can feel the freedom, the thrill, even the tension and moments of fear that Hahn experiences--whether cause by acts of nature (predictable and unpredictable) or acts of people along the way (well-intentioned or otherwise).

Motivated in part by the untimely deaths of her mother (when Hahn was a young girl) and then her brother when he was just 32 and in part by the persistent "whispers" of her own dreams, Hahn knew "it was time." "Dreams," Hahn says, "I've learned have the patience of Job. Like mushroom mycelium, they can live underground for years, laying a vast framework while awaiting an opportune rainstorm to waggle their fruits. Unbeknownst to me," she continues, "such a storm was approaching as I strode into my early thirties...Whatever dreams lay sleeping inside me; my intuition said I'd better roust them ASAP. For all I knew, like my adventurous mom and my brother, I might not live past my mid-thirties, either."

Armed with the survival skills she had learned over the years and had been teaching for almost 15 years, as well as the tools of survival she could fit into her kayak, Yemaya, she set off--alone!

"Kayaking, "she says, "offers the traveler one of the most holistic and sensual rides," largely because one can move "at a walking pace" in a kayak. At maybe three miles per hour (if there's no wind or current) the traveler can observe--see, hear, feel--the smallest details in the water, the flora, the fauna, even the wind and the water current.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Casey Clark on August 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Spirited Waters is not just another run of the mill, macho adventure story. Don't get me wrong, you'll find plenty of excitement, danger, and a wonderful guide to roughing it in the remote Pacific Northwest, but this book offers so much more. This is a moving journey of self discovery in one of the last great wildernesses of the Pacific Coast. Hahn is a true wild woman whose love of the natural world makes her stories lush with detail, a succulent feast for your mind's eye. I've finally found my ideal wilderness adventure reading, a beautiful narrative inspired by a passion for all things wild, and written from the heart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dannela T. Varel on July 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My Dad absolutely loved this book. I sent it as a gift as he is an ardent nature lover. He told me that he just, "couldn't put it down and had memorized the plants in the pictures." I sent it to him after I borrowed a copy from the library and I knew he would love it! I did too!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. Allan on August 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Imagine one of your closest friends just took a remarkable adventure. The two of you are out to dinner for the first time afterwards and she is telling you stories about the amazing things she saw and did along the way. That is exactly how Spirited Waters was for me. I just couldn't wait to hear what Jennifer Hahn saw and did next! I am a kayaker myself and have been to several of the places that she wrote about, and I couldn't have described their beauty any better myself. Reading this wonderful book made me want to jump in the car with a kayak strapped to the roof, head north out of the hustle and bustle of Seattle, and set out for an adventure of my own. Even if you aren't a kayaker it would be hard not to take up the sport after reading Jennifer Hahn's book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alaina on March 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
Wow, what an amazing journey and a fun book to read! I really appreciated the author's candidness in talking about both her triumphs and fears during her journey. In this way it is not the "typical adventure story," but instead more like having a conversation among friends. "Spirited Waters" is inspiring to anyone, and with each new leg of the journey you feel like you are right there in the kayak with Jennifer. The drawings and maps are fantastic too!
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