TILIKUM LUXTON’S PACIFIC CROSSING is Norman Luxton’s telling of a 1901 ocean adventure. The turn of the last century was the age of the great adventurer. In 1901, Norman Luxton a young man from the Canadian prairies met a European sea captain, John Claus Voss, in a Vancouver tavern. Over a bottle, they challenged each other to circumnavigate the globe by canoe. In May, the pair set out from Victoria, British Columbia. They left port in the Tilikum a 38-foot-long Salish dugout canoe fitted with sails; the smallest craft ever to attempt such a trip. They journeyed alone, without radio or other means of support. As their voyage progressed, they encountered savage weather, pods of whales, schools of shark and cannibals. They shipwrecked once.
For Luxton, this remarkable voyage ended in a Suva, Fiji, sick bed. The Pacific had been crossed, but he and Voss had nearly killed each other along the way. With a series of new mates , Voss completed the journey . His book, The Venturesome Voyages of Captain Voss, became a maritime classic. Written many years later, Tilikum: Luxton s Pacific Crossing is Luxton s account of the voyage. In elegant, descriptive prose, Luxton takes issue with Voss’s account and provides a vivid portrait of the Pacific and her peoples at the dawn of the twentieth century. In this new edition which brings this classic back into print readers will also find a foreword and epilogue by Harvey Locke, a trustee of the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation.