Sail back into the mists of time with Captain Vancouver as he explores the Pacific Northwest aboard the HMS Discovery. In Sailing with Vancouver, Sam McKinney — in his 25-foot sailboat, Kea — uses Vancouver’s original 1792 log and charts to follow the route of Vancouver’s exploration of Washington and British Columbia’s inland seas.

These now very popular cruising destinations are made more interesting with snippets of history, giving insight into the story behind Vancouver’s exploration, in particular why islands, inlets, channels, and headlands were named.

Sailing with Vancouver gives the reader a sense of what it must have been like to explore these waters for the very first time, lacking charts or any knowledge of the landmarks and having natives of questionable friendliness as their only contacts.

This book would be wonderful to read while armchair cruising with modern charts or planning future voyages. It certainly adds a very special historical flavor aboard while cruising the intricate waterways of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Sailing with Vancouver by Sam Mckinney (Touchwood Editions, 2004; 224 pages)