Dead or Alive: Farley Mowat in Burgeo, Newfoundland


 Exploring writerly lives through literary pilgrimage


–By Robin McCarthy

I worked for a while as a cook on a fishing-boat-turned-small-cruise-vessel that traveled from Maine to Western Greenland over the course of my summer aboard. Upon starting this new job, I was shown my berth and handed an ancient hardcopy of Farley Mowat’s The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float, required reading for all crew headed to the southern coast of Newfoundland, which I was.

I read Mowat’s account of traveling the south coast by sea in moments before sleep and during long sea passages. My crewmates had all read it before my arrival, and they quizzed me daily on what was happening in the book. Oh, they’re running rum from Miquelon? Fantastic! Has he been dismasted yet? Keep reading! Continue reading