Friday, October 10, 2014

"Drawn to Sea" by Yvonne Maximchuk

I’m drawn to books about the region where I live (Coastal BC) and especially books about women who’ve chosen a rural or rustic lifestyle. Yvonne Maximchuk wrote such a book, Drawn to Sea - Paintbrush to Chainsaw: Carving Out a Life on BC’s Rugged Raincoast (Caitlin Press, 2013).

Yvonne left her lower mainland home to live in the upcoast wilderness. She always loved the outdoors, and is open to adventure. After her marriage ended, she and her two children, Theda and Logan, moved with her boyfriend Albert to Echo Bay on Gilford Island.

Her new life began in a rented float house. As you can imagine, this was a big part of the book’s appeal for me. Plus, Yvonne inspired me with her willingness to try new things outside of her comfort zone. Her tale about a bad storm that made her think that her “bold new life is about to end in tragedy after less than a month” reminded me of my own storm experience. It was just as unnerving, but way less dangerous.

Yvonne learns about wilderness living as she goes: fishing, canning, gardening (her float garden looks much like mine), using a chainsaw (I’m not there yet), and building a house of her own (way beyond my skills). With two kids to raise and take to school by rowboat. I can imagine that each day brought new challenges and excitement.

Yvonne met Billy Proctor, a famous longtime resident. Bill is a hardworking logger and fisherman who welcomes coastal travelers to enjoy his home. He helped Yvonne and Albert (who she later married). Yvonne and Bill became fast friends and fishing partners as well.

Yvonne is an artist as well as an adventurer. She uses her speedboat “Sea Rose” to reach majestic locations to paint and draw. The cover of her book is just one example of how she captures the essence of the land and sea she loves.

Yvonne has spent the last thirty years carving a life out of the rugged BC wilderness. I wish I’d had her courage earlier in life to take such a chance. -- Margy


  1. Sounds a very intriguing book - and life! Have added it to my list of books to read. (have finally returned to ABC Wed after a time away - actually missed it!)

  2. I had the opportunity of meeting her about a year ago in the summer time when she had a show at our gallery. She has an interesting life. I saw she had a book out. Would be an interesting read for sure.

  3. That's pretty cool that the book is true life! No wonder you enjoyed it.

  4. Stephanie - That is so great. I would love to meet her in person. - Margy

    Beverley - Welcome back to ABC Wednesday.