Saturday, September 02, 2017

“Listening to Whales” by Alexandra Morton

Echo Bay on Gilford Island and Billy Proctor seem to attract strong women who love the outdoors and nature to its fullest. Three of these women have written about their lives to share their experiences and inspire us.

I’ve reviewed books by Yvonne Maximchuk and Billy Proctor. Another author is Nikki Van Schyndel who wrote Becoming Wild, a memoir of her year living off the land on islands in the Broughton Archipelago. The most recent book I’ve read is Alexandra Morton’s memoir Listening to Whales.

Alexandra grew up in Lakeville, Connecticut. Her parents were artists and writers who were well connected to all levels of society. Alexandra didn’t fit in well with her peers, preferring nature to social interaction and left school at seventeen to strike out on her own. In parting, her mother gave her this sage advice, “You can leave school, but you have to do something with your life.” And that she did.

Alexandra began working with John Lilly with research into dolphin intelligence. She followed that by working with Corky and Orky, two performing orcas at Marineland of the Pacific in California. It was here that she started experiencing discomfort with the confinement of dolphins and whales. She also became familiar with SeaWorld in San Diego through her relationship with researcher Jeff Norris.

The memoir includes details about captured whales living in oceanariums, and their difficulties related to confined living spaces. This led Alexandra to British Columbia to begin her study of orca whales in the wild.

Alexandra pulls you into her world, and takes you along on her adventures in Coastal British Columbia. You’ll meet resident, transient and mysterious orca pods from the Pacific Ocean.

Following the death of her researcher/underwater photographer husband Robin Morton, Alexandra turned to fishing with Billy Proctor as a means to continue living in Echo Bay with her son Jarret. This led Alexandra to become a champion for wild salmon and a critic of fish farming practices along the coast.

Alexandra continues to live in Echo Bay, listen to her beloved whales, and fight for the rights of wild salmon. Her memoir will open your eyes to some of the evils we perpetrate on our fellow living creature, and some ways you can get involved to solve the problems man has created.

Find out more about Alexandra Morton online at:
You can also read my review of her book Heart of the Raincoast about the life of Billy Proctor. -- Margy


  1. Sounds like a good read. You're early!!! My Wed. post isn't ready yet! It's the first Wed. of the month.

    1. I try to do mine the Saturday before to work in both book review sites. - Margy

  2. Wish I was more attuned to nature. Sounds like a book that might help.

  3. Interesting! Especially for someone who lives in San Diego. We've gone whale watching and, of course, been to SeaWorld. I'm thinking at least one of my kids would love this book. Thank you for reviewing!

  4. How cool! Alexandra Morton sounds like a marine Jane Goodall. I read and enjoyed Lilly's book on dolphins in high school and spent a summer of college researching wild dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico.

  5. Now this is a book I would love. I just finished several book based on wolf research...:)


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy