Synopses & Reviews
Jill Fredston has traveled more than twenty thousand miles of the Arctic and sub-Arctic-backwards. With her ocean-going rowing shell and her husband, Doug Fesler, in a small boat of his own, she has disappeared every summer for years, exploring the rugged shorelines of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Spitsbergen, and Norway. Carrying what they need to be self-sufficient, the two of them have battled mountainous seas and hurricane-force winds, dragged their boats across jumbles of ice, fended off grizzlies and polar bears, been serenaded by humpback whales and scrutinized by puffins, and reveled in moments of calm.
As Fredston writes, these trips are "neither a vacation nor an escape, they are a way of life."
Rowing to Latitude is a lyrical, vivid celebration of these northern journeys and the insights they inspired. It is a passionate testimonial to the extraordinary grace and fragility of wild places, the power of companionship, the harsh but liberating reality of risk, the lure of discovery, and the challenges and joys of living an unconventional life.
"As with most trips, Rowing to Latitude rewards you when you finally get to where you're going. Fredston makes you see wilderness as a more precious commodity than you thought, and inspires you to stretch your limits physically and mentally." The San Diego Union-Tribune
"A vivid portrait of wilderness rowing....Full of intriguing personal digressions and moments of high drama." The Wall Street Journal
"An honest and self-aware woman's record of her unusual life and a shrewd analytical look at human existence as a balance of danger and joy." The Women's Review of Books
"[Fredston] sticks to telling good stories about battling, on primitive terms, the weather, the water, the land, the animals and some of the demons that haunt us all." Anchorage Daily News
"Rowing to Latitude would be just another human-conquers-nature thriller if it wasn't for Jill Fredston's writing....Erudite, heartfelt, eloquent, adventurous, witty, tragic, liberating, concerned, poetic, blunt — all this can happen on a single page, and very often does. Her entire book has the quality of the moods of the sea, vividly personalized by her ability to melt the descriptive into the spiritual." The Midwest Book Review
"The book is far more than an adventure travel narrative. It also is deeply personal memoir and love story." The Salt Lake Tribune
Fredston has traveled more than 20,000 miles of the Arctic and sub-Arctic-backwards. This book is a celebration of these journeys and a passionate testimonial to the extraordinary grace and fragility of wild places, the power of companionship, and the harsh but liberating reality of risk.
About the Author
Jill Fredston and her husband, Doug Fesler, are avalanche experts and co-directors of the Alaska Mountain Safety Center. When they are not rowing, they live near Anchorage.