Could I have been one of them? was what Sam McKinney wondered as he retraced, alone, from Puget Sound to Queen Charlotte Strait, the explorations of Captain George Vancouver and his men. In the 1790s, day after day, they had rowed for long hours, camping on rocky beaches in all weathers and charting the intricate coastline for the first time. Two hundred years later, McKinney followed them in his 25-foot sailboat, anchoring in the same locations as they had done, experiencing the same winds and waves, and sharing what McKinney calls the link of vulnerability that is the ever-present condition of all people who go to sea. With his boat, his pipe and the occasional glass of rum, McKinney invites readers along on a perceptive voyage through time and along the magnificent Pacific Northwest coast from Puget Sound through the Georgia and Queen Charlotte Straits. Describing both the historical and contemporary voyages around the Inland Sea, McKinney offers insightful comparisons of what sailors saw and experienced in the 18th century and what they see today.At the end of his trip McKinney, like Vancouver, claims the area he had explored, not by deed of ownership but out of love for the place, its staggering beauty...(and) the memories of the people and cultures who have found homes along its shores. Could he have, indeed, been one of Vancouver's men? He isn't sure, but he would like to have given it a try.