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The Highliners

Home | Highliners | Perils of The Perfect Storm | History of the Haida First Nation | The Fishing Tradition of the Haida First Nations | The Queen Charlotte Islands | Message in a Bottle | A Treasure Chest of Links


"Our hopes are high. Our faith in the people is great. Our courage is strong. And our dreams for this beautiful country will never die".......Pierre Elliot Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada 1980-1984)

Welcome graphic

The First Nation of Highliners

This website is dedicated to a group of courageous men and women who work in one of the most dangerous workplaces in the world, the open ocean. One small group of these fishermen navigate their fishing boats in the waters of Alaska and the Queen Charlotte Islands. They are known as "highliners". Canada's first group of highliners were the Haida First Nations of Canada. Their relationship with the ocean has been taught from father to son for centuries. The late, Sidney Crosby, was one such man. Mr. Crosby owned several fishing boats during his tenure on the sea. His last boat, which he had commissioned was the "Haida Girl". Follow the links to learn more about Mr. Crosby and the Haida nation. Thank you for visiting.

A Lifetime of Interest

Ships, and the sea upon which they travel, have held a fascination for me since I was a young lad. I would immerse myself in tales of high sea adventures while reading under the bed covers with a flashlight (when I was supposed to be sleeping). I have enjoyed a great many books on submariners, naval battles, fishing boats and the compelling story of the Titanic. My teachers often decided that I was a dreamer (an undesirable trait, in their opinion) for my habit of gazing longingly out the window whilst imagining myself on a tall ship. Alas, it was not to be. Life has it's way of imposing it's own plan for our future on all of us. I never did sail the high seas, much to my regret, but I have always continued to dream..........


Why the sea?

I admire those who earn their living on the sea. They are "old school" men and women with strong beliefs and a love for the way they earn their living. They will tell you that it is more than a living to them. It is a way of life. The work is hard and dangerous. They are well aware every time they 'round the point from their home port that they may not return home. Yet, they have confidence in their ability to make good judgements. They rely on their mariner skills and God's grace to bring them home safely. God bless them all.


Highly recommended

Favorite movies:  Waking Ned Devine, The Perfect Storm
Favorite books:   A Whale for the Killing, The Perfect Storm,
                           A Night to Remember, The Last Canadian
Favorite poet:      Robert Service
Favorite authors:  Farley Mowat, Jack London
Favorite foods:    Spaghetti, Canadian brown beans 
Favorite fish:       Pickerel, perch and halibut
Favorite Places:  Anywhere near the water

Quotes on the sea

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep.
Hebrew Bible. Psalms 107, 23-24

Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.
Samuel Johnson, (1709-1784) English author

The sea, washing the equator and the poles, offers it's perilous aid, and the power and empire that follow it..............."Beware of me" it say's "but if you can hold me, I am the key to all the lands".
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, poet and philosopher.

"The sea is dangerous and storms terrible, but these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore...Unlike the mediocre, intrepid spirits seek victory over those things that seem impossible...It is with an iron will that they embark on meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown."
Ferdinand Magellan, Explorer (c.1520)

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors,

African proverb

The sea-shore is a sort of neutral ground, a most advantageous point from which to contemplate this world. It is even a trivial place. The waves forever rolling to the land are too far-travelled and untamable to be familiar. Creeping along the endless beach amid the sun-squall and the foam, it occurs to us that we, too, are the product of sea-slime.

Henry David Thoreau

. . . these are the times of dreamy quietude, when beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean's skin, one forgets the tiger heart that pants beneath it; and would not willingly remember, that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang.

Herman Melville in Moby Dick

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky; and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.

John Masefield

"I am not afeard, my Heart's-delight," resumed the Captain. "There's been most uncommon bad weather in them latitudes, there's no denyin', and they have drove and drove and been beat off, may be t'other side the world. But the ship's a good ship, and the lad's a good lad; and it ain't easy, thank the Lord," the Captain made a little bow, "to break up hearts of oak, whether they're in brigs or buzzums."

Charles Dickens in Dombey and Son

Original Online Art School








These beautiful drawings are from Robert Elliott's personal website The Original Online Art School. Everything on his website is free and the website is full of wonderful drawings and art lessons. Visit his website at the link provided above. Click on any picture to enlarge it.