I am deeply indebted to many people who have supported this book project, though none but me can be blamed for the result. Special thanks to Ena and Ron and all the other ancestors around the Strait for making it possible; I managed to slip only a few into the stories. And to Mary Jane for her unstinting generosity, patience, understanding and timely interventions.

I also had the priceless support of Graeme Wynn at UBC’s Geography Department, where the Strait stories were born. Graeme first accepted supervising a dubious dark horse then provided a generous and judicious mix of guidance and licence over six long years; it must have felt even longer for him. Matthew Evenden and Tina Loo’s kind and generous help and expert guidance were also invaluable. I couldn’t have kept going without the encouragement and inspiration of Richard Mackie, Juha Uitto and Alan Stewart, or the tolerance and friendship of a new generation of geographers like Dawn Hoogeveen, Craig Jones and Jessi Lehman, and the patient expertise of master mapmaker Eric Leinberger. Kind and helpful staff at the BC Archives, the Vancouver City Archives, UBC Library’s special collections and the Powell River Museum made my work far easier and more pleasant.

Then there were a couple more years after UBC, with the delightful, overworked staff at Harbour Publishing. Again, quite literally, I could not have done it without them and I’m deeply grateful to Anna Comfort O’Keeffe and Brianna Cerkiewicz, to their patient, gifted editors, Lucy Kenward and Amanda Growe, to designer Roger Handling, proofer Arlene Prunkl and indexer Ellen Hawman.