The Land of Mist Around Vancouver's Island gave me my first "experience" of planning and carrying out a voyage circumnavigating Vancouver Island. Of course, I got this experience from the comfort of my landlocked office in Spokane, but who's quibbling.
I have been training for the transformation from retired desk jockey with memories of lake sailing as a youth into a seasoned schooner captain capable of sailing into South Sea islands with humanitarian supplies after a major national disaster. This video captures a snapshot of what seems to be one third of the way through that transformation process. I have just become US Sailing bareboat cruising certified and "know" the kinds of things shown in this video. But now, because of the video, I have a far more accurate picture of what my upcoming training cruise around the island will be like. I had already planned the route and moorings in Coastal Explorer and read Coast Pilot and other guides to help anticipate the hazards. But it is fantastic to be able to anticipate the existential gestalt of this passage.
Since this video is 18 years old, many navigational tools and communications channels are much better now. I may make my own documentary and include those tools and give myself 5 stars. (heh) But the dated aspects of 'The Land of Mist' do not reduce its value for training purposes. I am unaware of a more modern movie about this topic.
In my dreams I envision producing an exciting docu-drama suitable for all types of viewers. I'm sure someone else could actually produce such a movie; I can't (yet). In the meantime, this video goes a long way towards sharing the experience of sailing around British Columbian islands with the world.
If you're interested in an adventure, Land of Mist should be at the top of your watch list. The film follows Ed and Wendy Isenhart as they circumnavigate Vancouver Island on their 45 foot sailboat, Integrity. They follow in the wake of Captain George Vancouver, a British officer of the Royal Navy, who explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions in the late 1700's, including the coasts of contemporary British Columbia.
The filmmakers explore all the shorelines and coves that make an adventure like this so captivating. The film was shot in standard definition, but don't let that stop you. This is a voyage that holds up to the test of time, with wildlife, natural beauty, and sailing tales that will carry you through one of the premier cruising grounds of the Pacific Northwest.
I enjoyed this film greatly. It was a pleasure spending time with Ed and Wendy aboard their sailboat on a sailing adventure. It also told me things I didn't know about the history of Vancouver Island, both of the Native Americans and of its early explorers, and about things like charting and navigating. My favorite things were the sightings of animals, including a sleeping humpback whale, a Pacific octopus, otter, and seabirds. This is truly an expertly produced and edited film and that made the experience memorable.