Tillamook Passage is the first few pages of America’s history. It’s a story steeped in tradition and rich with reality. Before the fledging nation looked west, men went to sea, and sailors sought maritime adventures that would make them wealthy. So it was with the trading of sea-otter pelts. Ships were launched, and the discovery of lavish new lands inhabited by native peoples would change the course of America’s destiny. This is an epic tale of clashing cultures, fate, trust, love and conflict – a thrilling testament to the brave hearts and sharp wits of the jack-tars who came before us.
Joseph Blackwell, a lad without prospects, befriends a mysterious sea captain and secures a berthon his ship. The year is 1787, and two American ships laden with supplies set sail from Boston Harbor with great fanfare. Their venture: to round Cape Horn and sail to the Northwest coast of America, to trade with the Indians for sea otter pelts. Once their cargo is secured, they will sail toChina via the Sandwich Islands and trade the valuable skins for tea, before returning to Boston via the Cape of Good Hope.
During their stormy passage, the two ships lose contact with each other. As a result, the sloop Lady Washington, commanded by Captain Robert Gray, must proceed on her own. Reaching the uncharted Northwest coast, they discover native villages on a large, pristine bay which Gray names after the Indians: Tillamook.
Barter, initially friendly, gives way to a surprise attack. During the battle, Joe Blackwell and an African cabin boy become separated from the ship, and must hide from the marauding natives. With musket and cannon, Gray holds off the attackers while setting sail. From the rocks above, the two young men watch in frightened disbelief as the sloop vanishes into a foggy sea. The two young men are now marooned, in a remote and primitive land.
Their struggle, playing out against endless forests, rugged mountains and bountiful waters, is an epic tale of clashing cultures, fate, trust, love and conflict. The lad’s approach their futures quite differently, one pining for home and family, while the other aspires to Indian leadership. Tillamook Passage is a thrilling testament to the iron will, brave hearts and sharp wits of the gritty explorers who came before us. Two worlds… one destiny.
Tillamook Passage - Far Side of the Pacific, has been selected an award winner in the 2012 Eric Hoffer Awards. With thousands of books entered in 22 divisions, Tillamook Passage was one of the winners in the Young Adult category.
Excellent! Well researched and educational as to historic content. Filled with intrigue as to storyline. Plot thickens with every page. Endless pursuit, daunting discovery, emotional in the end. Fast paced and riveting. I couldn't put it down. Brian Ratty is a master storyteller. You are taken in immediately and thirst for the outcome. Readers: don't miss this one!
Sun Lakes, Arizona
"Tillamook Passage" is not only a book of nonstop adventure; it is a book with significant relevance to anyone who is interest in Northwest history and coastal Indian culture.
Daily Astorian Newspaper
"Tillamook Passage" is a grand tour of the Oregon Coast before America understood its boundless possibilities.
Review by Joe Follansbee