Bonded by Water

book cover final sm-2Memoirs of Family and Friends and a unique chronicle of success, surprise, comedy, and tragedy.

By David R. Olson

Published by Patos Island Press
Release Date: June 27, 2014

Three generations of the author’s family will move you from laughter to tears with their creatively linked stories.

Dave Olson is an adventurous sailor who bridges the generations with an appreciation for family, keen observations, and sensitivity for nuance and words. And through it all is the sea: challenger, mother redeemer, and connection.

Encounter the Reverend Roy Olson, father, man of faith, political action leader, and devoted lifelong sport fisherman. Follow him as he takes his family from Minnesota to the wild coast of Southeast Alaska and back to the Pacific Northwest. Meet brother

Reverend Ken, dreamer, fearless entrepreneur, spiritual leader and master boat captain; and daughter Jef, an inspiration to all who knew and loved her, whose losses are still keenly felt.

Be enthralled by the captains and friends who flow through stories of waterborne adventures from the South China Sea to Southeast Alaska.

In Bonded by Water you will get to know each of them through Dave’s eyes and through the words each left behind.

PRAISE FOR Bonded by Water

[Bonded by Water] captures the flavor of living in the ‘good old days’ with hard working fishermen and families who made their lives count in the last frontier.
Frank H. Murkowski
former Alaska Governor and U. S. Senator

A richly textured account of exceptional people and their adventures at sea and on shore making waves in Alaska and much more.
– Joe Upton, author of Alaska Blues

Inspiring stories of nonconformists showing up for adventures in life and faith.
– Vaughn Sherman, author of Sea Travels

Olson provides a glimpse of his past with poignant stories of family, friends, and faith that inspire us to reflect on our own stories that bond us together.
– Kevin P. Haggerty, Ph.D.


Waterborne adventures in the Minnesota Land o’Lakes region began in boyhood for Dave Olson. The family’s move to Ketchikan, Alaska in his teens led to deckhand jobs on commercial fishing vessels. Dave rose to captain of an Alaska cannery tender at age twenty-one.

Following college he went to work for the CIA as a maritime operations specialist, which led to assignments at bases on small islands off the China coast during the Korean War.

After leaving the Agency, Dave eventually embarked on a successful business career in California from whence he pursued sailing and scuba diving plus extensive small boat cruising in Southeast Alaska.

Dave and his wife Betty actively pursue community volunteer opportunities while enjoying life on the bank of a wild whitewater river outside Seattle.

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