The Tyee has published my review of Phillip Vannini's fine book Ferry Tales, which has quite a lot to say about Sointula as well as the larger culture of islanders. Excerpt:
For most of the morning, Sointula, B.C.'s First Street is ideal for dogs' naps. But as 11 a.m. approaches, the street comes alive.
Cars and trucks line up for the ferry from Port McNeill, carefully leaving gaps in front of local businesses. People hang out, socializing in the street or in front of the co-op. Some are hitching rides. Others are "pithering," asking ferry riders to run errands for them. As the ferry approaches, people return to their vehicles; then the newcomers arrive.
Outsiders like me anxiously await one truck from Port McNeill: it brings the day's Globe and Mail. Sointula may be thoroughly online, but visiting urbanites still like to be in touch through a proper newspaper.
That's part of the tension that urbanites and islanders both love and resent about life on B.C.'s coastal waters. An island is a great place to get away to, a place where you're free to be yourself. But you sometimes need to get away from the island as well, or you might as well be in jail.