This is the memoir of John Gillett, a fisherman and staunch advocate of the Newfoundland seal hunt. He grew up in Twillingate in the 1950s, idolizing the fishermen and sealing skippers who would visit his home to yarn with his father, the famous sealing captain George Gillett. John spent most of his adult life as a sealer, beginning in the early winter of 1971, when he wrote his uncle and asked for a berth out on the ice with him aboard the Arctic Endeavour.
As a participant in the most controversial animal hunt in the world, John also describes his run-ins with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and animal rights activists, such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
In Leaving for the Seal Hunt, he shares stories of working with fellow sealers, of friendships that lasted a lifetime, of his many adventures on the ice . . . and of defying death at every turn.