Preservation and Restoration of World Famous Boat
MONTEREY — The Western Flyer, 72′ Monterey fishing boat made world-famous by author John Steinbeck and marine biologist Edward F. Ricketts on their 1940 voyage to Baja California’s Sea of Cortez, has been saved from dereliction and acquired for preservation and restoration as a floating classroom to operate from her historic home harbor of Monterey.
The expedition resulted in John Steinbeck’s 1951 Viking Press co-authored publication, The Log from the Sea of Cortez. Steinbeck’s classic account of the scientific expedition to the Gulf of California is a philosophical tour de force of the strength and depth of the co-authors relationship. Its introduction, About Ed Ricketts, is Steinbeck’s famous tribute to his closest friend, mentor and muse. The book is regarded as one of Steinbeck’s most important works of non-fiction chiefly because of the involvement of Ricketts who shaped Steinbeck’s thinking and provided the prototype for many of the pivotal characters in his fiction, and the insights it gives into the philosophies of the two men.
The Western Flyer sank twice at her mooring in the Swinomish Channel near Anacortes, Washington, and then spent an extended period of time in a nearby Port Townsend boat yard. Now the owner of a geotechnical site investigation company, John Gregg, of Gregg Drilling & Testing, Inc., has purchased the Western Flyer for an undisclosed sum.
The official announcement by its new owners was made at the Cannery Row Foundation’s Cannery Row Symposium in the historic Monterey Boat Works auditorium at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, February 21. For more information visit: www.canneryrow.org.