Boat That Took Steinbeck to Sea of Cortez Is Being Restored

MONTEREY (AP) — If all goes as planned, the boat that took John Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Ricketts on their expedition to the Sea of Cortez will come sailing back into Monterey Bay in a few years.

The Monterey Herald reports the 77-foot wooden purse seiner Western Flyer is being restored at Port Townsend, Washington.

The “Gus D” cruises Monterey Bay before it sails to the Sea Of Cortez, recreating a 1940 voyage aboard “Western Flyer” (a similar vessel) by John Steinbeck and friend Ed Ricketts which was documented in Steinbeck’s book “The Log From The Sea Of Cortez.” (Photo 2015 by Al Seib via Getty Images)

The boat was chartered in 1940 for the voyage to the Sea of Cortez, which is also known as the Gulf of California, and led to Steinbeck’s 1951 book “The Log From the Sea of Cortez.”

Western Flyer Foundation project director Chris Chase tells the Herald it’s “a living, breathing continuation of Ed Ricketts and John Steinbeck.”

Ricketts inspired the character Doc in Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row” and “Sweet Thursday.” He died in 1948. Steinbeck died in 1968.

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