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Nov 10 - Dec 31, 2022

Western Flyer Foundation


To stir curiosity by connecting art and science in the spirit of John Steinbeck, Ed Ricketts, and their journey on the Western Flyer.

The Big Idea

In 1940, John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts chartered the fishing vessel Western Flyer for a six-week exploration of Mexico's Gulf of California, resulting in the groundbreaking book, The Log from the Sea of Cortez. The boat returned to fishing for decades, changed names and owners, disappeared, sank, and was in disrepair when marine geologist John Gregg purchased her in 2015. Inspired by a vision to restore the iconic boat and bring her back into service for research and education, he launched the Western Flyer Foundation. Since then, shipwrights have been carefully restoring the Flyer, and she is almost complete. In a few months, the boat will return to Monterey, where she once fished for sardines. Our big idea is to launch the next exciting chapter for the Western Flyer, implementing education and research programs that merge science and humanities, and continuing her legacy, inspiring future scientists, ecologists, writers, and artists.

No other single catalyst could unite Monterey's community history as the Western Flyer does, and she will soon be home. I am privileged to be witness and scribe for this magnificent Monterey historical accomplishment.

- Michael Hemp