Owner Plans to Move Vessel Made Famous By Steinbeck to Salinas as Museum

PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — A vessel made famous by author John Steinbeck is sitting at a Port Townsend boat yard as the owner makes plans to move it to Salinas.

Salinas businessman Gerry Kehoe brought Western Flyer to Boat Haven in July after it sank twice at a moorage in Skagit County.
The Peninsula Daily News reports it’s drawing attention from Steinbeck enthusiasts who walk up and touch the side of the boat.
The 76-foot purse seiner was built in 1937 in Tacoma and chartered in 1940 by Steinbeck and his good friend and biologist Edward Ricketts for a six-week expedition to Mexico’s Gulf of California.

“Sea of Cortez,” by Steinbeck and Ricketts, first published in 1941, details their “expedition” in 1940 to explore and collect marine invertebrates from the beaches of the Gulf of California also known as the Sea of Cortez.

“We stopped in many little harbors and near barren coasts to collect and preserve the marine invertebrates of the littoral,” Steinbeck wrote.  “One of the reasons we gave ourselves for this trip — and when we used this reason, we called the trip an expedition —  was to observe the distribution of invertebrates, to see and to record their kinds and numbers, how they lived together, what they ate and how they reproduced.”

Kehoe says he plans to dissemble Western Flyer and move her to Salinas as a museum and tribute to Steinbeck who was a native of Salinas.

A report from The Associated Press was used in this story.

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