Life is full of surprises. Recently I heard that the Western Flyer, the boat that John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts chartered in 1940 for their journey into the Gulf of California, was in the Port Townsend boatyard just an hour from where I live. In the Log from The Sea of Cortez, Steinbeck and Ricketts describe the boat:
…was new and comfortable and clean….
…The engine-room floor was clean and all the tools polished and hung in their places….
I had great expectations. I started out on an adventure. I was looking forward to exploring not just a historical boat, but a boat of literary historical significance. The Log from The Sea of Cortez is Steinbeck’s account of this journey.
As you can see, I should have done my homework first. The boat had been sitting in Anacortes, Washington. Its current nickname was The Gemini. Unfortunately before it made its way to the Port Townsend Boatyard it sunk not once but twice. When I arrived in Port Townsend, this is what I found.
The current owner had hoped to make the boat a hotel centerpiece in Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas California. What do you think?
THE DERELICT BOAT
She was a splendid boat
Until she ruptured a plank
And then she sank.
And needed more than a
Jackass to get her afloat.
Three word Wednesday: Jackass; rupture; splendid.