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The Story of the Western Flyer

As part of Harbor History Museum’s new Museum Lab Winter Workshop program, Chris Chase, Project Director of the Western Flyer Foundation, will be giving a presentation on the fishing vessel Western Flyer made famous by John Steinbeck’s The Log from the Sea of Cortez. In 1940, the purse seiner took The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men author John Steinbeck — along with best friend and marine biologist Ed Ricketts — to Mexico’s Sea of Cortez on a six-week journey that yielded a pioneering book about the fledgling scientific disciplines of ecology and marine conservation.


The Western Flyer was acquired by the Foundation that bears its name in February 2015, but “due to decades of neglect by previous owners, and two recent sinking episodes, significant rehabilitation and restoration is required to return the vessel to service,” explains Foundation representatives. Following a rigorous selection process, the Port Townsend Shipwrights Cooperative was chosen to conduct repair and restoration activities on the Western Flyer in June 2015. Speaker Chris Chase, formerly of the Co-Op, took on his new role as Project Director after the intrigue and future potential of the project brought him to the next chapter of his life.

Tickets are $5 for non-members and FREE for Harbor History Museum members and can be purchased on the Harbor History Museum’s Buy Tickets page or at the front desk. Questions and inquiries may be directed to Elizabeth Langford, Education Coordinator at Harbor History Museum at

Earlier Event: January 28
Museum Lab: Winter Workshop