What We’re Watching
YouTube: Western Flyer Foundation
Built in 1937 in Tacoma, Washington, the 77-foot Western Flyer was drawn as a purse-seiner to harvest sardines from the Pacific Ocean. She most notably served as the floating base for author John Steinbeck and friend Ed Ricketts, who in 1940 used her to explore the Gulf of California. The trip culminated with publication of the book The Log from the Sea of Cortez. As many boats her age do, Western Flyer fell into disrepair. Today, she is being completely rebuilt at the Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-Op through the Western Flyer Foundation, which has a YouTube channel that is documenting the repairs. So far, there are 15 episodes covering everything from steam-bending frames to sourcing lumber to fabricating the boat’s backbone.
More salty reads
Road Less Traveled
Cruising sailors Glen and Julie Bradley have made a life out of exploring primitive villages, remote islands and cruising locales. In her latest book, Crossing Pirate Waters, Julie writes about the couple’s recent cruising adventures in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Southeast Asia, as well as many locations in between. The book begins in the South Pacific, where the couple linger as turmoil bubbles in the Middle East. Eventually, they must point westward toward the sometimes-dangerous waters in the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and Red Sea. During the journey, they find waves of cultural tension and encounter crises that affect them in surprising ways. ($15, Close Reach Publishing)
New from nautical author Marlin Bree is Bold Sea Stories, which contains 21 true-life accounts of storms, shipwrecks and other high-seas adventures from waters around the globe. The stories provide an adrenaline surge while being an inspirational look into human nature when the chips are down. Whether it’s facing a storm on open Lake Superior, crossing the Pacific Ocean in a 10-foot homemade boat, or surviving 100-knot winds in a small sailboat, Bree presents the stories in a way that is easy to understand for readers with varying levels of nautical know-how. ($15, Marlor Press)
Available on Spotify and Apple’s Podcast app, “The Boat Galley” is hosted by Carolyn Shearlock, who, along with her husband, has been cruising and living aboard for more than 12 years. The podcast episodes include tips on how to stay warm on board, picking the best teak cleaners and finishes, cruising the Bahamas, 12-volt wiring, winterizing engines and more. Each episode typically lasts five to 10 minutes.