Back to the Sea of Cortez


The bad news is our departure has been set back 14 days by big storms here last week, which were particularly strong on the Pacific Coast of northern California, and delayed getting the Gus-D into dry dock to get the bottom scraped and painted (so that we wouldn’t have to drag barnacles and seaweed down to the Sea of Cortez). That delay set us back a week, but because we’ll be studying tide pools at low tides and the tides are on a lunar cycle, that necessitates a two week shift in the entire schedule. It is the first lesson in the first chapter of the voyage: we are at the mercy of the sea.


The book that resulted from the six-week adventure sailing 4,000 miles around Baja and back—Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research—was published a year later, the day before Pearl Harbor was bombed. A hybrid of natural history, taxonomic catalogue, and travelogue, it was quickly forgotten by all but diehard aficionados of Steinbeck and the marine biology of the Gulf of California. So few copies were printed that it now commands hundreds of dollars in the antiquarian book trade.

The Sea of Cortez Expedition and Education Project