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A Steinbeck Anniversary


National Geographic Sea Bird

Lindblad Expeditions will mark the 70th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s “The Log From The Sea of Cortez” with a special Baja California expedition.  The expedition will both recall Steinbeck’s famous journey with his friend, biologist Ed Ricketts, and explore the marvelous and extensive natural beauty and ecosystem of the sea that so captivated them.

In 1940, both men set out to study invertebrate species in the Gulf of California.  The book that grew from this journey is a fascinating mixture of science, nature and philosophy, which continues to resonate with readers 70 later.

“Among the Great Whales”, an 8 day voyage on National Geographic Sea Bird, will depart La Paz, Mexico on January 22, 2011.  The ship will follow in the path of Steinbeck’s voyage, travelling around the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula from the Sea of Cortez to the Bahian Magdalena, the nursing lagoon for grey whales during their annual migration from the Arctic.  Zodiacs will provide passengers with a rare water-level whale watching opportunity.
Joining the expedition team on the cruise will be two noted scholars.  Susan Shillinglaw is professor of English at San Jose State University, a Scholar-in-Residence at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California, and the former director of the San Jose State University Steinbeck Center.

Dr. William Gilly has, for the past several years, been measuring important mid-water oxygen levels in the Sea of Cortez as part of Linblad’s ongoing expedition operations.  In 2004, he led a group, which included Susan Shillinglaw, that retraced the 1940 Sea of Cortez expedition in an effort to document long-term changes.  Dr. Gilly is a National Geographic grantee.

Those of you who have read Steinbeck’s “A Log from the Sea of Cortez” will understand the pull that this cruise elicits in many who were so influenced by the book.  To experience for oneself the astonishing natural beauty of that rugged coast, and witness the abundance of wildlife, all so wonderfully described by Steinbeck, is a goal for many of his readers.

Technorati Tags: Bahian Magdalena, Baja California, Cruise line, cruise ship, grey whales, John Steinbeck, Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic, Sea Bird, Sea of Cortez

2 Responses

On a personal note from Lindblad Expeditions, we’re very excited to have Susan Shillinglaw and Bill Gilly aboard the January 22nd voyage. The Sea of Cortez is a region we’ve been exploring for decades, always marveling at the whales, wildlife and feeling of freedom evoked from simply navigating among the islands. Now, with the addition of Dr. Shillinglaw and Dr. Gilly to our team of naturalists, this departure is shaping up to be a dynamic adventure for Steinbeck fans as well as those simply looking to get out in a captivating place. We hope you’ll join us and write your own, personal log from the Sea of Cortez.

  • Thanks, Marc, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I can well understand the added dimension that the presence of Dr. Shillinglaw and Dr. Gilly will lend to an already wonderful experience. I’m sure all those who are privileged to sail on this voyage will cherish the memories for the rest of their lives.

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