Western Flyer Lives On


“The Log from the Sea of Cortez” documented the six-week-long expedition that America author John Steinbeck took in 1940 aboard the 76-foot chartered sardine fishing boat Western Flyer. While the vessel spent months voyaging the coast of California, setting the scenes for Steinbeck’s writing, the remains of Western Flyer have seen better days.

The run-down boat now sits in the Boat Haven shipyard in Port Townsend, Washington. The boat was purchased in 2010 for $45,000 and has been in storage for about a year. But now, there’s talk of someone bringing the boat back to life.

The owner, Gerry Kehoe, a businessman from California, wants to move the boat to Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas, California and turn it into a boutique hotel as part of a tourist attraction.

Kehoe told The New York Times that he planned on cutting the boat into two or three pieces and then reassembling it as the lobby of the boutique hotel, surrounded by two restaurants, that would tell the story of the voyage. The hotel will open in the summer of 2015.

Photo courtesy of Tom Collins

South Shore JUN17