Alaska Story Project

ASP 16, Jonathan White, "Tides"

September 23, 2021 Host Dan Kowalski Season 3 Episode 16
Alaska Story Project
ASP 16, Jonathan White, "Tides"
Show Notes

Jonathan White is a writer, surfer, sailor and educator.  His work has been published in Orion, The Sun, Fine Homebuilding, and Natural History.  His first book, Talking on the Water, (Sierra Club, 1993),  explores creativity and the natural world.  It grew out of "Seminars Afloat" with writers Gretel Ehrlich, Ursula Le Guin, and Peter Matthiessen, along with other visionaries, activists and artists, such as poet Gary Snyder, whale biologist Roger Payne, and Gaia hypothesis co-founder Lynn Margulis.
His most recent book, Tides, The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, (Trinity University Press, 2017), takes the reader around the world to where the tide is most dramatically at play.  He goes to the arctic, Panama, Chile, Europe, China, and Alaska, among other far corners, to explore the cultural and scientific stories of the tide.  “White goes deep beneath the surface with the grace of a poet,” writes Susan Casey, author of The Wave.  “Be prepared for some serious magic when you read these pages.”

Dan and Jonathan discuss:

  • Building a sloop and sailing it offshore in the Atlantic. 
  • Surviving a hurricane. 
  • Working with innovative theatre director and theorist, Jerzy Grotowski
  • Founding the “Seminars Afloat” on the schooner Crusader. 
  • Aground in Kalinin Bay north of Sitka. 
  • Saving the boat, and returning Crusader to ship shape in three days. 
  • Beginning research for Tides
  • Discussing the science, complexity, and intrigue of tidal forces. 
  • Stories from visiting the most dramatic tides. 
  • Modern tidal theory:  harmonic analysis, tidal basins, resonance
  • His current project in the Sea of Cortez, retracing the 1940 voyage of Ed Ricketts and John Steinbeck, from which came The Log from the Sea of Cortez.