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Public Lecture Series with Jonathan White

Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean

Writer, sailor, surfer and conservationist Jonathan White’s love for the sea is lifelong. He grew up on the beaches of southern California, built and sailed many boats, logged more than a hundred thousand miles on the Pacific and Atlantic, and surfed all over the world. After nearly losing his 65’ wooden schooner in a gale on a large tide in Southeast Alaska, White wanted to learn just exactly how the tide works. Ten years of exploration took him to five continents where he saw the largest, fastest, scariest, most amazing tides in the world.

With Lukasi Nappaaluk, an Inuit elder, he slithered through a hole in the arctic ice and gathered mussels in the dark cavities left behind by a dropping tide. In France, he met the monks who live in the tide-wrapped monastery of Mont Saint-Michel; in Chile and Scotland, he observed cutting edge contemporary tidal power generation; in China, he witnessed the world’s largest tidal bore, a 25-foot wave that charges eighty miles upriver at twenty miles an hour. On the San Blas Islands off Panama, White visited the indigenous people whose archipelago is disappearing under the sea; in Venice, Italy, he studied the extraordinary modern technology preserving that romantic old city of art, bridges, and canals. And at the Royal Society of London, he learned that Plato and Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Newton, Descartes, and many other noted thinkers had been captivated — and befuddled — by the tide’s mystery.

Combining photographs and stories, Jonathan shares his discoveries and explorations of the deepest workings of the tide around the globe, including the Bay of Fundy in Canada, the Mavericks Surf Competition in Halfmoon Bay, California, and the dangerously thrilling narrows of Skookumchuck in British Columbia.

Jonathan White has served on numerous conservation boards and committees, including the San Juan Preservation Trust, the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee, and the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative. As founder and former director of the Resource Institute, a nonprofit educational organization based in Seattle, Washington, he spent eleven years building a seminar program aboard the schooner Crusader in the Pacific Northwest, from Puget Sound to Southeast Alaska. Resource Institute sponsored weeklong seminars aboard the sixty-five-foot schooner, with subjects ranging from navigation, anthropology, and whale research to poetry, writing, music, and photography. Psychologist James Hillman, scientist Lynn Margulis, poet Gary Snyder, Robert Bly, Gretel Ehrlich, Richard Nelson, Paul Winter, Art Wolfe, and William Stafford were among the many luminaries who taught aboard Crusader. Jonathan’s first book, Talking on the Water, grew out of these experiences.

Date: Monday, April 3rd

Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Presentation

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 East 70th Street, NY, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: $10

Guest Ticket Price: $25

Student Ticket Price:

$5 with a valid academic ID

Reservation Notes:

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste