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Chuck Baxter (1927-2022), the Sea of Cortez, and the Western Flyer

On August 19th, our ocean community lost a beloved friend, Chuck Baxter, long-time marine biologist at Hopkins Marine Station and co-founder of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In this tribute, WFF Board Member William Gilly reflects on their long friendship, their many nights philosophizing over fermented malt beverages, and their journeys to the Sea of Cortez.

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The Olympic Stove

The original cooking stove in the 1940 Western Flyer was a 1937 cast iron, diesel oil-burning Olympic stove. The original stove was lost, but thanks to sleuthing by our Western Flyer Project Manager, Chris Chase, a replacement was located on Craigslist. The stove is now temporarily stored in the cabin of the Western Flyer, waiting to be installed.

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The Atlas-Imperial diesel engine

For over 70 years, Western Flyer was powered by her original engine, a rugged Atlas-Imperial diesel. These engines were reliable, and very popular in their time. Manufactured in Oakland, CA, they were exported all over the world. Many are still in service.

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The Western Flyer Returns to the Sea!

It’s been an incredible few weeks here at the Western Flyer Foundation with lots of big changes. The Western Flyer reunited with the waters of the Salish Sea, and the Western Flyer Foundation appointed its first full-time Executive Director, Sherry Flumerfelt. Congratulations to all.

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