November 4th was such an incredible day as the Western Flyer returned to Monterey harbor for the first time in 75 years! One of the most magical parts of the day was when a flotilla of boats greeted the Flyer to escort her back to her home port.
In total, 45 vessels carrying 175 passengers registered for the boat parade, including many sailboats, a research vessel, a whale-watching boat, power boats, and historic fishing boats, including two that would have fished alongside the Flyer in the 30s and 40s—the General Pershing (1930) and Little Britches (1927)!
A highlight of the day was the Best Dressed Boat Contest, inspired by the contest held the day before the Western Flyer departed for the Gulf of California in 1940.
The judges were the descendants of Ed Ricketts, John Steinbeck, Carol Steinbeck, and Tex Travis. While there were many worthy entries, the votes for the winners were unanimous!
First place: R/V Current Sea
Second place: Midori
Third Place: Little Britches
Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to everyone for participating and making the day so special!
The winners took home some incredible ancient fossils, donated by our founder John Gregg. He selected three specimens of Orthoceras, an ancient nautiloid cephalopod that is 200 to 500 million years old!
We’d like to thank so many people for making the boat parade special, including representatives of the Monterey Fire Department for the magnificent water display; the Monterey Harbor for helping coordinate the parade; the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club for recruiting and coordinating so many boats; the Elkhorn Yacht Club for escorting the Flyer out of Moss Landing; and the family members of the 1940 crew, who judged the Best Dressed Boat contest and made the event so much fun.
We’ll see you on the water!
Thanks for the photos, Terry O’Hara!