After nearly losing his 65’ wooden schooner in a large Alaskan tide, writer, sailor, and surfer Jonathan White vowed to understand the tide. He knew the moon had something to do with it, but what exactly? He read a book, then two. Ten years later, he had read three hundred books and criss-crossed the seven seas to see the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world. In China he confronted the Silver Dragon, a twenty-five foot tidal bore that races eighty miles up the Qiantang River; at London’s Royal Society, he dug into the earliest Western tide science, which preoccupied thinkers from Da Vinci to Galileo to Newton; and in the Arctic he followed an Inuit elder down a small hole through thick winter ice to gather fresh blue mussels in the cavities left by low tide.
With photographs, stories, and short readings, Jonathan takes his audiences on an enthralling journey into the surprising and poetic workings of the tide.
In Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, writer, sailor, and surfer Jonathan White takes readers across the globe to discover the science and spirit of ocean tides. In the Arctic, White shimmies under the ice with an Inuit elder to hunt for mussels in the dark cavities left behind at low tide; in China, he races the Silver Dragon, a twenty-five-foot tidal bore that crashes eighty miles up the Qiantang River; in France, he interviews the monks that live in the tide-wrapped monastery of Mont Saint-Michel; in Chile and Scotland, he investigates the growth of tidal power generation; and in Panama and Venice, he delves into how the threat of sea level rise is changing human culture--the very old and very new. Tides combines lyrical prose, colorful adventure travel, and provocative scientific inquiry into the elemental, mysterious paradox that keeps our planet's waters in constant motion. Photographs, scientific figures, line drawings, and sixteen color photos dramatically illustrate this engaging, expert tour of the tides.
During the 1980s and 90s, the Resource Institute, headed by Jonathan White, held a series of "floating seminars" aboard a sixty-five-foot schooner featuring leading thinkers and writers from an array of disciplines. Over ten years, White conducted interviews, gathered in this collection, with the writers, scientists, and environmentalists who gathered on board to explore our relationship to the wild.
White describes the conversations as the roots of an integrated community: "While at first these roots may not appear to be linked, a closer look reveals that they are sustained in common ground."
Beloved fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin discusses the nature of language, microbiologist Lynn Margulis contemplates Darwin's career and the many meanings of evolution, and anthropologist Richard Nelson sifts through the spiritual life of Alaska's native people. Rounding out the group are writers Gretel Ehrlich, Paul Shepard, and Peter Matthiessen, conservationists Roger Payne and David Brower, theologian Matthew Fox, activist Janet McCloud, Jungian analyst James Hillman, poet Gary Snyder, and ecologist Dolores LaChapelle.