In August of 1990 surfer, sailor and marine conservationist, Jonathan White, led a seminar aboard his small schooner, Crusader, sailing among the islands and natural wonders of the Alaskan Panhandle. Anchoring for the evening in Kalinin Bay, White, his crew and passengers went to bed, awakening to find that a nighttime gale had left them aground in the mud of the bay at high tide. White and crew spent the next day watching their boat fill with water and sink into the mud despite their best efforts and the help of the Coast Guard. Just as White was becoming resigned to the loss of his schooner, the mud finally released the boat and it floated free.
Taking his narrow escape as an inspiration, he spent succeeding years on a globe-spanning journey, reading three hundred books and crisscrossing the seven seas examining, exploring and experiencing the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world and sharing his findings with the world in Christian Science Monitor, Sierra, The Sun, Surfer’s Journal, Orion, and other publications.
In his latest book, Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean (Trinity Press, 2017), White takes readers across the world’s oceans to discover the science and lore of ocean tides. He goes under arctic ice with an Inuit elder to hunt for mussels in the dark cavities left behind at low tide, and in China, writes of a race with the “Silver Dragon,” a 25-foot tidal bore that surges up the Qiantang River some 80 miles. In France, he interviews the monks living in the tide-wreathed monastery on Mont Saint-Michel, and in Chile and Scotland, he explores energy generation using the power in tides. White also shines a light on threats from rising sea levels to the cultures of Venice and Panama.
White will discuss and sign his book on Thursday, April 20, at noon in the Library of Congress Mary Pickford Theater, third floor, Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event is co-sponsored by the Library’s Center for the Book and its Science, Technology and Business Division. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.
The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading, is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading promotion partners and through its Young Readers Center and its Poetry and Literature Center. For more information, visit read.gov.
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For inquiries about this program contact the Center for the Book at 202-707-5221. Individuals requiring accommodations for this event are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov.