Top of page

Jonathan White Speaks on His Book “Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean” April 20th

Share this post:

Boats in the mud at tide’s ebb, Anchorage, AK

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.

Author image from:
Author image from:

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

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. The Science, Technology & Business Division provides reference and bibliographic services in all areas of science, technology, business and economics, with the exception of clinical medicine and technical agriculture, and maintains, services, and develops its own specialized collections of technical reports, standards and international gray literature in the same subject areas. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at, and register creative works of authorship at

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 [email protected].

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.