September 2022
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 Western Flyer Project Manager, Chris Chase, a replacement was located on Craigslist. The stove is now temporarily stored in the cabin of the vessel, waiting to be installed.
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Artist Spotlight: Jennifer DiArenzo

Jennifer DiArenzo is a pyrography artist from outside of Philadelphia, PA, focusing her work on wildlife and nature, as well as pet portraiture. As an artist her whole life, Jen has always been trying new mediums and in 2017, decided to teach herself pyrography, or wood burning, and she has been perfecting the art ever since. This mini surfboard collaboration project with Ventana Surfboards of Santa Cruz, CA, is made with wood from the Western Flyer and has been a big passion project for Jennifer.
Master artisan, Martijn Stiphout, crafted the boards from Alaskan yellow cedar offcuts from the Western Flyer. Jen then wood-burned iconic wildlife and landmarks of the Monterey Bay area, including a depiction of the Western Flyer. Also featured is the Steamer Lane lighthouse in Santa Cruz, a California sea otter, the world-famous Lone Cypress in Pebble Beach, bottlenose dolphins, a humpback whale, giant kelp, a great white shark, and a Pacific red octopus. Martin custom-framed the boards using Douglas Fir hull wood from the original vessel constructed in 1937. The rustic frame wood still includes chips of red paint, barnacle growth, and square nail holes.

This one-of-a-kind work of Western Flyer art is available through
Ventana. You can view more of Jennifer's work by following her on Instagram or Facebook

Thank you for your support!

We are so grateful to the generous donors who have helped with the Western Flyer's restoration and programs to date. We are now raising funds for her next exciting chapter serving as a platform for education and research. Please consider donating to support this next phase of her journey and help continue the Flyer's legacy of inspiring scientists, ecologists, writers, and artists for years to come. 


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