Jonathan White - Tides (Sausalito Store)

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 6:00pm

Expert mariner and marine conservationist Jonathan White’s love for the sea is lifelong. He grew up diving, sailing and fishing on the beaches of Southern California, has logged more than one hundred thousand miles sailing on the Pacific and Atlantic, and has surfed all over the world. In the 1980s, he founded the Resource Institute, a nonprofit educational organization for which he hosted a renowned seminar series aboard Crusader, a 65-foot wooden schooner that sailed the Pacific Northwest. Crusader’s odysseys nearly ended in 1990 when the boat ran aground on a large tide in Alaska’s Kalinin Bay. Shaken and intrigued by his underestimation of tides and their power, White set off on a quest across the globe to understand the history, science, and majesty of one of our planet’s most remarkable phenomena.

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, he 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 St. 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.

A year after publication, Jonathan White’s Tides has earned prestigious literary accolades, winning the 2018 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award for Best Book. Most recently, Tides has been short-listed for the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize, the largest international book award for small, academic and independent presses.

Tides received several other awards:

  • National Outdoor Book Award in the Natural History Literature category
  • IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award (Silver)
  • Nautilus Book Award (Silver)
  • Publishing Professionals Network Best Book Award for Trade, Text-driven

Tides has been reviewed by dozens of newspapers, including the Guardian, has been translated into Chinese, published in the UK, and is being considered by the BBC for a documentary film.

Tides continues to attract audiences worldwide with brisk sales, and has garnered positive reviews from the Wall Street Journal, Seattle Times, Oregonian, The Surfer’s Journal, San Diego Union Tribune, Publisher’s Weekly, Tampa News, among others.  Jonathan has appeared on dozens of TV and radio programs, including NPR’s nationally syndicated “Living on Earth,” Michael Krazny’s “The Forum” on KQED in San Francisco, WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate show, and Bill Bradley’s “American Voices” on Sirius/XM radio.

Jonathan is currently writing for Wooden Boat Magazine about the restoration of the Western Flyer, the boat John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts sailed to Baja in 1939. The Log of the Sea of Cortez, published in 1941, memorialized the trip. The Western Flyer was considered lost until it was discovered on the bottom of the Swinomish River a few years ago.  A barnacled ghost of what it once was, someone bought it for a million dollars and is restoring the 75-foot trawler in Port Townsend.  “You could say the boat’s worth nothing,” says Jonathan, “…and everything. I’m fascinated by the Flyer and the Baja trip with Steinbeck and Ricketts. It’s a perfect intersection of boat, ocean, literature, ecology, and metaphysics…and the entire trip was organized around the tide!”

Jonathan’s first book, Talking on the Water: Conversations about Nature and Creativity, is a collection of interviews exploring our relationship with nature and features Gretel Ehrlich, David Brower, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gary Snyder, Peter Matthiessen, and others. White has written for the Christian Science Monitor, The Sun, Orion, Surfer’s Journal, and other publications. He holds an MFA in creative nonfiction and lives with his wife and son on a small island in Washington State.


100 Bay Street
Sausalito, CA 94965
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean Cover Image
By Jonathan White, Peter Matthiessen (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781595348517
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Trinity University Press - June 15th, 2018

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.