Expedition will retrace legendary Steinbeck-Ricketts voyage to the Sea of Cortez

ed hundreds of squid and have never been bitten. Eventually, they come around and learn to appreciate the animal as an intelligent creature with remarkable attributes."

Our fear and fascination with giant sea creatures is nothing new, of course. As Steinbeck and Ricketts observed 63 years ago in the Sea of Cortez: "Men really need sea monsters in their personal oceans."

Gilly, Baxter and their colleagues also hope to visit Baja's Viscaino Bay - one of only two sustainable lobster fishing communities in the world - where they plan to meet with Fiorenza Micheli, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Hopkins, who has been collaborating with local leaders and conservationists involved in protecting the lobster fishery.

''I also look forward to working with Nancy [Burnett] to get some good photographic images we can use for an illustrated field guide of the fauna of the region - specifically along the west coast of southern Baja,'' Baxter adds. ''Not much has been done there, but it's become very popular with people who make car trips down the Baja Peninsula.''

Ricketts and Steinbeck were keenly aware that tourism posed a serious threat to the traditional way of life in the Sea of Cortez. Cabo San Lucas, now a major coastal resort, was barely a town when they arrived there on March 17, 1940. Further up the coast in La Paz, a luxury hotel was under construction, which led the authors to make this ominous prediction: ''Probably the airplanes will bring week-enders from Los Angeles before long, and the beautiful poor bedraggled old town will bloom with a Floridian ugliness.''

"Trying to remember the Gulf is like trying to re-create a dream. This is by no means a sentimental thing, it has little to do with beauty or even conscious liking. But the Gulf does draw one. ... We know we must go back if we live, and we don't know why."--FROM "SEA OF CORTEZ"

For some members of the 2004

Contact: Mark Shwartz
Stanford University

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