This exciting day-by-day account of Steinbeck's trip to the Gulf of California with biologist Ed Ricketts, drawn from the longer Sea of Cortez, is a wonderful combination of science, philosophy, and high-spirited adventure.
Science, travel, philosophy
Steinbeck uses the backdrop of a scientific collecting voyage to discuss those things which keep us curious. Like the tide pools where Steinbeck and Ricketts collected, this book is more than a sum of its parts. It's not just a travelogue, much more than a faunal catalog, and it's beyond a philosophical essay. It ties together all of these elements and more for an encompassing look at the human condition and how it relates to the natural world. All of this is found alongside cantankerous outbound motors, Mexican Baja culture, and harpooning manta rays.
The book is well narrated and the appendix on the life of Ed Ricketts is just as engaging as the main body of the text. This is a relaxing and contemplative piece. Highly recommended.