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This essay describes my connections to Edward Flanders Ricketts, fostered because I sailed on the ionic Western Flyer, the ship that Steinbeck and Ricketts chartered for their 1940 trip to the Sea of Cortez. I describe how I initially found out that the vessel was the same ship that I lived and worked on 1962–63 in Alaska. I then outline how my career as a marine researcher involved key mentors who were influenced by their communications with Ricketts or shared common ecological thinking. The Western Flyer is now being rebuilt as a vessel for marine education, and I speculate that Ricketts may have thought his spirit is perhaps imbued on the boat and could influence those who sail on her in the future.