Dennis Puleston was a naturalist of international proportions. His
first trips were with the legendary Lars-Eric Lindblad. Later, he
served on ships of Special Expeditions (now Lindblad Expeditions),
a company run by Lars-Eric's son Sven-Olof Lindblad. This remembrance
was written by Art Cooley, a long time colleague and friend and
was published in the Lindblad newsletter.
Puleston dies at 95
loved days at sea. From his earliest days "messing about in
boats" at Leigh-on-Sea at the mouth of River Thames to his
travels around the world by sailboat in the 30s, Dennis never tired
of the wind and the waves and the wildlife. Travelers with Dennis
will remember that they had to rise very early to beat him to the
bridge. From the earliest light, he would scan the sea and when
approached he would tell of his sightings for the morning. Maybe
he had seen a green flash as the sun broke the horizon or he had
watched the fulmars quartering over the wake in the stern or he
had found a small songbird that had landed on the ship in the night.
On June 8, 2001, Dennis passed away quietly at home with his family
at his side. On June 16, more than 300 including many children celebrated
his life at his home on Meadow Lane in Brookhaven. More than 30
of the participants told "Dennis stories" and shared their
remembrances of times with Dennis. For all of the accomplishments
of this very talented man, the recollections, time and again, focused
on a kindness given, a bit of information passed on in a gentle
way or a politeness offered where none was expected.
Lindblad travelers will remember the wonderful logs that Dennis
prepared. Written in an immaculate cursive hand, each log was illustrated
with watercolors of wildlife that had been seen. Often these paintings
were of spectacular birds done in wonderful color. We shall all
miss Dennis but we will cherish our experiences with him and, no
doubt, tell Dennis stories for as long as we can talk.