Synopses & Reviews
At the center of Deep Blue Home—a penetrating exploration of the ocean as single vast current and of the creatures dependent on it—is Whittys description of the three-dimensional ocean river, far more powerful than the Nile or the Amazon, encircling the globe. Its a watery force connected to the earths climate control and so to the eventual fate of the human race.
Whittys thirty-year career as a documentary filmmaker and diver has given her sustained access to the scientists dedicated to the study of an astonishing range of ocean life, from the physiology of “extremophile” life forms to the strategies of nesting seabirds to the ecology of “whale falls” (what happens upon the death of a behemoth).
No stranger to extreme adventure, Whitty travels the oceanside and underwater world from the Sea of Cortez to Newfoundland to Antarctica. In the Galapagos, in one of the books most haunting encounters, she realizes: “I am about to learn the answer to my long-standing question about what would happen to a person in the water if a whale sounded directly alongside—would she, like a person afloat beside a sinking ship, be dragged under too?”
This book provides extraordinary armchair entree to gripping adventure, cutting-edge science, and an intimate understanding of our deep blue home.
"Mingling mythology with science, Whitty pulls readers into the watery depths of the oceans, home to the birds, whales, and other mysterious creatures that have been her lifetime passion. She writes of Isla Rasa in the Gulf of California in Mexico during the short springtime breeding season, when 'the island mushrooms into a jittery cloud visible for miles'; off the coast of Newfoundland, she encounters the 'annual migration of the icebergs, a spectacle as grand as the exodus of wildebeest through the Serengeti,' and a leatherback sea turtle with 'flippers the size of oars, and a head like a draft horse's, wearing a jellyfish mane.' Whitty's biology is colored by 'the gods of rock and the goddesses of seawater,' such as Rasa, the Hindu 'mythical river flowing around the world,' and the Elivgar, from the Viking creation story. This luminous prose is disturbed by accompanying reports of human-induced damage of oceanic ecosystems, where 'market economics relentlessly drives commercially desirable species towards extinction' like a modern plague, exemplified by the collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery, which caused a 'trophic cascade' transforming all aspects of the ecosystem 'from crab to zooplankton to phytoplankton to nitrates.' (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“A lovely, soft-spoken book about the ‘joy, inspiration, wonder, laughter, ideas that come from relating to Earths ‘nonhuman world.”
“Here is a writer of power and persuasion; one worthy of the Rachel Carson mantle. Whitty allows us to peer into the ecological web of the mysterious World Ocean, sharing her passion for the continuation of the ocean's life-essential fabric.”
—Linda Lear, author of Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature
“Rhythmic, poetic, transporting, and illuminating, this is the sacred memoir of a woman among islands of miracles, yearning with all her heart to be right where she is.”
—Carl Safina, author of Song for the Blue Ocean, The View From Lazy Point
“An illuminating exploration of the swirling currents connecting oceans, science, people, and history, bearing the reader on a unique voyage of discovery above and below the waves.”
—Daniel Bennett, President of The Explorers Club
Provides armchair entree to gripping adventure, cutting-edge science, and an intimate understanding of our deep blue home. At the center of this penetrating exploration of the ocean and the creatures dependent on it is Julia Whitty's description of the three-dimensional ocean river, far more powerful than the Nile or the Amazon, encircling the globe. It's a watery force connected to the earth's climate control and so to the eventual fate of the human race. Whitty's 30-year career as a documentary filmmaker and diver has given her sustained access to the scientists dedicated to the study of an astonishing range of ocean life, from the physiology of "extremophile" life forms to the strategies of nesting seabirds to the ecology of "whale falls" (what happens upon the death of a behemoth). No stranger to extreme adventure, Whitty travels the oceanside and underwater world from the Sea of Cortez to Newfoundland to Antarctica.--From publisher description.
Provides armchair entree to adventure, cutting-edge science, and an intimate understanding of our deep blue home.
A travelogue of the world's oceans as a continuous system, from the Burroughs Award-winning author of The Fragile Edge, that combines science, characters, wonders, and history.
About the Author
JULIA WHITTY's first book on oceans, The Fragile Edge, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal Award, the PEN USA Award, and the Kiriyama Prize. Her cover articles have appeared in Harper's Magazine and Mother Jones, where she is an environmental correspondent. She blogs at the Blue Marble and Deep Blue Home.
Table of Contents
Part One: Isla Rasa
1. The Very Air Miraculous 3
2. The River That Was Nowhere and Everywhere 14
3. Another Heaven 20
4. Hunger Island 26
5. The Ornament of the Body 31
6. One Hundred Days of Solitude 36
7. Whorls 43
8. The Unreefed World 51
9. The Epitome of Unrestrained Freedom 58
10. Mirage 64
11. Emotional Ecology 69
12. The Anti-Bodies of Quiet 73
13. Everything Is Already Brilliant 78Part Two: The Underwater Rivers of the World
14. The Distant Geography of Water 87
15. The Ecumenical Sea 96
16. Deepwater Formation 103
17. The Tempest from the Eagle’s Wings 107
18. One Meritorious Act 114
19. Jump Cut 121
20. Lament for the Thirty Million 131
21. All Time Is Now 138
22. Trophic Cascade 146
23. Bone Rafters 151
24. Soundsabers 159
25. Salting Down the Lean Missionary 167
26. The Existence of a World Previous to Ours 176
27. Reading God 184
28. Nemesis 195
29. The Inexplicable Waves 205
30. At the End of Hunger 209Part Three: The Airborne Ocean
31. Serpent Cave 221
32. Black Mirror 227Acknowledgments 237