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Not since Rachel Carson has a writer given us such a profound understanding--gorgeously lyrical and steeped in vital new science--of the world's oceans. At the center of "Deep Blue Home" is Whitty's mesmerizing description of the three-dimensional ocean river, far more powerful than the Nile or the Amazon, encircling the globe: a watery force connected to the earth's climate control and so to the eventual fate of the human race.
Whitty's thirty-year career as a documentary filmmaker and diver has given her sustained access to the scientists dedicated to the study of everything from vast ocean systems to "extremophile" life forms to the ecology of "whale falls" (what happens upon the death of a behemoth)--an event Whitty describes with Zenlike focus. She delivers a spirited narrative of her first field season on the tiny and brutally isolated Isla Rasa in the Gulf of California, where she comes under the spell of the intimate ecology of seabird, island, and especially ocean.
No stranger to extreme adventure, Whitty travels from Newfoundland to the Galapagos to Antarctica in search of sperm whales, resulting in one of her book's intensely haunting encounters: "I realize that 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?"