Far from Shore: Chronicles of an Open Ocean Voyage

Far from Shore: Chronicles of an Open Ocean Voyage

by Sophie Webb
     
 

In extremely deep waters (two miles deep), the vast sea appears empty. But as naturalist and artist Sophie Webb shows us, it is full of fascinating—yet difficult to study—life. Together with her shipmates, Sophie counts and collects samples of life in the deep ocean, from seabirds to dolphins, from winged fish to whales. Only their long-term field work can… See more details below

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Overview

In extremely deep waters (two miles deep), the vast sea appears empty. But as naturalist and artist Sophie Webb shows us, it is full of fascinating—yet difficult to study—life. Together with her shipmates, Sophie counts and collects samples of life in the deep ocean, from seabirds to dolphins, from winged fish to whales. Only their long-term field work can really help scientists determine the health of these remarkable creatures who need the clean deep ocean to survive.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An engagingly direct way of communicating both the science....and how the science is discovered." -- Kirkus
 
"It is Webb's dual perspective, viewing the world simultaneously through the eyes of researcher and artist, that makes her accounts of nature so appealing." --The Horn Book
 
"Another fascinating expedition:.the you-are-there immediacy of the narrative-and the clear and colorful watercolor-and-gouache landscapes and drawings of the birds form an appealing travelogue that is as exciting as it is informative." --School Library Journal, starred review
 
"A good choice for children intrigued by marine biology."--Booklist

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The Pacific Ocean is very different from the Atlantic. It is bigger and has large rolling waves creating a different type of motion. It also teems with life—fish, mammals, and birds which are the focus of this travelogue. The author is a field biologist who specializes in birds and she takes readers along on an expedition into the Tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP). During the next 4 months, the scientists will track animals, create a census of what they see, and collect samples of water and sea life to better understand the counts they record. Is sea life increasing or decreasing and are factors such as overfishing and pollution harming any of the species? The trip is clearly no picnic, although the scientists and crew try to have one every Sunday. It involves long hours of work in a close environment. Our narrator uses her spare time to paint what she has seen or learned, as it is not always possible to really see what is taking place underwater. It is amusing to see how she compensates for the ship movement in her improvised watercolor work area.. Her specialty is birds and even when the boat reaches port to refuel and take on supplies, she is off bird watching. We have a compressed account where moments of great excitement occur, like when a pod of porpoises or whales are spotted, and long days when nothing much happens. Webb is candid about the work of a field scientist—lots of long hours with little to break the monotony, but her dedication and enthusiasm never waiver. As evidenced by her multiple excursions on this and other research vessels. Webb's drawings enliven this personal journal and the details give readers a good depiction of what various sea animals look like—porpoises with light underbellies and dark tops, stripes and even spots. The boobies hanging on to the mast and not giving an inch to their fellow birds is comical. The ocean and our concern for it is brought to life in this educational and enjoyable book. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Webb's voice comes through in her journal entries describing a four-month National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expedition in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) to study the population levels of dolphins previously affected by tuna purse-seine fishing. Quietly and with no wasted words, the narrative details daily life aboard the McArthur as well as how field observation was done, what was learned, and how the data collected could be used in future studies. The illustrations, done in watercolor, gouache, and graphite, amplify and personify the text by showing where and how the scientists lived and worked. Other marine mammals besides dolphins are described and carefully drawn, as are the ocean-going birds of the Pacific. Graphs detail such issues as the numbers of dolphins drowned in purse-seine tuna nets before that method was banned, and maps help readers understand the extent of the ETP, an area of the Pacific Ocean stretching from California to Hawaii to Peru. This volume is delightful to browse and is informative in its storytelling. Although there is no table of contents, the two-and-one-half-page combined glossary/index will guide youngsters to specific topics.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618597291
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
06/13/2011
Pages:
80
Sales rank:
1,433,722
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
1030L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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