Moby Duck The True Story of 28,000 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Enviornmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them
by Hohn, Donovan.
pub. by Viking (Penguin group), NY, 1971 - isbn 978-0-670-02219-9 - 2 maps before Prologue - Selected Bibliography p.381-384 - - Notes p. 385-401 - - 402 p.
The extended title describes the book fairly well. It is told narrative style with much of the authors personal family history thrown in. (His wife was pregnant when he started doing the research and his son was over 2 years old by the time it was done. He examines his personal guilt over missing some of his sons early life within the narrative.)
Hohn does a thorough job, not only exploring where the floating bath toys wound up, and the Pacific gyre (aka the Garbage Patch but also the chemistry and history of the use of plastic. He spends considerable time with various organizations each of which have their own reason for being and whose goals are not always congruent even among the enviornmental folks. He tours the factory in China where the particular bath toys were made... no small thing to get permissions etc. for that part of the venture.
Hohn goes down the literary trail, and it is not a bad aside. Pieces of Melvilles Moby Dick are explored as they relate to mans realtionship with the sea, and general ongoing struggles with nature and his place in nature. (Donovan Hohn is by profession a High School English Teacher.)
Towards the end he accompanies an expedition by Woods Hole in Massachusetts which goes to the high Arctic north of Canada in search of ocean currents. The most interesting part is that there are subsurface eddies and activity much like the fronts, highs, and lows in the atmosphere... but the watery oceanic ones move much slower.
Read this book if you want a broad view. It will expose you to many interesting ideas, and some interesting science. DO READ the Notes in the back of the book.
~ 2011-12-20 ~
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