Nighttime on a coral reef - the magical, mysterious hours when day creatures seek hiding places and night creatures emerge to hunt for food.
A twelve-year-old girl finds herself about to make a night scuba dive, and she's scared to death. But what she finds beneath the sea and the adventures she faces give her new courage and memories she can never forget. In the dark sea, her underwater li ght reveals a startled stingray, moray eels, a barracuda hunting for food, and fish in their strange night colors. She sees basket stars change from tight daytime balls to delicate lacy fans, and she discovers a parrotfish asleep in its see-through cocoo n. One time her light fails and she is alone in the dark waters. Another time she must escape from sea wasps or be painfully stung. Deep inside an old shipwreck, she nearly bumps into a giant three-hundred-pound sea bass. Join her in these exciting underw ater adventures as she meets an octopus, watches corals feeding at night, and learns the truth about sharks. Ann McGovern blends true-life night-diving adventures with poetic science to bring readers an absorbing and accurate science story. Illustrated with full-color photographs taken by her husband, Martin Scheiner, and son Jim.
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From Chapter 3 - The First Moments: I'm in the water, but where's Mom? For a moment, I feel panic rising in me. Everywhere is pitch black, except for the narrow beam of my light in front of me.
Something touches me from behind. A shark? I whirl around. It's Mom. I tell myself to calm down. Mom takes my hand and we start down the line.
Is that the noise of my air bubbles or my heart beating like a drum? My light shows up specks in the dark water as we make our way slowly down to the reef. The specks are plankton -- tiny creatures drifting through the water.
On day dives, I usually get very excited the minute I hit the water. I just love the feeling of being weightless, like an astronaut - a feeling half like a bird and half like a fish as I swim slowly over the reef or stand on my head.
But tonight I feel only fear. I can hardly tell up from down. The stick of glowing light on Mom's tank comforts me a little.
Suddenly pain shoots into my left ear. Nuts. I was so busy being scared that I forgot to relieve the pressure. I let go of Mom's hand, pinch my nose, and blow out. The pressure goes away.
I look up. The light hanging from the boat is a pale green hazy ball. I see the lights of the other divers below me. I aim mine in front of me. Dozens of tiny shrimplike creatures dance in the beam of the light, like moths around a candle. They are larvae, babies of sea animals. When I move my light, they go away. When I keep the light still, they come back. My fins touch the sandy bottom. It takes only one minute to go down thirty feet but it feels like ten minutes. I count lights. There are eight of us, including Jim. Jim said we would be able to see the moonlight. He was right. It shimmers on the surface of the water like a pool of light.Review:
"A 12-year-old girl's first person narrative describes the excitement and wonder of nighttime scuba diving. She is a part of the adventure with her mother, a marine biologist...Excellent color photographs expand the narrative's reality. McGovern's choice to use a fictional device to present scientific information works well here...Attractive and pleasingly designed." -- Booklist, 9/9/84
Outstanding Science Book for Children -- National Science Teacher Association and Children's Book Council, 1984
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Book Description Macmillan Publishing Company. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0027657108 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1013407
Book Description Macmillan Publishing Company, 1984. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0027657108
Book Description Macmillan Publishing Company, 1984. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-000-80-1539001