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Eye of the Albatross Reviews

Eye of the Albatross Abstract

Song For The Blue Ocean Reviews

Song For The Blue Ocean Abstract

Eye of the Albatross Reviews

Visions of Hope and Survival
by Carl Safina

Henry Holt Co., publisher
2002, US$27.50, hardcover
(ISBN 0-8050-62889)

Winner of the John Burroughs Medal

"Truly magnificent… Safina has done as much as anyone save Cousteau to change our relationship with the aquatic world.” —Bill McKibben, the Boston Globe

A beautiful, awe-inspiring tableau of our world as you've never seen it.
—Christian Science Monitor

Dazzling…a stunningly intimate portrait of an environment. —Publishers Weekly

Riveting…Safina is an insightful, reform-minded, and splendidly literary scientist in the manner of Rachel Carson. His superlative report is both catalyst and inspiration.
—Booklist (starred review)

In this beautifully written work, Safina blends history and science to offer, in a seamlessly telescoped style, first an ecosystem, then a species, and finally one bird, the last as compellingly drawn as the protagonist of a novel. The general reader cannot fail to be pulled deeply into natural history by reading it.
—Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University

Carl Safina has become the poet laureate of things oceanic... The writing is equal to the subject, and the subject is the most magnificent of all flying creatures —Richard Ellis, Los Angeles Times

An awestruck yet intelligent study by award-winning ocean ecologist Safina (Song for the Blue Ocean, 1998) … a briskly companionable account of days in the albatrosses' midst. —Kirkus Reviews

Safina focuses on the qualities of peace and tranquility in nature … a refreshing approach to natural history writing. —Library Journal

Thought-provoking, witty and beautifully written —American Scientist

One of Safina's most engaging characteristics is his generosity of spirit. He cannot contain his delight in birds, fish and the profusion of life on the islands he visits. He also cannot contain his affection for the many people he encounters. —New York Times

Eye of the Albatross Abstract

Visions of Hope and Survival

By Carl Safina

The immense creatures we call “albatross” are the greatest long-distance wanderers on Earth. Big birds in big oceans, albatrosses lead big, sprawling lives across space and time, traveling to the limits of seemingly limitless seas.

We accompany one particular albatross named Amelia throughout her several-thousand-mile foraging treks, sleeping aloft, foraging in darkness and daylight, searching out food enough for her patiently famished nestling. Amelia’s stupendous travels were tracked via satellite. As her goose-sized youngster sometimes waited weeks for a meal, I spent months in the distant seas of the world, chronicling Amelia’s journeys.

Albatrosses cover distances equivalent to flying around Earth at the equator three times every year. A 50-year-old albatross has flown, at minimum, 3.7 million miles. Theirs is a fluid world of wind and wild waters, everything in perpetual motion. And so they span long stretches of space and time, distant from any shore, seldom within sight of a coast, embedded in the breeze.
Because albatrosses range so far and live so long, they intersect and contend with almost every effect that people exert upon the sea. Everything people are doing to oceans, albatrosses feel. Amelia’s survival is a story of struggle, hope and the power of sheer persistence and life’s resilience. During her prodigious travels Amelia crosses paths with a spectacular array of creatures including other seabirds, fishes, whales, sharks, sea turtles, seals, and some extraordinary people. Sharing Amelia’s journeys will enlarge your life, and she will introduce you to the splendid company she keeps, truly awesome envoys of the magnificence of life on this ocean planet.

Song For The Blue Ocean Reviews

Song for the Blue Ocean
By Carl Safina

Henry Holt Publishers

Carl Safina's new book, Song for the Blue Ocean, is one of those revolutionary works that permanently alter our view of a subject. —Bill McKibben, Interview magazine

Engrossing and illuminating... A passionate and enthralling narrative...
A landmark book. —New York Times Book Review

Stunning... its poetic and powerful re-enchantment of nature makes it great. — Washington Post

With Song for the Blue Ocean, a beautifully written personal account of his travels and experiences with people and creatures of the ocean and coast, Carl Safina reinforces his role as perhaps the most charismatic, passionate, authoritative, and mature voice speaking on behalf of the world's oceans... Likely to become a classic. — Michael A. Rivlin, Amicus Journal

Environmental writing sometimes shuns the human side of things. Safina's focus on real people—men and women afraid for their livelihood— is one of the unexpected strengths of a book rich in science and natural observation. —Civilization magazine

With the kind of clarity and eloquence found only in the very best nature writing, he enlightens us... with insight and wit; and his best, often sensuous phrases last like memories of chocolate after the taste itself is gone. —Elliott Norse, Natural History magazine

Nearly every sentence in Safina's state-of-the-oceans report is informed by his deep sense of these waters' beauty—and fragility... He knows much about a wide variety of species and their habitats, and what he doesn't know, we discover with him... Safina's first book is a welcome paean. —Publisher's Weekly

Song For The Blue Ocean Abstract

Brief Description of

By Carl Safina

In Song for the Blue Ocean we go on a global journey through the world's changing oceans, combining adventure, politics, science, and glimpses into the human condition.

We accompany people whose lives and occupations in and on the oceans are a drama of clashing ambitions and a daily struggle for existence. We fish with commercial and subsistence fishers, we dive with research scientists, we walk through ancient forests where salmon spawn, and fly over vast clearcuts that have simultaneously taken the trees, the salmon, and the foreseeable future. We visit the shark fin shops in Hong Kong for a glimpse of what China's new-found capitalism means for oceans around the globe. We sleep alongside Islamic separatists who seek desperately to protect their coral reefs.

My empathy here is as much with people as wild nature, and I convey the dilemmas intertwining both. In the end, we find reason for hopefulness in a very unlikely place-—a dangerous, heavily armed fishing village on a remote island near the Indonesian border.

It has been said that oceans connect the world because they touch all shores. Today's changing oceans pull together universal themes about resources, autonomy, economies, ideologies, and human nature that weave the context of our life and times. Although I believe this book is the most thorough and up-to-date account of the world's seas, it is in many ways about much more than the oceans.


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