Friday, October 15, 2010
But she also spends time talking with wave scientists, and with the people at Lloyd's of London who insure most of the global shipping fleet and thus are obviously very interested in waves, and with marine salvage experts, who work to save foundering ships from disaster. One of the most interesting stories she tells is about the large denuded areas in Lituya Bay, in Alaska, which geologists puzzled over for years: "But as the story of its past came into focus and Nature gave some forthright demonstrations of what it was up to, the culprit became clear: giant waves, the largest ever witnessed on earth." Over the years, huge waves drove through the bay, but in 1958, as Casey says, the ocean "went postal," and a 1740-foot wave ripped through the Lituya Bay.
The prose in the book is excellent, well-research and wrapped in personal stories -- her style reminds me of a mash-up of Bill Bryson (Think A Short History of Nearly Everything) and Mary Roach and Jon Krakauer. And the photographs are truly stunning.
Here is a brief clip of the author and Laird Hamilton talking about the book and about the lure of the giant waves. If you let me I'll just go on and on and on about this book, so I'd best stop now. Suffice it to say, I highly recommend it!