Excerpt from “Dagger”
Drew and Jim her mentor and boss discuss her obsession with the marine life and finishing her father’s work regarding the corals.
Read the Did You Know Section on bleached corals following the excerpt. Enjoy.
“Listen, Drew, about what happened down there. Losing Martin and your mother so sudden and so violently, it’s understandable your need to carry on in his footsteps. But you gotta be careful. Yeah, you’re great with the animals…you’re not one of them.”
“I know and I appreciate you hanging by my side all this time. You have to admit, this last week finding the high levels of human protein and concentrated levels of sulfur where there’s no vents releasing gases, and the large volume of dead algae…” she shook her head unable to finish the thought. “I’m worried for the ocean, Jim.”
“And T-bone?” he observed.
“Yes…and T-bone. You have a pet dog; I have a pet tiger shark.”
“Alright, Dr. Doolittle, but your right, coral…definitely stressed. Their zooxanthellae’s have been dying rapidly,” Jim said.
She gave him slow eyes and said, “You like saying that word don’t you?”
“Cool word. I tried to get Rachael to say it last week.”
She thought her eyes would fall out her head. They had to be round as saucers. “She’s three, Jim.”
“I laughed for an hour.”
“That’s cruel, dad. Anyway, as I was saying, people don’t realize the true danger of an overheated ocean. Algae can’t survive, corals starve to death.”
“It’s becoming more and more imbalanced year after year.” He finished pulling the tarp over the boat. “I’ll be right back. Let me run this stuff to the car. Try not to save the world before I get back or drag a whale out of the ocean.”
“You’re cutting into my fun, Jim,” she said to his retreating.
Drew sipped the tepid coffee, wishing she could get beneath the ocean floor. See why the organisms rose to surface level. The ocean floor had shifted, allowing these creatures to surface, but why?
This made her proud to work on the artificial reefs, better known as the Rigs to Reefs program, giving a new home for coral to breed and reusing old ships and scrap metal. Recycle and reuse, her personal motto, if it doesn’t work for the earth, it doesn’t work.
Her father would’ve loved to see how beneficial this project turned out to be. Malcolm, her fiancé and professional angler, loved them since it gave him a higher volume and variety of sea life to fish. She missed both him and her parents.
Did you know?
One of the major impacts of global warming is a rise in ocean temperature. In tropical regions a temperature increase of only 2.7-3.6F (1.2-2C) above normal can lead to the loss of the symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae that nourish coral polyps. As the polyps become malnourished, they turn white, a phenomenon called coral bleaching. Affected corals can sometimes recover, but only if the bleaching is quickly reversed.
And you thought the heat only bothered you.
Remember the ocean is alive. Corals are more than just pretty.
To Be Released Soon: Get your copy of “Dagger” because “Blade” comes out. Shark finning on the rise in the Pacific, Blade will have his hands full. He’s found his mate, but he’s her biggest nemesis.
Coming late winter 2013