Lynne Cox | Grayson

by - April 05, 2015

By Lynne Cox

It was the dark of early morning; Lynne was in 55-degree water as smooth as black ice, two hundred yards offshore, outside the wave break. She was swimming her last half-mile back to the pier before heading home for breakfast when she became aware that something was swimming with her. The ocean was charged with energy as if a squall was moving in; thousands of baby anchovy darted through the water like lit sparklers, trying to evade something larger. Whatever it was, it felt large enough to be a white shark coursing beneath her body.

It wasn’t a shark. It became clear that it was a baby gray whale—following alongside Lynne for a mile or so. Lynne had been swimming for more than an hour; she needed to get out of the water to rest, but she realized that if she did, the young calf would follow her onto shore and die from collapsed lungs.

The baby whale—eighteen feet long!—was migrating on a three-month trek to its feeding grounds in the Bering Sea, an eight-thousand-mile journey. It would have to be carried on its mother’s back for much of that distance, and was dependent on its mother’s milk for food—baby whales drink up to fifty gallons of milk a day. If Lynne didn’t find the mother whale, the baby would suffer from dehydration and starve to death.

Something so enormous—the mother whale was fifty feet long—suddenly seemed very small in the vast Pacific Ocean. How could Lynne possibly find her?

This is the story—part mystery, part magical tale—of what happened . . .

There's something frightening, and magical, about being on the ocean, moving between the heavens and the earth, knowing that you can encounter anything on your journey.

What I liked about this book is that is encourages raw imagination out from someone who never swan in open sea let alone with a baby whale, or any marine life for that matter. It is a very easy and quick read but nonetheless moving for all that. In picking this up I had thought it might have more details in descriptions but I found it rather plain in writing style but then again she is a swimmer not a poet. What I found appreciating was how the real accounts were written in a way that a reader can connect, and understand the characters easily that it makes a good children's book plus possibly some illustrations to add.  

The story is uplifting with favorite line being, "I believe that each of us has a purpose for being here, that we have certain gifts and certain challenges we need to learn from and fulfill for our lives to have meaning and richness."

Published August 1st 2006 by Knopf (first published 2006)
Original title: Grayson
ISBN 0307264548 (ISBN13: 9780307264541)
Pages: 148

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