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The Girl of the Sea of Cortez

Peter Benchley’s fascination with the sea and its magnificent inhabitants inspired such classic novels as Jaws and The Deep, making him the preeminent author of ocean adventure and suspense.  The Girl of the Sea of Cortez was his most heartfelt, cherished story of the relationship between man and the sea, both those who live in it and those who love it. 

On an island in the Gulf of California, an intrepid young woman named Paloma carries a special legacy from her father – a deep understanding of the sea and a sixth sense about the need to protect it. Every day, Paloma paddles her tiny boat into the ocean and anchors over a seamount – a submerged volcanic peak sixty feet underwater that is clustered with spectacular sea animals and a wondrous web of marine life.

It is there that an astonishing event takes place, when on one of her dives Paloma is shadowed by a manta ray – an animal so large it blocks the sun. She develops an extraordinary relationship with this luminous, gentle creature, but instinctively knows its existence is a secret she must fiercely protect.

Benchley’s novel paints a poignant picture of humanity’s precarious relationship with the ocean, which unfolds alongside a heartbreaking story of familial bonds, often revealing that the ignorance of man is far more dangerous than the sea. Full of beauty, danger and adventure, The Girl of the Sea of Cortez is triumphant – a novel to fall in love with.

At our sixth annual Peter Benchley Ocean Awards, Sylvia Earle, Her Deepness, gave "The Girl of the Sea of Cortez" a heartfelt recommendation. Please check out this video - https://vimeo.com/72596394