Pacific Vortex Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who says "As long as there are seas, ships, and men, there will be strange unsolved mysteries."?

2. According to CDR Dupree's log, which compartment in the sub is the only compartment breached?

3. How long has it been since Dirk has had a vacation?

4. How long can the reactor continue to run unattended?

5. Who is Adrian Hunter?

Short Essay Questions

1. Dirk notes some distinct oddities about the Starbuck's final resting place and the condition. Describe what these oddities mean.

2. Cussler gives a good description of rip tides after Dirk has swum out beyond the breakers at Kaena Point. Describe them, why they are dangerous and explain how best to swim through them if caught in one.

3. Why is the Starbuck's last reported position Top Secret information?

4. What is the significance of there not being any paper in the crew's lounge area of the Starbuck?

5. "Perhaps Pitt could do the impossible after all." These words go through Boland's mind after he hears that Pitt is radioing the Martha Ann from the Starbuck. There are several other references throughout the book so far that indicate Dirk has a reputation for being the sort of person who makes the wildly improbable succeed effortless. Who else has said this and where is that perception originating?

6. How are the dead bodies described on the Lillie Marlene? How does this description contribute to the myth of the Pacific Vortex?

7. What is the Fullerton Fracture Zone? Does it actually exist?

8. What are some of the ways that Dirk knows that Summer is neither a government agent nor an American?

9. What are the different mysteries or questions that ADM Hunter enumerates as he reads the log?

10. Why is the Martha Ann disguised to look like a rust-bucket merchant ship?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Dirk Pitt's National Underwater and Marine Agency actually exists. Clive Cussler founded it and it is run by himself and his son. What are the differences between the real NUMA and Dirk Pitt's NUMA? How are the character of Dirk Pitt and his NUMA representative of perhaps a deep seeded fantasy for the author, things he would really like to do and have exist? Are perhaps some of the events in the story autobiographical or merely a dream?

Essay Topic 2

Dirk refers to the salvage operations on the Thresher, the Bluefin, the Scorpion, and the submarine F-4. What are these boats or ships and what happened to them? How are they relevant to the sinking (and raising) of the Starbuck?

Essay Topic 3

Examined carefully, the association between Dirk's reason for visiting to the Polynesian history museum and George Papaaloa's story of Kanoli is slightly obscure except as a plot mechanism. There is nothing Papaaloa relates in the story of Kanoli to suggest that it is related to the Pacific Vortex. The relevance of this revelation seems somewhat abstract. This is especially true since the Vortex has only been "operational" for about 40 years. Rewrite this episode using the essence of the legend of Kanoli as it stands but add elements that allow the two stories to appear related, making the transition from one to the other more smoothly.

(see the answer keys)

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