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. What does Dirk find in the water when he swims out beyond the breakers at the beginning of Chapter 1?

2. What does Dirk communicate about the sub's crew in his initial message back to the Martha Ann?

3. How long does it take for Dirk to get the helicopter the Martha Ann is carrying from a cold start into the air?

4. Whose responsibility is it to plot the new search area for the Martha Ann after Dirk's interpretation of the evidence?

5. How does Summer escape Dirk's hotel room?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is a seamount?

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

3. Dirk describes a few incidents he has known in his work that "smacked of Jules Verne." Describe them and discuss Dirk's attitude towards "ghost catching."

4. CDR Dupree says he ordered, "All ballast blown and hard rise on the planes." What are planes in reference to a submarine?

5. What are some ways the Pacific Vortex is different from the Bermuda Triangle and other legendary danger areas?

6. Why is it important for ADM Hunter's men to get to the accident site when the gray van runs off the road before the Honolulu police?

7. Other than the submarine not being wholly flooded, what is the single most important fact that Dirk relays over the Starbuck's radio to the Martha Ann and why is it of the utmost significance?

8. Why is Dirk's helicopter a necessary component of the crew on the Martha Ann?

9. How does Adrian Hunter feel about her father? Use quotes from Chapter to support your position.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How would you characterize Cussler's writing style in Pacific Vortex? Analyze all of the elements of writing style including the perspective, bias, structure, diction and syntax, imagery, etc. Is this a laudable first effort on Cussler's part? Is there perhaps a stylistic reason it is not the first published book?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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