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. Why does Dirk speculate that the Navy has equipped the Martha Ann with a crew of midgets?

2. What is Dirk's plan of action on the Martha Ann with only two hours to go before dark falls?

3. Why doesn't Dirk want to leave the Martha Ann on the helicopter to go and get the salvage team?

4. How does Dirk suggest the captain's log from the Starbuck is forged?

5. Why is the Starbuck's final position report physically impossible?

Short Essay Questions

1. Capt. Cinana quotes a Naval saying: "Those that lie deep in the Atlantic Sea Are recalled by shrines, wreathes and poetry, But those who lie in Pacific Sea Lie forgotten for all eternity." What does this mean?

2. Why is ADM Hunter taking the step of having Dirk detailed officially to the 101st Salvage Fleet?

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

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

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

6. "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?

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

8. What are the multiple ways that the Martha Ann is disguised as a civilian ship?

9. Dirk does not appreciate ADM Hunter's highhanded move to take control of his [Dirk's] life by having him detailed to his [ADM Hunter's] command. How is he "persuaded" into it?

10. What is a possible explanation for the food being gone after only five days? (Remember ADM Hunter makes it clear that they recently left port and should have enough for the entire crew for 90 days.)

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As the Martha Ann gets underway, headed towards the Pacific Vortex, Dirk reflects on the unusual group of people he has been mixed up within the last two days. What do his reflections on these people reveal about his thoughts on this mission? Do his summaries of the people seem to be roughly accurate?

Essay Topic 2

Quote from CDR Burdette Denver: "Piracy on the high seas went out with the manufacture of cutlasses." Is this actually a true statement? Is piracy a possible or probable explanation for the Pacific Vortex? Provide evidence both from the book and from independent research to support your claims.

Essay Topic 3

ADM Hunter refers to the sinking of the submarine Tang during World War II. This is a real event. What happened? What is the relevance to the fate of the crew of the Tang to the fate of the crew of the Starbuck in Hunter's mind?

(see the answer keys)

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