A quarter of a million “flying” Devil Rays shouldn’t be hard to find. But Dr. Walter Munk and company are two days into their expedition, and with three science boats, an ultralight airplane, and radio reports coming in from every fisherman in Baja, they can’t still find a single ray. Something’s wrong.
Walter’s previous discoveries landed the D-Day troops at Normandy, decoded the dark side of the moon, revealed that ocean temperatures are rising, created surfcasting, and set off the first sound that was literally “heard round the world.” Now, the most important living Oceanographer finds himself venturing into the unfamiliar waters of marine biology.
This expedition is different. This time, it’s personal.
For 27 years, Walter promised himself, he’d go find his mysterious namesake, the Mobula Munkiana, or Munk’s Devil Ray. Now, they’re threatened, and he’s reuniting with noted marine conservationist, Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara who first “discovered” the shy rays as a student – and named the species in honor of his mentor: Dr. Walter Munk. “Munk’s Devil Rays” have remained something of a mystery ever since.
All these years later, the two men fly from opposite sides of the globe to Cabo Pulmo, an outlying cove in Baja, Mexico. It’s one of the few places on earth that the rays can ever be seen. They gather here in aggregations hundreds of thousands strong every year at this time, like clockwork.
But today, nothing.
Word comes in over the radio that the ocean temperature is several degrees warmer than it was this time last year – or any other year on record. For the first time, Walter and Guiseppe fall silent.
It can’t be too late to find their Devil Rays, can it? To learn why they jump, to keep them safe…