This Christmas, make it “Moby Duck”

My favorite thing about Christmas is the stories. To me, the holiday comes wrapped in pictures, histories, tales, and yarns just like the gifts setting under the tree. The feast begins after Thanksgiving Day as networks broadcast animated snowmen, elves, and reindeer. Classic stories like Miracle on 34th Street and Christmas Carol make the season great. Even now, when my family gets together, someone brings a Christmas story to read aloud. We tried everything from classics to limericks.


It would be nice to tell a Christmas story here at Deep Sea News. Its a challenge if nothing else. I actually had one all dreamed up, with a submarine rising from the depths with a deep coral tree in its arms, accompanied to the surface by whales and dolphins. Then my wife picked up Harpers Magazine (January 2007) with a cover story called “Moby Duck” wherein the author spins a tale of 10,000 rubber duckies spilled overboard en route from China to Tacoma.

This might be the Christmas story you’re looking for. The story by Donovan Hohn reads like Santas Workshop gone haywire on the high seas, with beachcombers rescuing stranded toys, an oceanographer (Curtis Ebbesmeyer) who tracks them down, and a journalist who survived to tell the Christmas tale. The illustrations are great, too. This Christmas, I recommend Moby Duck for anyone looking to cuddle up on the couch with a story.

If you can’t find a copy of Harpers you might check their website next month or introduce yourself to the saga online at the Beachcombers website.

Peter Etnoyer (406 Posts)

PhD candidate at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi and doctoral fellow Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.





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