The Enchanted Braid

Ursula Keuper-Bennett howzit at
Mon May 11 17:16:51 EDT 1998

Dear Dr. Ogden,

I am reading "The Enchanted Braid" too.  My favourite is the sea turtle
chapter --I read that through twice.  Then I got to the chapter on Jakarta
Bay and stopped dead in my tracks.  Good thing I wasn't smoking a cigar at
the time or I'd a swallowed it.

Talk about a horror story.

I am a diver who witnessed a series of Cladophora algae blooms destroy a
section of reef off West Maui.  Some corals have struggled back since then
but not to their pre-1989 glory days.  (I thought *that* was bad...)

But Davidson's description of Jakarta Bay makes my eyes go GULP.

Re: Enchanted Braid:

Most important thing I've learned so far is a coral reef isn't an entity
onto itself.  It may be receiving "recruits" from another reef many many
miles away.  It is clear if one reef gets destroyed it would have serious
repercussions for distant others.  So I learned coral polyps are a bit like
sea turtles --boundaries are meaningless to them.


...while I am on here I might as well ask if anyone knows the dominant
algaes in Jakarta Bay and if anyone knows whether the sea turtles there are
sick with fibropapilloma.

And while I am only on page 127 in this book I might as well take this time
to thank CORALers for the knowledge you have amassed over the last three
decades and for the work you do improving human understanding of this
precious reef resource.  (Davidson made that quite clear in his book)

(I have a vested interest in coral reefs because that's what the sea
turtles I love call home.)

All the best
At 08:37 AM 5/11/98 -0400, you wrote:
>I have just finished Osha Gray Davidson's "The Enchanted Braid: Coming to
>Terms with Nature on the Coral Reef."  It is a lively, accessible, and
>often humorous contemporary account of coral reefs all over the world,
>seen through the eyes of an inquisitive and literate traveler.  This is
>the book to give to that skeptical friend or relative who wonders what all
>the fuss over reefs is all about.  Check it out.
>John C. Ogden        Director        Phone:  813/553-1100
>Florida Institute of Oceanography    Fax:    813/553-1109
>830 First Street South               St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

              ^               Ursula Keuper-Bennett
             0 0              Email: howzit at
    /V^\            /^V\             
  /V   Malama na honu   V\ 
 /                        \

"Whatever the reason and against my will (for I am 
suspect of my own sentimentality in regards to animals), 
as they slip into the sea, their enormous glistening 
backs disappearing beneath the water, I hear myself 
whisper to the departing turtles a word I have never 
uttered in seriousness: "Godspeed."

          \       /      --Osha Gray Davidson
          /  \ /  \        The Enchanted Braid       
         /__| V |__\    
         Turtle Trax

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