Documents
Resources
Learning Center
Upload
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

The Highest Tide Notes Completed

VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 11

									                                   The Highest Tide Notes – Christopher McDermott

                                                       By Jim Lynch

                                         (The Purple Octopus and the Blue Fish)



Chapter 1-

-Overview-

The chapter starts with Miles O’Malley boasting about how amazing the ocean is. He then goes on to explain how
everybody acknowledges the ocean but very few understand it. [1] He explains he sorted out his understanding of the
universe one summer, when he was “hit by science, fame and suggestions of the divine.”[2] After bringing up his love
for the work of Rachel Carson. [3] Moving on to his job of selling exotic sea life and looking after Judge Stegner’s
oysters, he then sneaks out of his house at 1:30am to collect sea life. (Finds a Nudibranch [4]) It is during this that he
finds what he describes to be an octopus (Later it turns out to be a giant squid). The chapter ends with him staring at
its giant eye. [5]

-Quotes-

[1] “Most people realize the sea covers two thirds of the planet, but few take the time to understand even a gallon
of it.” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide, p.1)

[2] “People usually take decades to sort out their view of the universe, if they sort it out at all. I did my sorting during
one freakish summer in which I was ambushed by science, fame and suggestions of the divine.” (Miles O’Malley, The
Highest Tide, p.2)

[3] “There is no drop of water in the ocean, not even in the deepest parts of the abyss, that does not know and
respond to the mysterious forces that create the tide.” (Rachel Carson, The Highest Tide, p.3)

[4] “Nudibranches are often called the butterflies of the sea, but even that understates their dazzle.” (Miles
O’Malley, The Highest Tide, p.7)

[5] “Its arms were as big around as my ankle and lined with suckers the size of my half dollars…It was too late to
smother my scream. Its eye was the size of a hubcap.” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide, p.9)

-Impressions-

    -   He is more attached to the sea life than the money made from selling it
    -   He doesn’t have many/any human friends
    -   I wouldn’t be surprised if the book ends very similar to the way it started
Chapter 2-

-Overview-

Miles rings Professor Kramer about his discovery. They along with the local rescue squad and the TV crew from
KING5 go to the site were the giant squid washed up on the beach. The professor confirms it is a giant squid and
Miles receives credit for finding it. [1] (Alive)

-Quotes-

[1] “May be the earth is trying to tell us something.” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide, p.17)

-Questions-

      -   Where did the squid come from?
      -   Did Miles lie about hearing the squid breath?
      -   Why/How did the squid get washed up?


Chapter 3-

-Overview-

Miles parents go to work and we are introduced to Angie (Judge Stegner’s Daughter). It becomes obvious that Miles
has a crush on Angie who is older than him and is slightly unstable (She sings in a band called L.O.C.O and faints
during performances). Miles follows her away from the giant squid and she rocks him in a hammock till he falls
asleep.

-Quotes-

N/A

-Predictions-

      -   Miles will go out with Angie before the end of the book.



Chapter 4-

-Overview-

All the news channels are playing the story. Miles and his parents are stunned that he is on TV. Mile’s Dad is very
focused on how short he is. [1] Mum and Dad argue about the family’s life.

-Quotes-

[1] “He’s always been really smart for his size.” (Dad, The Highest Tide, p.25)

-Predictions-

- Mum and Dad will split

- Miles will get taller

- Miles will be on TV again
Chapter 5-

-Overview-

Miles and Phelps go clamming (Looking for Clams). Phelps is a smoker, slacker and serious air guitarist. Miles
immerse knowledge of Rachel Carson comes to light again. [1] Miles continues to show his natural understanding of
sea life, which stumps even Phelps.

-Quotes-

[1] “I know she was brave and brilliant” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide, p.32) when talking about Rachel Carson.

-Observations-

    -   I noticed miles said Florence was his best friend and that he didn’t relate to people his age well.
    -   Chapter Title – Hunting for Answers
    -   Link- In this chapter the tide is low (Opposite from high tide).
            o A previous chapter it was mentioned when the tide came in.
            o The highest tide is what happens at the end – highest tide the town has ever seen.



Chapter 6-

-Overview-

Judge Norman Stegner is having a party for his richest contributors. We meet Lizzy (A Chocolate Lab) and the Judge
introduces Miles to his friends as “My Oyster man”. [1] Lizzy runs after a truck and gets thrown into the water. Miles
runs to save her and is congratulated strongly for his quick thinking. [2]

-Quotes-

[1] “You’re looking at the next Jacques Cousteau” (Judge Stegner, The Highest Tide, p.39) when talking about Miles.

[2] “Grown-ups are always more fascinated by what you might be than what you are.” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest
Tide, p.39)

-Theories-

    -   The author is making the point that it is O.K to be new and different. You don’t have to be the same as
        everyone else.
    -   The author wrote this story because “A strange deep-sea fish washed up on a beach near my home,
        reminding me that just about anything swimming or floating in the Pacific can turn up in quiet Puget Sound.”



Chapter 7-

-Overview-

Miles parents discuss divorce – Miles takes a walk to the beach. After that he goes to visit Florence an elderly failed
ex-psychic who is very ill. She then goes on to predict the future, that there will be the highest tide (ever) on the
eighth of September [1] and something big will happen in the bay within two weeks. Mike then makes a vow to stop
his world from changing. [2]
-Quotes-

[1] “Even science goes hay wire sometimes, Miles.” (Florence, The Highest Tide, p.51)

[2] “My goal for the rest of the summer was to stop things from changing, to keep my bay as I knew it, intact.” (Miles
O’Malley, The Highest Tide, p.51)

-Link to Title-

- In this chapter Florence predicts that the bay will have its highest tide ever on September the eighth.



Chapter 8-

-Overview-

Miles has been left by himself after his parents divorce talk. He then goes to see Phelps and lectures him on tidal life.

-Quotes-

N/A

-Predictions-

      -   I think Phelps will die before the end of the book.
      -   I think Miles parents will be divorce by the end of the book.
      -   I think Professor Kramer will go down to the beach.


Chapter 9-

-Overview-

Miles is out boating when he finds a strange fish. He calls Professor Kramer who comes out and works out it is a
Ragfish (Bottom Fish). [1] Miles starts thinking maybe he is a messenger for a higher power.

-Quotes-

[1] “It was one thing for me to be startled, but the professor had seen and read everything, and he was at such a loss
that he was throwing God into the equation.”

-Impressions-

      -   I get the feeling that the fish is the event Florence predicted.
      -   I think Miles will find more strange sea life and people will start questioning his purpose.



Chapter 10-

-Overview-

A reporter wants to interview Miles; he shows her the beach and his home. She then goes off to write Miles as being
one with the sea. [1] His parents are stunned by the attention he is getting. More papers ring up to get an interview
with him, but he refuses.
-Quotes-

[1] “The beach talks to Miles O’Malley.” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide, p.70)

-Question-

- What is this “dramatic turn” the story is going to take.



Chapter 11-

-Overview-

Phelps is making fun of Miles because the beach “talks to him”. A TV crew then comes out and follows them as they
walk the beach. Phelps and Miles enlighten them with beach facts. [1] Miles then tells them that the ocean is telling
them to pay attention. [2]

-Quotes-

[1] “The more people know about the ocean the less likely they are to harm it.” (Rachel Carson, The Highest Tide,
p.81)

[2] “The earth is probably saying, ‘Pay Attention’”. (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide, p.80)

-Theory-

    -   The author is once again trying to point out that people should pay attention to the ocean.



Chapter 12-

-Overview-

Miles is sleeping; Angie comes over to congratulate him for all the media attention. (NOTE: Miles Smocks). Angie is
stoned, she wants to know. Miles then attempts to hit on Angie and fails. Angie then tells him she was thinking of
leaving, but decides not to because “what’s the hurry.”[1]

-Quotes-

[1] “I mean, what’s the hurry?” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide, p.86) When talking about death.

-Predictions-

    -   Angie will go out with Miles
    -   Angie will turn her life around



Chapter 13-

-Overview-

Mile’s sea life buyers turn up, one man called Pansing is fair and the other B.J tries to rip Miles off. Phelps and Miles
go on a “night run” of the beach. Miles names the giant squid he found earlier Rachel after Rachel Carson. Phelps
then gets fatally stuck in the mud and the chapter ends with Miles running off to get help.
-Quotes-

N/A

-Impressions-

      -   Miles will get banned from the beach even if Phelps survives.
      -   I get the feeling that this could be the end of Phelps. (Maybe the event that Florence predicted?)



Chapter 14-

-Overview-

Miles goes and gets the closest help which is an old man called Mr. Skugstad. They together find Phelps and pull him
out of the mud. He is shaken, but alive. [1]

-Quotes-

[1] “I saw a seal’s tail swirl and a school of tiny silver fish break the surface and then some brown and white dicks
with frayed wings vanish like an arrow into the sparkling cove. I saw everything.” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide,
p.107)

-Chapter Title-

      -   Roped Out

-Link to Title-

      -   Once again it is the high tide that causes an event, in this case, that is the Phelps almost meeting his demise.



Chapter 15-

-Overview-

Channel 7 plays its special on Miles and how he knows more about the coast than the local authorities. His parents
then realize that he is something special. They ask him what he wants and he replies “Stick Together”. [1]

-Quotes-

[1] “Just stick together and don’t move out of this house.” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide, p.116) When talking
about what he wants.

 -Questions-

      -   Will Miles relationship with Professor Kramer be repaired?
      -   Will Miles parents still split?
      -   Will Miles succeed in his goal to keep his world intact?



Chapter 16-

-Overview-
Miles and the Judge are cleaning oysters. The Judge tells Miles that Angie is bipolar (Metal Condition) and thanks
Miles for visiting Florence. An earthquake then hits, Miles and the Judge first rush to Florence’s house to make sure
she is alright.

-Quotes-

N/A

-Observations-

-The quake was the big event Florence predicted.

- Florence’s other predictions were also correct.



Chapter 17-

-Overview-

Miles house survived the earthquake; all the reporters want to see Florence because she predicted the event. Some
people from the Eleusinian School (cult) want to have a chat with Miles, but his mother refuses.

-Quotes-

N/A

-Impressions-

- I have a feeling that Mile’s mum has had a previous incident with the cult.

- I think all Florence’s predictions will come true.



Chapter 18-

-Overview-

The cult members re-appear at Mile’s house, he offers to take them on a tour of the beach. They find hima dn the
beach fascinating.

-Quotes-

N/A

-Questions-

      -   Who are these cult people?
      -   Is Miles the “Chosen One”?



Chapter 19-

-Overview-

Miles and Phelps go down to a club, Phelps sneaks Miles in. Angie is playing and when she finishes her piece she
faints. Miles and Phelps then get kicked out. They then head home.
-Quotes-

N/A

-Impressions-

      -   I think Angie’s band is liked more for her fainting than its music.



Chapter 20-

-Overview-

Angie gets her stomach pumped; Mile’s mum thinks she’s mad. Miles goes to visit Angie who is recovering. He then
lectures her on Oarfish and how to feel better about yourself. Mile’s dad then wants to measure him. He then goes
for a walk out with the cows and crows before visiting Florence.

-Quotes-

N/A

-Observations-

      -   The tide is half a foot higher than predicted.



Chapter 21-

-Overview-

Miles goes to meet Delia Powers, as he comes into the building; he is congratulated for what he has achieved. He
ends up doing an interview with her in front of a crowd. He tells them who he is [1] and includes a few Rachel Carson
quotes. [2][3] He explains his discoveries and what he makes of life. [4][5][6] He ends with telling them to watch the high
tide on September 6th.

-Quotes-

[1] “What got me going is when I learned that about eighty percent of, life on earth is in the ocean.” (Miles O’Malley,
The Highest Tide, p.170) When talking about why he stated loving the ocean.

[2] “The present is linked with the past and the future, and each living thing with all that surrounds it.” (Rachel
Carson, The Highest Tide, p.171)

[3] “If there is poetry in my book about the sea it is not because I deliberately put it there but because no one could
write about the sea and leave out poetry.” (Rachel Carson, The Highest Tide, p.172)

[4] “We don’t even understand everything that can go on in a drop of salt water, so it makes sense to me that we
can’t understand everything.” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide, p.172)

[5] “Crabs move sideways. They don’t worry about going forward or backward.” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide,
p.173)

[6] “The oceans are way bigger than us and they’ll be here long after we’re gone.” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide,
p.174)
Chapter 22-

-Overview-

Miles goes to visit Florence, and talks to her about recent happenings. A woman from the state comes along to see
how Florence is copping. Miles lies for Florence and tells the state lady that Florence is better then she really is. [1]
The state lady then leaves and Miles continues to help Florence with her house, food and moving around.

-Quotes-

[1] “That’s Mr. Miles O’Malley, he’s my best friend.” (Florence, The Highest Tide, p.179)

-Prediction-

      -   Florence is not going to live until the end of the book.
      -   Florence won’t end up in an aged care home.



Chapter 23-

-Overview-

Miles, Phelps and Blake “Blister” Cunningham are making a call to an escort service and ask the lady about life facts.
Miles then goes for a walk along the beach as he heads home. At home he receives a apology letter from Angie and
his parents telling him that they are going to start living separately.

-Quotes-

N/A

-Questions-

      -   Will Miles be able to restore his parents’ marriage?



Chapter 24-

-Overview-

A reporter comes again to question Miles and then releases another article about him that is highly exaggerated. His
dad is unhappy about all the attention he is getting. His mother rings and he tells her that he “doesn’t need her”. His
friends start calling him “lordship”. People start following him around asking him questions and listening to his
knowledge of the ocean.

-Quotes-

N/A



Chapter 25-

-Overview-

People keep coming to the bay; the state lady comes out to install new equipment in Florence’s home. Florence
reveals that she has left the home and the land to Miles.
-Quotes-

N/A

-Impressions-

      -   I get the impression that Florence’s mental state is quickly deteriorating.



Chapter 26-

-Overview-

Phelps and Miles are out Clamming. Mile’s buyers come out to by what he has collected. Miles plays “hardball” with
B.J who ends up leaving. Miles then goes and shows Angie some baby squid hatching. His dad goes to measure him
and he has grown almost an inch.

-Quotes-

N/A



Chapter 27-

-Overview-

The BioBlitz is on, and the town is full with visitors. A large portion of the town is thrilled to help out. The scientists
are quickly astonished by what they find. [1]

-Quotes-

[1] “What the hell is going on here?” (Researcher, The Highest Tide, p.228) When talking about the finds they are
making.

-Impressions-

      -   I get the feeling that the BioBlitz results are amazing the scientists and the locals.



Chapter 28-

-Overview-

Everyone heads back to the camp which is full of cheerful and amazed participates. Miles calls his mother who isn’t
that pleased to answer his call. The next morning Professor Kramer calls the exercise a complete success. Miles is
congratulated for the role he played in making the BioBlitz happen.

-Quotes-

N/A



Chapter 29-

-Overview-
Phelps wakes Miles up to tell him his tide is coming in. Miles moves around town, avoiding reporters. He goes to
Florence’s house and finds her dead. He finds a canoe and starts paddling around. [1]

-Quotes-

[1] “There was so much to see. The bay looked half again as big as it ever did.” (Miles O’Malley, The Highest Tide,
p.249)



Chapter 30-

-Overview-

Miles goes to find Angie, to tell her about Florence. Angie takes Miles out in her canoe; she is much happier (due to
her medication). A real oarfish turns up [1]; Miles and Angie float out to sea on her canoe. [2]

-Quotes-

[1] “In its mysterious past it encompasses all the dim origins of life and receives in the end, after, it may be, many
transmutations, the dead husks of that same life. For all at last return to the sea-to Oceanus, the ocean river, like the
ever-flowing stream of time, the beginning and the end.” (Rachel Carson, The Highest Tide, p.257)

[2] “The ocean will wait for you, Miles, and so will I.” (Angie Stegner, The Highest Tide, p.258)

-Reactions and Responses-

-Connections-

The floods that happen in this book are very similar, but on a smaller scale, to the events happening in Queensland,
Australia in 2010/2011.

-Personal-

I am surprised that “Phony Frankie” turned out to be a decent guy.

-Advice-

I think Miles and Angie should go out.



The Highest Tide Write Up;

Written by,

Christopher McDermott

								
To top