Published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York
One of White’s older books, the idea for Twelve Mile Limit is based on a true life tragedy from 1994. Four scuba divers leave from the Marco Island Marina determined to explore the ship wreck, the Baja California which rests on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, fifty-two nautical miles offshore. Friends and authorities begin to worry when the divers do not return as planned. After 36 hours of exhaustive searches, one lone survivor is found atop a light tower, nude and waving a wetsuit. The other three and the boat are nowhere to be found.
Doc Ford is a quiet marine biologist living in a quaint fishing marina on Sanibel Island with his hippy, eccentric friend Tomlinson; his Jamaican sister, Ramson; and other long time friends and fishing buddies. A battle with the “Save the Manatee” foundation has been threatening to shut down the marina and the charter fishing boats in order to preserve the feeding grounds of the manatee. Things only turn for the worse when word travels down the coast, village to village, that Doc Ford’s assistant and good friend, Janice Mueller, is among the missing from a scuba dive off the coast of Marco Island. The one survivor, Amelia Gardner, convinces Doc that she saw something in the darkness that night out in the gulf when her friends disappeared. Perhaps they had not drowned as everyone has surmised.
Dissimilar to White’s other books; the author delves deep into Doc Ford’s previous life as an operative for the CIA and divulges much of his lethal expertise. This is in sharp contrast to Ford’s quiet life as a marine biologist at the marina. The search for his friend and the others takes him back to the scene of his former life deep in the troubled and dangerous jungles of Columbia, South America, and to the man he has been trying to forget.
White has the gift of threading the real life places, sounds, and smells of southwest Florida into his tales of larger-than-life characters and dramas. You’ll meet his tried and true quirky friends of the marina, beautiful maidens to be rescued, and sordid unscrupulous villains.
The seaworthy among us will enjoy the complex narrative of the sea, while romantics will love Doc Ford for his heroism, raw sexuality and charm. For the thrill seekers, you won’t be disappointed as the depth of the story takes us into a dark and dangerous world of drugs, human trafficking and murder. You’ll certainly think twice before traveling outside the safety of the twelve mile limit into international waters. If you are not already a fan of Randy Wayne White, this book will surely hook you into reading all of his seventeen Doc Ford adventures.
Joanne Tailele has been a full time resident of Marco Island for two years. Born in Youngstown, her last “home” for 12 years was Columbus, Ohio. Between Joanne and her husband, she has six children and nine grandchildren.