||pt. 1. The Sacred Sea. A Flash of Blue Light -- Songs and Whispers -- The Earth Splits, Water Rushes In -- Into the Lake-Shallow -- Into the Lake-Deep -- Buryatia, in Black & White and Color -- On the Trail with Pod Boy and Monkey Mind -- Bad Roads are Good for Baikal -- Traveling and Staying Home -- pt. 2. 180À. The Long Way Home -- The Great Circle -- Zigzag to Russia -- Power in the East -- Across the Sleeping Land -- Angels and Ghosts in Irkutsk -- pt. 3. Baikal, Too, Must Work. One of the Best Enterprises in Russia -- Righteousness, Uncertainty and the Point of No Return -- Connecting the Dots -- Dr. Hope and Dr. Despair -- Blind Love is a Dangerous Thing -- 360À -- Epilogue: The Great Baikal Chain. "Sacred Sea follows veteran environmental journalist Peter Thomson as he sets off from Boston with his younger brother for one of nature's most remarkable creations: Lake Baikal. A gargantuan crack in the Siberian plateau, Lake Baikal is the world's largest body of fresh water, its deepest and oldest lake, and a cauldron of evolution, home to hundreds of unique creatures, including the world's only freshwater seal. It's also among the most pristine lakes on earth, with a mythical ability to protect itself from the growing human impact - a "perfect," self-cleansing ecosystem." "But at Baikal the brothers also find ominous signs that this perfect piece of nature could yet succumb to the even more powerful forces of human hubris, carelessness, and ignorance. They find that despite its isolation, Baikal is connected to everything else on earth, and that it will need the love and devotion of people around the world to protect it." "On their trek halfway around the world by train, cargo ship, and rubber raft, the author and his brother encounter people who, while yearning for something beyond the limits of their own lives, are also big-hearted and deeply connected to their own communities and the world around them. What begins as a search for restoration in nature becomes a discovery of the restorative power of trust, faith, and human connection."--Jacket.