In 1781, Thomas Paine came up with a model for a single-span bridge; in 1887, Adolf Eugen Fick made the first pair of contact lenses; and in 1907, Paul Cornu built the first helicopter. But Leonardo da Vinci thought of all these ideas more than five hundred years ago! At once an artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist, da Vinci wrote and drew detailed descriptions of what would later become hang gliders, automobiles, robots, and much more.
Culca longs to dive, but girls on her native island take care of the men. The divers are essential to the survival of the village as the pearls and shells they gather are used for trading. All is not well, however. When Spanish ships full of gold sink in a storm, the village divers are taken to recover the treasure, and Culca must use her nimble wits and unflagging bravery to save her brother’s life. Culca comes through as a strong female voice.