This book sat next to my bed for several months. I never wanted to start it. Then one day I opened it and I could hardly put it down. It's the true story that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick, about a ship from Nantucket that sails around South America in search of sperm whales. The crew members, about 6 to a small boat that launches off the main ship, catch these huge whales – 65 feet long and weighing on average 60 tons (120,000 pounds!) – which they then chop up into slabs and boil down the blubber, harvesting the oil.
The statistics in this book are mind-boggling. Just the details about the whaling industry (not to mention life in general) in the 1800s are fascinating. But then the story gets more impossible when main boat gets attacked by an 85 foot, possibly 80 ton whale. As it sinks, the men are stranded in 3 of the whaling boats, which I think were only 21 feet long, floating in the vast Pacific ocean.
I seriously don't know if I'll ever be able to complain about being thirsty again.