Read by William Hootkins.
The epic true-life story of one of the most notorious maritime disasters of the 19th century, which was the inspiration for Herman Melville's classic novel 'Moby Dick'.
The sinking of the whaleship "Essex" by an enraged spermwhale in the Pacific in November 1820 set in motion one of the most dramatic sea stories of all time: the twenty sailors who survived the wreck took three small boats (one of which was again attacked by a whale) and only eight of them survived their subsequent 90-day ordeal, after resorting to cannibalising their mates.
Three months after the "Essex" was broken up, the whaleship "Dauphin", cruising off the coast of South America, spotted a small boat in the open ocean. As they pulled alongside they saw piles of bones in the bottom of the boat, at least two skeletons' worth, with two survivors - almost skeletons themselves - sucking the marrow from the bones of their dead ship-mates.
The author uses a hitherto unknown diary of one of the survivors discovered in an attic in Connecticut in spring 1998.