The Epic True Story that Inspired 'Moby Dick'.
The sinking of the whaleship "Essex" by an enraged spermwhale far out in the Pacific in November 1820 set in train one of the most dramatic sea stories of all time. Now, following the discovery of a hitherto unknown account by one of the survivors, the last voyage of the "Essex" can be described in all its fateful horror.
The "Essex" was a whaleship from Nantucket, off the New England coast - for over a century the whaling capital of the world at a time when the Pacific was what the Middle East is today, the site of the world's primary oil reserves. For it was the spermwhale which provided the oil that lit the streets and lubricated the machines of the Industrial Age, and the Nantucket whalemen (mostly Quakers) who were perhaps the greatest hunters the world has ever known.
Accounts of the unprecedented whale attack on the "Essex" inspired Herman Melville's mighty novel 'Moby Dick', but 'In The Heart Of The Sea' goes beyond these events to describe what happened when the twenty mixed-race crewmen took to three small boats, with only the simplest of navigational aids. Three months later, the whaleship "Dauphin", cruising off the coast of South America, spotted a tiny boat sailing erratically across the open ocean. As it pulled alongside, its crew saw bones - at least two skeletons' worth - and just two survivors (almost skeletons themselves) among them . . .