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Old 26-12-2015, 12:38   #16
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
I'd hazard a guess it was about the Essex… inspiration for Moby Dick and one of the great, brutal stories of survival and the "custom of the sea" (cannibalism). Was a test trial as lots were drawn in the surviving whaleboat, and the youngest member (ironically named "Coffin") was killed before dying, in order to be eaten. His killers and eaters were absolved… but did not really recover in any case, fully.

(Edit: Saleen beat me to it, reasonably enough, looks like you have munching rights, S. )
Even more ironic, IIRC Coffin was the nephew of Owen Chase and entrusted to his care. Or that the crew beat 2000 miles to windward instead of 700 miles downwind to avoid cannibals. The book by Chase is more of a whitewashing of his own mistakes than the Philbrick novels which painstakingly attempt to be historically correct.

Cannibalism is a minor if not trivial aspect of the overall story. Sea of Glory and The Last Stand are also wonderful history books by Philbrick.
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Old 26-12-2015, 16:40   #17
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

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Well, I really don't think I am. What would this "other book" be? The Essex was the inspiration for Moby Dick along with Melville's own experiences; it resulted in a sensational trial, and involved cannibalism, in particular of young master Coffin, in a clear example of what was then known as "the custom of the sea".


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Even more ironic, IIRC Coffin was the nephew of Owen Chase and entrusted to his care. Or that the crew beat 2000 miles to windward instead of 700 miles downwind to avoid cannibals. The book by Chase is more of a whitewashing of his own mistakes than the Philbrick novels which painstakingly attempt to be historically correct.

Cannibalism is a minor if not trivial aspect of the overall story. Sea of Glory and The Last Stand are also wonderful history books by Philbrick.
I also remember cannibalism as being a minor aspect of the Essex story. Of course, not minor for those who ended up as entrées!

The "other book" I'm thinking of is "Custom of The Sea". Survival cannibalism was its central theme.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...tom_of_the_Sea

Both books are very good reads.
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Old 26-12-2015, 17:04   #18
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

I really enjoyed the movie, especially the storm scenes.
As an aside, I worked on 2 ex steam whale catchers, one that had a number of plates stove in by being rammed by a bull whale.

According to the books I have read by whaling inspectors on the scene in the 30‘s to 50's

Whalers would first shoot the calf ( if of legal size) ...then the cow who stayed with the calf.

This often enraged the bull who would charge the whaler and the main reason the Norwegian whalers stayed with reciprocating steam is that they could repeatedly go hard astern and spin with transverse prop wash.....to avoid the bull whale's attack.

Can only imagine the challenge in an open row boat, but the movie does a good job.
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Old 26-12-2015, 17:06   #19
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

Loved is movie! I took my dad and sisters to see it in IMAX 3D. Now I'm reading Moby Dick again.
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Old 27-12-2015, 19:33   #20
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

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Where did you find the movie?
I saw it at a local theatre in the SF Bay area right after it opened....it's playing almost everywhere in the states I believe.

I was a bit surprised after arriving in Hong Kong last night, that it's not playing here at all according to what's in the South China Morning Post.

I'm sure it will eventually after the Star Wars craze dies down.
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Old 27-12-2015, 19:36   #21
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

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Thanks for the heads up, mate. I look forward to it!
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Old 27-12-2015, 20:05   #22
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

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Even more ironic, IIRC Coffin was the nephew of Owen Chase and entrusted to his care. Or that the crew beat 2000 miles to windward instead of 700 miles downwind to avoid cannibals. The book by Chase is more of a whitewashing of his own mistakes than the Philbrick novels which painstakingly attempt to be historically correct.

Cannibalism is a minor if not trivial aspect of the overall story. Sea of Glory and The Last Stand are also wonderful history books by Philbrick.
Seems sailing to the Marquesas would have been the logical choice regardless.... hindsight being what it is.

Also interesting is that they landed on Ducie or Henderson Island in the Pitcairn Island group, which allowed them to replenish themselves on the local flora and fauna for a time. They decided to leave after finding old skeletons in a cave, knowing that the available scarce food wouldn't last long. However, three of the crew chose to remain ashore and were eventually rescued.
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Old 28-12-2015, 10:29   #23
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

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Seems sailing to the Marquesas would have been the logical choice regardless.... hindsight being what it is.

Also interesting is that they landed on Ducie or Henderson Island in the Pitcairn Island group, which allowed them to replenish themselves on the local flora and fauna for a time. They decided to leave after finding old skeletons in a cave, knowing that the available scarce food wouldn't last long. However, three of the crew chose to remain ashore and were eventually rescued.
I wondered why they didn't sail downwind too.
I didn't think it was that good of a movie, and didn't know sperm whales rammed whalers. Now I do.
You know, whales seem to have a long memory, maybe passed down from generation to generation. The Orca's of the Salish sea still don't go where they were stripped of their calves in the 1970's. I wonder if the whale sinkings of the 70's and more currently were due to aggressive behavior against sailing ships originally learned during the whale oil era?
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Old 28-12-2015, 12:53   #24
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

I vaguely recall reading a couple of years ago that they found a whale with a late 1800's harpoon embedded in it.
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Old 01-01-2016, 20:18   #25
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

I enjoyed the movie. And what a great captain to sail with;-)
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:26   #26
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

Can't wait for the 50 ton Megalodon movie.

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/sh...monster-shark/
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Old 02-01-2016, 21:09   #27
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

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Can't wait for the 50 ton Megalodon movie.

Megalodon: The Monster Shark | Shark Week | Discovery

Mega farce.... Discovery Channel has REALLY gone into the toilet on this one.
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Old 03-01-2016, 00:08   #28
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

Yes....they are getting a more and more flaky reality show mentality..... Used to be a good Channel
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:30   #29
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Re: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

I watched the movie on the boat; both me and my (adult) son enjoyed it.

Discovery Channel is known here as 'the channel we used to watch'.
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