Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Last of the Melville Pieces from Dick

“It is not so curious, that so vast a being as the whale should see the world through so small an eye, and hear thunder through an ear which is smaller than a hare’s.”

“There is a certain mathematical symmetry in the sperm whale which the right whale sadly lacks.”

“Just because they were “superior wives” didn’t mean the island’s women were not without normal physical desires.”

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cape Cod Maritime Museum

The Cape Cod Maritime Museum is home to bits of wreckage, bones, schrimshaw, and a workshop where members and volunteers can spend days restoring and creating vessels. For more information, visit

The ribs from the Sparrow Hawk wreckage look strangely similar to those of the whales these ships hunted.

I'm crushing JFK's head!

The Root of Nantucket's Evil

Taking the ferry from Hyannis, Ma to Nantucket is about a 2.5 hour ride. When you reach the shore of Nantucket, one of your first sites will be the small lighthouse on the edge, quickly followed by the heavily populated port.

Upon entry to the main hall of the museum, you'll find the skeleton of a small sperm whale hanging above a whaling boat used to hunt in the 19th century. This photo does not give a good sense of scale, but these creatures could average the length of 85 feet.

Guess what the think on the far right is for.

An assortment of stabbing tools of the trade.

In reality, Nantucket is a lot smaller that it looks.

More Dick

“…what landsman would have thought that beneath all that silence and placidity, the utmost monster of the seas was writhing and wrenching in agony!”

“Like a mob of young collegians, they are full of fight, fun, and wickedness, tumbling around the world at such a reckless, rollicking rate.”
“I. A fast whale fish belongs to the party fast to it.”

The Dick you missed

“There is one god that is lord over the earth, and one captain that is lord over the Pequod.”
“It was a terrific, most pitiable, and maddening site.”
“Death to the living, long life to the killers. Success tot sailor’s wives, and greasy luck to the whalers.”
“A wild, mystical, sympathetic feeling was in me; Ahab’s quenchless feud seemed mine.”
“If you inventively regard almost any quadruped’s spine, you will be struck with the resemblance of its vertebrae to a strung necklace of dwarfed skulls.”