Moby Dick Chapter 20 - 22
Chapter 20 - 22
All Astir/Going Aboard/Merry Christmas
Over the next few days, the ship is prepared for voyage: sails are mended, cable replaced, food stored. Bildad's sister, Aunt Charity, helps out a great deal. Ishmael still feels reservations about setting sail with a captain he's never met, but he chooses to ignore them. Finally, the word is given that the Pequod will set sail tomorrow. Queequeg and Ishmael head out early the next morning.
Before getting on the ship, they run into Elijah again. Ishmael roundly denounces him. Before they can get away from him, Elijah mentions a strange group of men who boarded the ship earlier.
The ship itself is quiet, so Ishmael and Queequeg sit and wait. Queequeg sits on the back of a sleeping sailor, and tells Ishmael how this is the custom of the royalty in his country. The sailor wakes up, and tells them that Captain Ahab boarded the Pequod the night before. They hear someone moving around, who the sailor identifies as Starbuck, the chief mate. The rest of the crew gets on the ship.
The Pequod sets sail at noon on Christmas day. Captain Peleg guides the ship out of the harbor, while Captain Bildad sings hymns to the men. When they are out of the harbor, Bildad gives some last minute advice to the crew and the mates, tells them to be careful in their hunt, and then the two men leave on a small boat.