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In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex - Study Guide Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Nathaniel Philbrick
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Captain George Pollard, Jr. arrived on the Essex the morning of Aug. 12, 1819. At twenty-eight, he was a young captain, having spent all but seven months of the previous four years aboard the ship as a second and first mate. He had received a letter from the owners telling him that he should proceed to sea, toward the Pacific Ocean, and try to take on a load of sperm whale oil.

Leaving Nantucket was difficult for any whaleship as most of the crew tended to be inexperienced. As the green hands tried to take a ship out, the captain might suffer embarrassment if it didn't go well. The entertainment-starved inhabitants of Nantucket would also be watching as Pollard and his men left. Whaleships were complicated pieces of equipment. The Essex had three masts and a bowsprit, as well as many horizontal spars, which held the rectangular sails. There...

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This section contains 1,008 words
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Buy the In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Study Guide
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